Sunday, April 24, 2005

I am not his judge

"If anyone hears me and doesn't obey me, I am not his judge."

These words of Jesus- the creator and sustainer of the universe, the only perfect sinless one, convict me deeply.

How many times have I not been "heard"? How many times have I lamented at the lack of response? How often have I responded back with an attitude of judgement?

Jesus, who IS Truth, did not compromise what is true, absolute, and eternal: "Don't suppose that I came to do away with the Law and the Prophets. I did not come to do away with them, but to give them their full meaning. Heaven and earth may disappear. But I promise you that not even a period or comma will ever disappear from the Law. Everything written in it must happen. If you reject even the least important command in the Law and teach others to do the same, you will be the least important person in the kingdom of heaven. But if you obey and teach others its commands, you will have an important place in the kingdom." Matthew 5:17-19

Yes, I am to speak truth.

Jesus always spoke the truth. Not watered down truth. Not veiled truth. Not truth 'that fits our situation', but His eternal perspective. Truth must not, cannot and ultimately will not be adjusted to suit my opinion or my preference. The law is above me. The law is greater than me - for TRUTH existed before I. "In the beginning the Word already existed; the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1 Truth itself is a judge. The law of God alone condems for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses and to bring the entire world into judgement before God. (Romans 3:19)

"The word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It cuts all the way through, to where soul and spirit meet, to where joints and marrow come together. It judges the desires and thoughts of the heart. There is nothing that can be hid from God; everything in all creation is exposed and lies open before his eyes. And it is to him that we must all give an account of ourselves." Hebrews 4:12-13

"If anyone hears me and doesn't obey me, I am not his judge."

Truth must be heard but my yoke is not to judge. My yoke is to love. Speak the truth in love. See through love. Demonstrate love. "Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light." Matthew 11:28-30

Truth is not compromised that there may be mercy. Mercy is unmerited. (John 8) Over and over Jesus has authority to judge and yet he witholds judgement. There is an appointed time. What he did not withhold was love, blessing, healing, deliverance,..... his very life. He gave freely! To all.

Jesus forknew the misunderstanding, rejection, betrayal, denyal, abandonment, and horrifying abuse he would experience and still he withheld nothing. In the face of truth, there is none among us who is worthy of mercy. And yet this is how my beloved chooses to come to me. The way he always has......

"Set the mercy seat on top of the ark and put the testimony that I will give you into the ark.
I will meet with you there above the mercy seat, between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the testimony; I will speak with you from there about all that I command you regarding the Israelites."Exodus 25:21-22

"Stop judging so that you will not be judged. Otherwise, you will be judged by the same standard you use to judge others. The standards you use for others will be applied to you."Matthew 7:1-2

I have seen this principal at work. Whatever I believe and feel I have to do to be loved and accepted by God I have required and expected of others before I would love and accept them.

When I withhold kindness, affection, affirmation, generosity and humble service, I deem the person"unworthy" or "unfit" to recieve. I have believed a lie about my place in the Father's heart and have further cast that view on others. At any point that I withhold, I am sitting in judgement. Judgement towards the heart of my Father and judgement towards my brother. It is impossible to love and judge others simultaneously.

"A new commandment I give you- love one another. Just as I have loved you you should love one another" - Humbly, Extravagently, Sacrifically.

True love is risky. To truely love means being vulnerable to pain. Judgement is safe. It's final - closing the heart and the hand at a distance.

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