When Jesus said in Matt. 7, “Judge not that ye be not judged,” He was talking about condemning others. In this case, “Judge” comes from the Greek word “krino” which means to condemn, punish, or avenge. The Bible also uses the word “Judge” when it speaks of making a determination. This “Judge” comes from the Greek word “diakrino” which means to separate thoroughly; to withdraw from, or discern and make a determination. In respect to these two definitions, we are commanded first not to condemn one another, lest we be condemned. However, we are to judge or decide on the matters of life, spirits and philosophies. We are to decide, or judge, on the positions that people take.
Dr. King did not ask people not to judge him. Nor did he ask people to avoid an opinion about him. Rather, King said, “Judge me…” He wanted to be judged. He wanted the writers of the present and future to judge him, but there were requirements imposed on this judgement. Dr. King said, “Don’t Judge me by the color of my skin, but by the content of my character.” He knew that there would be judgements, decisions, and positions taken. He knew that feelings would arise out of perceptions, but he wanted to be judged by the measurements of character and actions.
This is a common flaw among mankind: to determine people by appearance. Even Samuel, that great prophet of God, stumbled at the outward appearance. Samuel was to anoint a new king and he chose the eldest son of Jesse, but God rejected Eliab. Samuel was looking at his age and height. Eliab looked the part, but God was not looking at the outward appearance. God was looking for the heart of a Shepherd to lead the people. God was and is looking for character, conviction, and a worshiper. I’m preaching today, go ahead, Judge Me.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole