Some Assembly Required are the most horrifying words in the male language. Fathers whose children are opening Christmas presents and husbands whose wives have just returned from IKEA know that they are in for trouble. Although some present parts and some furniture components are pre-assembled, other parts and components require that fathers and husbands take out their tools and put in some put-together time.
Similarly, some of life's parts and components have to be taken apart and put back together. "We must not judge rashly, nor pass judgment upon our brother without any ground. We must not make the worst of people" (Matthew Henry) but we are "Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil" (I Thess. 5:21-22). Some judgment is required in Christian living.
Some judgment is required by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. Immediately after speaking against "rash judgment, interpreting men's words and deeds to the worst sense, and censuring them in a very severe manner; even passing sentence on them" (John Gill) (Mt. 7:1+), Jesus spoke in favor of Some Judgment Required. This article is written to review judgments that are required by Matthew 7.
Dogs and Swine
Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces (Mt. 7:6).
While you are not to be censorious towards brethren (vers. 1-5), you must recognize the great and fundamental differences that there are between men. You must not treat those who are mere dogs and swine as if they were able to appreciate either the holiness or the beauty and wealth of spiritual truth (Pulpit Commentary).
Narrow and Wide; Many and Few
Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Jesus here commits the awful modern "sin" of "narrow mindedness." To Jesus, there is no doubt that there is a right road and a wrong road. If Christians are accused of being "narrow minded" they are following Jesus’ example of telling the hard truth (John Guzik).
False Prophets and Ravenous Wolves
Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits (Mt. 7:15-16).
We have no desire to unjustly judge another, but we cannot remain silent when one's fruit shows itself to be error and not the truth. I do not intend to judge or condemn my brother unjustly, but I am a fruit inspector (Marshall Keeble).
Wisdom versus Foolishness; Rock versus Sand; Hearing versus Acting
Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock...Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand (Mt. 7:24-26).
We have here...a striking picture of two classes of Christian hearers. Those who hear and do nothing--and those who hear and do as well as hear--are both placed before us, and their histories traced to their respective ends (J.C. Ryle).
Instead of broadly condemning every kind of judgment, Jesus specifies that certain judgments are to be avoided, but that Some other kinds of Judgment are Required.
In context, Jesus clearly does not forbid all judging of any kind, for the moral distinctions drawn in the Sermon on the Mount require that decisive judgments be made and are even mandated (Precept Austin).