Someone once made this observation: The church shoots its wounded. The shot: judgment for what observers perceive as a moral failure.
When her marriage fell apart, a family friend was sorely wounded by the sting of judgment from her church. Instead of consolation, she experienced condemnation. People she’d known for years turned their backs on her. She sat alone in a pew on Sunday mornings. It was all too much, and she left. Not only did she leave that particular congregation, but the church as a whole, never to return. How very grievous.
In the verses just preceding today’s reading, the Pharisees, “church people,” are casting judgment on Jesus. Jesus will have none of it. He responds to their accusations, “The Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son. …he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.” (verses 22,27)
We are not to take the place that does not rightly belong to us. “Do not judge,” (Matthew 7:1) is not only an admonition, it’s also a word of grace. We can leave it all to Jesus. Isn’t that a relief?
Lord Jesus, your judgment is just and your love unconditional. Teach me to love, not judge. Amen. — KBL