Why we’re called Christians – and not Godians!

Matthew 7:1-2 is fascinating to look at in the Greek. I’ve color coded below the words that are the same. The ones that begin with κρί are judge or judging. The ones that begin with μέτρ refer to a measure.

1 Μὴ κρίνετε, ἵνα μὴ κριθῆτε· 2 ἐν γὰρ κρίματι κρίνετε κριθήσεσθε, καὶ ἐν μέτρ μετρεῖτε μετρηθήσεται ὑμῖν.

In these two verses, judge is used five times – three right in a row. Measure is used three times – all right in a row. The only other words in these sentences are ‘little’ words like modifiers or conjunctions – not, so that, for, in what, and, and to you. So it seems that either Matthew temporarily had a vocabulary shortage, or he’s really hitting this subject hard!

These two verses with all their repetitious words translate

Do not judge, that you will not be judged. For by what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and by what measure you measure, it will be measured to you.

Boy, he really hammers it!

Our previous posts have explored some of the poignancy of this passage and why he really hammers it. They are challenging!

I came across a commentary that really seems to capture the reason for such intensity about judging. Warning: read at your own risk!

…such persons [who judge] take upon them the place of God, usurp his prerogative, as if they knew the hearts and states of men; and therefore will have judgment without mercy at the hands of God. (from Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible)

Um… yikes. {swallow}

I think I need to read that again to really get it:

…such persons [who judge] take upon them the place of God, usurp his prerogative, as if they knew the hearts and states of men; and therefore will have judgment without mercy at the hands of God.

Not even Christ came to judge the world! After the ever-popular John 3:16, John furthers that Christ did not come to judge the world, but that through Him we might be saved! Here it is in the Greek:

οὐ γὰρ ἀπέστειλεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸν κόσμον ἵνα κρίνῃ τὸν κόσμον ἀλλ᾽ ἵνα σωθῇ ὁ κόσμος δι᾽ αὐτοῦ

The translation is

For God did not send his Son into the world in order that He may judge the world, but in order that the world may be saved through Him.

I’m sure you caught the κρί in the verb. It’s the same word for ‘judge’ that we’re talking about in Matthew 7:1-2.

So if God did not send His perfect Son to judge, then, um, do we really think He sent us to judge? If Christ didn’t even climb in the judge’s seat on earth, what in the world would we be doing there?

We’re called Christians, right? Not Godians. : ) And for good reason! We are to be like Christ – and not like God (the Father). We are to be like Christ – not sent to judge the world. We’re *not* to be like God – taking His place as if we knew the hearts and states of men.

I vote we evade the ‘judgment without mercy at the hands of God.’ I vote we love and coach each other towards Christ-likeness – without judging the hearts of men.

Are you in?

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5 thoughts on “Why we’re called Christians – and not Godians!

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