This morning, in our class discussion of Romans 2:1-12, we all agreed that it’s HARD not to judge people.

“Don’t judge people” might not be exactly what Paul is saying in Romans 2 (although he will say that, exactly, in Romans 14). He’s just saying “you don’t have any excuse, then, because whenever you judge others you’re condemning yourself.” In the very act of judging we’re announcing we know better than to do all the stuff we do, because the stuff we do is either [a] the exact same stuff or [b] stuff that is every bit as bad so, if it isn’t “the same” it might as well be or [c] judging, which is to say, imagining and acting like we’re God, which is to say, confusing the creature [us] with the Creator [God], which has been the whole problem since the middle of chapter 1.

This reminds me of that “I know you are, but what am I” game we used to play when we were kids. I used to hate being on the receiving end of that.

We decided that perhaps the only person we know who completely fits the description of “those who by patiently doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality” (Romans 2:7) is Jesus. As in

… who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross.

Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

(Philippians 2:6-11)

The Romans might have known that hymn, too.

But this is the one we sang at the end of worship this morning:


painting of medieval church in summer