Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Matthew 23:23 (KJV)
Judgment – How can judgment be one of the weightier matters of the law when Yeshua specifically directed 16 chapters prior in Matthew 7 for us not to judge. But yet here He claims that judgment is one of the most important matters in all of the law. Obviously He is paraphrasing the many men of God that came before Him. Many of which were David (Psalm 101:1), Isaiah (56:1), Jeremiah (22:3), Hosea (12:6)… and the list continues.
Upon realization, we see that true judgment is a result of the law. It is a result of YHWH’s teachings and direction… His statutes, judgments, and commandments. Only by discerning these can we make righteous judgments in our lives. But so many of us love to quote Matthew 7 about not judging, but completely miss the point of Yeshua’s statement.
Judge not, that ye be not judged.
But the truth of the matter is that we’re all going to be judged, and we’re all going to be found guilty. Only by the blood of the Lamb of God will we be saved. So Yeshua’s point in Matthew 7 must be different than many would like to believe. Reading further we see it.
For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
The same judgment we use will also be used to judge us. And since we’re going to be judged by the law, then Yeshua’s reference to judgment as a weightier matter becomes more apparent. If we’re to be judged by the law, then we should also rightly discern the law in our lives so that we might understand the judgment of the LORD. This is Yeshua’s point, that we should practice the law continually, not forgetting the minor parts, but to keep the focus of these teachings on the weightier matters – judgment, mercy, and faith.
Judgment in the Greek is krisis and first means a “judicial decision”. How can one make a judicial decision without completely understanding the entire law and the situation at hand? This weightier matter of judgment is our duty. In the LXX krisis is often used for the “right” of the oppressed according to the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. The law of God is always in favor of the weak, the poor, and the afflicted. And we too should be using righteous judgment to help those who are weaker, poorer, and more afflicted than ourselves.
So remember, judgment is not something we should shun from, but as a weightier matter of the law, we use it to strengthen YHWH’s people, to uphold His ways, and to show mercy and faith throughout our lives. So when you pass judgment, who’s guidance are you using – your own personal feelings derived of your own experiences, or God’s law which is full of mercy and righteousness?