Two Random Notes from the Sermon on the Mount

Two random notes from the Sermon on the Mount:

  • Matthew 7:1 is sometimes triumphantly quoted by anti-Christians:  “Judge not lest ye be judged.”  Along the same lines, so is Jesus’ injunction in John 8:7, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”  But the passage in Matthew and the incident of the rescued adulteress in John bear twin conclusions:  In the former, Jesus tells His disciples how “to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” and, in the latter, the adulteress is told to “sin no more.”  So the point is not that there is no such thing as sin or that Christians are to discern no sin in other human beings or that they are to refrain from pointing it out, but only that as they do so they must also humbly acknowledge their own sins.
  • When various charitable enterprises publicly and gratefully acknowledge their donors, there are frequently many identified only as “Anonymous.”  Isn’t it cheering — and not at all unreasonable — to think that those donors are Christians who have taken to heart Jesus’ injunction at Matthew 6:1-4 that charitable giving be done anonymously?  (I’m not saying that it’s always wrong to be so identified — it depends on the circumstances, particularly when the supported entity is itself a public, non-individual one — just that it’s heartening to see so many people following what they think Jesus wants.)