There are some people in this world who believe Jesus came to judge the world and that Christianity is about judgement. They feel this way I presume because many Christians talk about the laws of God, sin and condemnation.
However they are wrong for making such assumptions. And Christians who believe they are still under the law have missed the mark concerning the freedom that we have in Jesus Christ for he came to set man free from sin and from the law of sin and death.
The key scripture I am looking at in this section is in verses 15-16, which says,
15 You judge according to the flesh, I judge no one.
16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone that judge, but I and he who sent me.
There will be a time for judgement, but that time is not now and it was not when Jesus came. We see in this scripture what He had to say about judgement and contrasts between the judgement of God and the judgements of man.
Man judges people and situations according to what he knows, perceives or can gather from evidence. He also judges things through filter of feelings and emotions and often that does not lead to an accurate assessment or judgement of a matter.
Man’s judgements are imperfect because often his knowledge is imperfect. He does not know the heart of another person or what may be motivating them to act in a certain way. One man cannot know that what another man thinks is entirely different to what the first man may presume the other thinks.
As an example, there was an advertisement on TV a little while ago showing a man in a wheelchair at a train station. As the camera got closer you could see him clearly and it was evident he showed the signs of having Down Syndrome and he was rocking back and forth in his chair moaning and groaning.
The automatic reaction and judgement for most people was pity for the man. They lacked true knowledge about him and thought he must have been having some kind of fit or something. Their judgement was wrong.
As the camera closed in further you could see he had an iPod and earphones in his ears. The caption then came up saying, “Just another Green Day fan.” He was enjoying himself rocking and singing to the music of Green Day. Not an object of pity but of the joy and celebration of life!
I have no idea what the advertisement was advertising, but the pictures stuck in my mind as to how wrong our judgements can be. So the man had a disability. So what! It is my belief that every person on earth has a disability of some kind. Its just that some are more obvious than others. A disabled body is nothing compared to a disabled mind and spirit. Consider the competitors in the recent Paralympics. Many of those who had disfigured bodies showed a truer reflection of the spirit of the Olympics than their full bodied counterparts in the Olympic Games who cried or moaned because they did not win a gold medal. The Paralympics in my mind better embodied the spirit of the Olympics than the “real” Olympics which seems to be more about sponsorships, money and big business.
Man’s judgement is often wrong because they filter things and view the world in a skewed way. But this is not the way of God.
The Judgement of God
Jesus said in the scripture above that He judged no-one. The purpose of His first visitation was not to judge the world but to save the world. He came to offer salvation to those who choose to receive his gifts and accept Him as their saviour.
But as he said in the scripture, even if He did choose to judge, His judgements are just. Why? Because unlike man He is God & has the mind of God. Jesus knows the hearts of men and the motivations so He can see what man cannot see.
His judgements would be sound and just because unlike man he has perfect knowledge and understanding. Also He does not judge through the filters of emotion or other personal and human issues. Instead He judges impartially and without bias.
Jesus does not look upon the position of a man as being anything important. Whether prince or pauper, maimed or whole, he judges according to the truth. He cannot be bribed or swayed by emotion. He is not influenced by lawyers or solicitors who test the boundaries of the law. He cares about only one thing and that is the truth of the matter in relation to the will of God.
But during His time on earth, as already mentioned, He did not do any of these things for his purpose was to save, not to judge. He spoke elsewhere that it is the law as given by Moses that was to be their judge. In John 5:45 Jesus said to the leaders of the Jews, “Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; it is Moses who accuses you, on whom you set your hope.”
So Jesus did not come to accuse or to judge the people. But there will come a time for judgement.
The Times for Judgement
Although Jesus did not come to judge in his first visitation, the time of judgement of the whole world is coming. There will be no escape as every person on the earth from the beginning to the end will be judged. Each and every one will stand before the judgement seat of God as described in Revelation 20.
But even more, the judgement of the people of God is occurring right now. As we live we are being weighed, assessed and judged as to whether we are worthy of the kingdom of God. The apostle Peter wrote in his letter in 1 Peter 4:17-18,
17 For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?
18 And “If the righteous man is scarcely saved, where will the impious and sinner appear?”
The household of God is being judged now. We are being looked at and assessed according to our faith and obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Which is why it is even more important to take note of the truth and to follow the Lord according to the will of God. We need to learn the truth that sets you free so we are not caught up in falsehoods and bondage as taught by men who do not know the truth.
It is essential that we come to Him, seeking the truth through the Holy Spirit so we can be transformed into the image of Christ Jesus and so prove we are the children of God in love.
And as Peter writes, if it begins with us, where is the hope for sinners and those who choose not to follow the ways of God? My hope is that they will see the light and come to the Lord. If they don’t then they are without hope and will be judged accordingly at the final judgement and will be lost forever.
We are fortunate that in Christ we have a glorious hope that will be revealed and will bring us to salvation. Thus it is essential we focus on that salvation and seek it out so that pass out of judgement and into life with God.
(Photo sourced from stock.xchng taken by Lisa Ghaith)
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