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Monday, April 3, 2017

Judgment – John 7 – Part 4

         Jesus has taught the Jewish religious leaders about doing acts of love and mercy on the Sabbath. If the Jewish leadership is okay with circumcising a male on the Sabbath, then why are they so angry at Him for healing a whole man? As the Lord of the Sabbath, Jesus can circumvent the law in order to do acts of mercy, love and salvation. Why? God is love and is merciful.
           Jesus in His flesh body fulfilled the law of circumcision and the Sabbath. Jesus was circumcised on the 8th day according to the Law of God. He who was a sinless Holy Man in the flesh had to do all that the law required in order to fulfill it. Jesus obeyed the Law physically and spiritually. Only a sinless man could fulfill the Law because the original sin came through a sinless man and woman – Adam and the woman. At God’s appointed time, Jesus will bring the law into the spiritual, eternal realm by shedding the blood of His whole fleshly body to bring redemption and eternal life to His spiritual Body of believers. Jesus shed His blood for the sin of the whole world, but His blood cannot be applied unless the person believes in Jesus and His redemptive work.


         Next, Jesus will speak to these religious leaders about judging. “Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right (righteous) judgment.” V24
Jesus will teach these religious leaders that mercy triumphs over judgment.
This was not a new concept. It was also in the Older Testament. Zechariah 7:9: “Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.” True justice is righteous justice.
James 2:12-13: “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!”
Jesus will attempt to show the religious leaders that they are to deal with the Law by God’s Spirit and heart. Acts of love and mercy are higher laws of God. Jesus came from God and is the holy Seed of God. He knows the fullness of God, His heart and His mercy. Jesus also has all spiritual wisdom. 1 Corinthians 1:24: “Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” Jesus and the Father are One. They do not work contrary to one another. They are of one mind – the mind of God. Jesus worded God’s mind and ways. So Jesus acted as God would act! “God is a righteous judge.” Psalm 7:11 In the last book of the Bible, this fact is repeated. Revelation 16:7: “You are just in these judgments, you who are and who were, the Only One, because you have so judged….” Righteous judgment is founded upon God and His Truth. So, Jesus is telling these religious leaders that they must not judge by appearance only. They must get the facts (truth). Jesus is teaching them the Truth but they are resistant to it. They want to hold to the law and their interpretation of it. Jesus is telling them that they must judge fairly and righteously. (see Deuteronomy 1:17) Not understanding God’s heart of love, these religious leaders considered Jesus blasphemous and wanted to kill Him. Jesus wants these leaders to understand the difference between the letter of the law versus grace and truth. Jesus healed a man to wholeness and wellness which is the gift and grace of God.

How does this apply to believers?

       Followers of Christ are not to judge with a self-righteous, condemning or hypocritical attitude. Nor are we to judge with an unforgiving judgment. God’s righteous judgment is explained in James 2. The Godhead judges righteously because they see and know all things. Jesus explains in John 8:14-18 that “He stands with the Father” and if He does judge, “His decisions are right because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent Me.” John 8:16 We are not to usurp the place of the Godhead. We must let God be God. Only the Godhead can cast into hell!
            God wants us to be discerning. We are to discern the true from the false, right from wrong, moral from immoral. As a matter of fact, the Word tells us in 1 Corinthians 11:30-31 that we are to judge ourselves. “If we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.” We can judge actions, words and deeds, but are not to judge ourselves or another person in condemnation. That is God’s job! When God judges one or more of the words, actions or deeds of one who believes in His Son, it is done for discipline not condemnation. Discipline shows that He loves us as sons and daughters. Sin does not bring life, so God would want to bring us out of any sin or sinful action that hurts His own and brings spiritual death.
            Jesus taught on judging ourselves and others in Matthew 7:1-5. He says that if we judge, we will be judged in the same way that we judge others. He says that we are to judge ourselves first by taking the plank out of our own eye.
         If a brother or sister in the Lord is doing something that is sinful, we are to correct in a spirit of gentleness toward restoration, not in condemning judgment. (see Galatians 6:1) This is the heart of God toward His own. He wants us to extend the same loving discipline to our brothers and sisters in the Lord. We are to speak the truth in love and gently correct erring brothers and sisters in Christ. This is the heart of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:27, “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” Disciplining ourselves is good. It shows our love for the Lord Jesus and for ourselves and others. Jesus said three times in John 14 is that those who love Him obey His commandments.  And Proverbs 3:12 says, “For whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom He delights.” This is repeated in the New Testament in Hebrews 12:6.

                        (Next:  Is Jesus the Christ?)”

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