Meghan is a _______; Piers is a _______; Trump is a _______; Ravi Zacharias was a _______.
And we reduce that person down to 50 years of their life or to that 5 minute conversation we had with them and bring their name, the person they are or was to a conclusion.
It is easy to do that from a distance. We are probably never going to meet Meghan, Piers, Trump and we will never meet the dead.
But we do it to those closer.
That neighbour is a _______; my last church was a ______; my new Pastor is a ______; my boss is a _______;
Uncomfortable that this is, Jesus takes his sermon away from the hypocrisy and anxiety of this world to how we treat people.
He doesn’t warn us of discernment. We should do that with all the named people above. Neither is it to come to the conclusion that someone is indeed guilty. That again applies to any list of names that we have. So let’s see what Jesus says:
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7 v 1-2)
It is to stand in the place of God, the final authority on all things and speak as if God was speaking.
Don’t send people to hell.
Don’t write people off.
Don’t dismiss a person as worthless.
Don’t cut off a return back to the good.
This is not just to do to others as we would want to have done to us.
But rather because we have not been written off we act in the same way and leave room for mercy and grace. Equal measure.