I love judging people. It makes me feel better about myself. I feel more successful, smarter, skinnier, better-looking, younger, superior, etc. (Oops, did I just say that out loud?) I am also hypocritical. I believe things about following God that I don’t do. I am so different from Jesus; he is pure, holy, loving, and lived what he taught. I am so grateful for God’s grace and forgiveness. The only hope I have for change is Jesus living in me. By God’s grace, I am not what I used to be, and there is hope for what I can become.
- Can you think of a recent time when you were quick to judge someone or were hypocritical?
READ THE WORD: LUKE 6:39-49 (ESV)
39 He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. 41 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.
43 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- How is Jesus’ statement in verse 39 both simple and profound?
- What are we to do before we help someone with an area of weakness or fault (vss. 41-42)?
- What can we learn about hypocrisy from verses 43-45?
- How can we avoid hypocrisy (vss. 46-47)? What is the result when we obey Jesus (vss. 48-49)?
- What is one area of your life where you tend to be judgmental (speck picking) or hypocritical (producing bad fruit) that needs to be changed? Where in your life do you see change—areas of kindness instead of judgment, and obedience that produces fruit?
RESPOND TO GOD
When we turn to Jesus in faith and repentance, we become his children. We begin a journey of being a disciple or follower of Jesus. Sometimes as his followers, we don’t look like him. Two areas where we often don’t resemble him are being judgmental and living hypocritically. We forget that Jesus didn’t judge us, but rather forgave us; in fact, he took our judgment upon himself on the cross. Jesus was never hypocritical either. He lived the perfect life we should live but can’t. Jesus wants to change us from the inside out. He wants to change our heart and then our outside will match up. We must engage with him throughout our day so that we can become like him.
- Ask the Lord to forgive you for the times you have been judgmental and hypocritical.
- Take time to ask him to change you from the inside out so your heart, words, and actions look like Jesus.