By George Rassovsky
Context is extremely important for any literary work. However, when it comes to the Word of God, it is vital! A verse, or a part of one, taken out of context, can have enormous and eternal consequences. Despite this being the case, the fact is that the Bible is perhaps the most misinterpreted book. Below are some of the most commonly misinterpreted and misunderstood verses of the Bible.
#1 – Don’t Judge!
“Do not judge, lest you should be judged.”Matthew 7:1 [BLB]
“Don’t judge!” How often have you heard this shouted at you with apostolic authority when you have expressed an opinion on some issue, and especially with regards to another “Christian”, concerning his/her (often non-Christian) behaviour. Actually, that was not the thought that Jesus was communicating to his disciples, when he said this.
Throughout that part of the so-called “sermon on the mount” (Matthew ch. 5-7) where the verse is found, the Lord Jesus taught His disciples how not to be hypocrites in their judgement like the Pharisees, but instead – to judge righteously. For instance, “in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you” [NASB] (Matthew 7:2).
“Judge not, that you be not judged,” therefore, is an expressive warning to His disciples, reminding them that before they pass judgement on to their brothers, they ought to examine themselves for the same, and before they proceed to remove the “speck” from someone else’s eye, they ought to remove the “beam” from their own… (see the next few verses Matthew 7:3-4).
Next – #2 – ‘I can do all things’ – Philippians 4:13