The Golden Rule means not judging others, not condemning others, but giving to others and forgiving others. The measure you use will be used on you. And if we aren’t judging, we are left with lots of room to be loving our neighbours, which perhaps is the point…
37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
39 He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.
41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
When Jesus teaches, “Do not judge,” it is within the context of extending the Golden Rule teaching to provide examples. Recall that the Golden Rule is Love other people while they are actively hating and rejecting you. The ‘do unto others’ idea expands into loving people even though they don’t love you first – it parallels God’s love for us and how undeserving we are to receive God’s love.
Today Jesus goes further. The Golden Rule also means not judging others, not condemning others, but giving to others and forgiving others. The measure you use will be used on you.
Ahhh… So the Golden Rule also includes the truth that we will be treated as we treat others. That’s a bit different from the ‘as you would have them do unto you.’ This is a promise: if you judge, you will be judged. You will be condemned. You will be forgiven.
In fact, be more than careful. Be careful to not be hypocritical, Jesus says. As we fall into the pit of judging others and condemning others, Jesus wants us to know that we are not above the law ourselves. We are guilty as we standing condemning those around us. And so he says, “first take the plank out of your eye.”
Focus on yourself.
Specifically before we play God and judge, condemn, point, etc at our neighbours, Jesus says to look at ourselves and clean up our own houses first. For some of us – perhaps most of us – that clean up job will never be completed. We will always have good reason to not judge others. And if we aren’t judging, we are left with lots of room to be loving our neighbours…