Luke 12:13–14 (ESV) 13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?”
Notice how Jesus’ response stands out? Many of todays ‘religious leaders’ would gladly insinuate themselves into this situation. Seeking personal gain or prominence by their ‘wise’ judgements. Not so Jesus, founder of a Kingdom that is counter-cultural. He shows His way – the way His people should think and live. How counterintuitive!
An Australia Minister for Foreign Affairs, back in the 1990s, gave this profound answer to a reporter’s question; “I have no opinion on that!” How unique for a politician, how contrary to almost everyone? When was the last time you heard a politician say he/she had no opinion? For that matter when did you last hear anyone say they have no opinion on a matter?
It occurred to me recently how often I have opinions. In my mind I judge peoples lives; their choices, behaviour and words. While as a watchman (Ez 33) I am commissioned by Jesus Christ to warn, exhort or rebuke (Tit 2:12; 2Tim 4:2) to those who I am called to (Heb 13:17), I am not called to warn those outside of my sphere of influence and therefore should have no opinion or judgement concerning them.
From national or world issues, to the loss of a football game, opinions fly thick and fast. Contradictory options and judgements abound. Human nature is driven by opinions. Since the very first biblically recorded question – which incidentally came from Satan (Gen 3:1) – and eve’s embellished/opinionated response, human’s have had opinions.
An ‘opinion’ is a view or judgement, which, by definition, makes the opinion-holder a judge. The natural outworking of judgement is the belief that we are somehow qualified to arbitrate or insinuate our judgements upon the person or into the situation without any thought as to whether it is our place to do so.
2 Samuel 15:4 (ESV) Then Absalom would say, “Oh that I were judge in the land! Then every man with a dispute or cause might come to me, and I would give him justice.”
This is probably an outworking of original sin, the desire to be as God, knowing good and evil!
Genesis 3:5 (ESV) For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
So, it seems good to me – as it seems to be a fundamental Kingdom position – that it is easier to refrain from judgement if we can refrain from options on how others should live or act. This doesn’t mean we should have no ethical or philosophical views etc, because people of the Kingdom will live according to Kingdom principles. Rather, those principle are not for us to enforce on others outside of the Kingdom. If the rule and reign of Jesus Christ is not established in another, then he/she is actually free to live in opposition to it… until such time as the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever. (Re 11:15)
Kingdom minds are transformed for Kingdom living not for judgement of others.