1. Judge not, that ye be not judged. He
forbids condemning others, but not reproving others. A reproof is for another's
benefit, but condemnation expresses only derision and scorn. You may also
understand that the Lord is speaking of one who, despite his own great sins,
condemns others who have lesser sins of which God will be the judge.
2-5. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall
be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And
why beholdest thou the speck that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not
the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me
pull out the speck out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt
thou see clearly to cast out the speck out of thy brother's eye. He who
would rebuke others ought to be blameless himself. If he himself has a plank in
his eye, that is, some great sin, and he finds fault with another who has only
a speck, he causes that man to be even more shameless in his sin. The Lord
shows that he who has sinned greatly is not even able to see clearly the sin of
his brother. For how could one who has a plank in his eye even see another man
who is only slightly injured.
6. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs,
neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their
feet, and turn again and rend you. The dogs are the unbelievers and the
swine are believers who lead a filthy and shameful way of life. One ought not
therefore to speak of the mysteries to the unbelievers, nor speak brilliant and
lustrous words of theology to those who are unclean. For the swine trample them
underfoot, that is, despise what is said, while the dogs turn on us and tear us
limb from limb. This is what those so-called philosophers do; when they hear
that God was crucified, they stab us with their syllogisms, reasoning with
their sophistry that this is impossible.
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