Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure — pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return. — Luke 6.37, 38If you are like most people, what your mind naturally rests on in the above verse is what will come back to you, IF you follow the prescribed directions. Don’t judge and you will not be judged. Don’t condemn and you will not be condemned. Pardon and you will be pardoned, give and it will be given to you. But I would like you to back up for a moment and see what this verse is really saying. Look at the broader context. What has Jesus been instructing us in just before these two verses?
“But–love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”— Luke 6.35, 36
Jesus is telling us to be like God, just as Paul told the Ephesians that Jesus is telling us to be “imitators of God!” (Ephesians 5:1)
But then Jesus gives us four divine commands that if pondered well, will radically transform one’s picture of what they have been conditioned to see God to be like and usher them into the glorious truth of His character. Go back to the above verse and look at where we weren’t focused previously.
Jesus gives us four commands:
1)Do not Judge!
2)Do not Condemn!
Wow!!!!!! Why is he giving us these four commands? Because then we will be “just as our Father in heaven.” Really? Is this really what God is like? Are these four commands really a simple explanation of what type of a person God truly is and how he has been treating every member of the human race from the very beginning?
Let’s look at each one and compare.
First: Do Not Judge. Jesus, who is the express image of the Father (Hebrews 1:3), said: “If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.” John 12.47
Second: Do Not Condemn. Jesus’ very first words to the woman caught in the very midst of adultery were, ” I do not condemn you, either.” John 8.11
Third: Pardon! One of my favorite prayers of Jesus was his prayer for his enemies on the cross, “Father, forgive them . . .” Luke 23.34
And Fourth: Give! “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10.45
These four commands are really a very simple description of what God is truly like. I want to challenge you this week to take your current picture of the Father and compare it to these four and see if you too don’t experience a little paradigm shifting. Oh, there will be lots of questions. We have not always been told the truth about our Heavenly Dad, but Jesus, once again, is calling us to see Him as He really is.