Episode 189 – Out of Context Pt 5: Do Not Judge

“Do not judge or you too will be judged.” These well-known words are quoted by Christians and non-Christians alike, often as a shield to prevent others from speaking into their lives in ways that feel critical. “If you’re a hypocrite, you don’t get to point out my flaws! And since we’re all hypocrites, no one gets to point out anybody’s flaws!” But is that what Jesus really intended with these words? Not even close. By the end of this episode, you’ll discover how confronting our own hypocrisy and condemnation of others empowers us to speak more effectively in each other’s lives!

Discussion Questions

  • What was your biggest takeaway from the teaching? 
  • What are some of the most common judgments/condemnations you catch yourself harboring towards others? 
  • If it’s true that the things we find most irritating in others are often a reflection of what is most broken in ourselves, what do your most common judgments/condemnations reveal about what needs to be healed in you? 
  • Have you experienced the gift of being confronted without being condemned? What did that look like? How did it impact you? 
  • Exercise: Choose a judgment/condemnation you harbored toward another person at some point in your life. (Or, better yet, choose one you’re harboring currently.) Take the next 2-5 minutes to close your eyes and imagine sitting across a table from Jesus. Now, imagine plopping your condemnation of this other person/people down on the middle of the table. Take a few moments to observe Jesus’s response? Does he do anything? Say anything?  
  • How will you begin living out the truths of this teaching this week? 

For Further Study

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases (at no extra charge to you).

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify


  1. BILL March 12, 2024 at 7:32 am - Reply

    It would appear that K James had it translated this way so none in his kingdom would condemn him of his erroneous ways by order of God!
    Hmmmmso many other verses also!

  2. BILL March 12, 2024 at 7:36 am - Reply

    If one is still waiting on the down payment of the Hs to make one be this way then it’s gonna be a loooong walk BUT if one goes and rereads TORAH then that’s where Jesus would lead one to start practicing!

    • Brad Nelson March 13, 2024 at 4:49 pm - Reply

      Thanks for your comment Bill. I think that’s exactly what Jesus is getting at with the Sermon on the Mount. He frames His teaching by saying, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17), and then goes on to describe how his disciples can pursue a righteousness that surpasses that of the Pharisees and the Teachers of the law.

      I think you’re right in that many people simply assume the Holy Spirit will “make one be this way.” But as we explored in Pt. 1 of the Out of Context series, Paul didn’t come to Jesus and “suddenly” or “magically” turn into a content person. Instead, because of Jesus’s death, resurrection, and gift of the Holy Spirit, Paul engaged in habits and practices that began to shape in him a whole new set of dispositions. Interestingly, when Paul wrote, “Do not be drunk with wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” in Ephesians 5:18, he used the Greek word pleroo. It means to fill, but Paul used it in the middle voice. In English, we mostly use the active or passive voice.

      Active: I filled. (I did the action)
      Passive: I was filled. (Someone else did the action, and I was the recipient of it)

      But the middle voice, according to Eugene Peterson, means participating with an action that someone else starts. In this case, it’s God who fills us with Spirit, but we participate with it, and our participation (or refusal to participate) either enables or prevents God’s action from having a greater effect.

      In other words, I think you can practice Torah all day long, but apart from God’s Spirit and Jesus’s wise direction, it will lead people to the same place it led the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law: A vicious cycle of hypocrisy that never fully realizes the transformation spoken of in the Torah. But, in light of Jesus’s death, resurrection, and gift of the Spirit, we can follow Jesus in practicing/fulfilling Torah by participating with the power of the Spirit to do/practice all He taught in the Sermon on the Mount.

Leave A Comment