- “Judge not, that you be not judged.
- For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.
- 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?
- Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?
- You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.
v5 makes it clear that the purpose of judging is healing, contra standard Pharisee behavior as outlined in Mt 23:1-4. In v4, Jesus implies that one cannot heal others of a sickness one has, and hasn't been healed of oneself. v3 insinuates, where Jesus later makes it clear, that there is something seriously wrong if you care about problems others have but not problems you have. In v2, Jesus outlines a danger in judging others by a given standard: that standard will be used to judge you. v1, therefore, is a warning to be careful of when and how you judge. It does not mean to never judge.
It is necessary to distinguish between:
- discerning between good and evil
There are a plethora of verses calling us to do #1; a few are Rom 12:9, Eph 4:12-14, 5:17. On the other hand, the parable of the weeds (or of the wheat and tares) in Mt 13:24-30 instructs us to not to uproot weeds and burn them before "the harvest", which seems to be a Second Coming activity. Christians are not called to do #2.
Gal 6:1-5 describes one scenario for speck-removal:
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.
Here we can also see that the point of catching people in transgression is to restore them.
P.S. I say 'us' and 'we' instead of 'Christians'; I can change this if desired.