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Jesus begins with some teaching on how we should be concerned about other people’s sin. If we love other people, we won’t want them to pursue self-destructive behaviors. But we are also supposed to forgive, so this concern is never conveyed in a judgmental way. He then goes on to challenge people not to expect God to be impressed by our good deeds or forget to thank Him for the things He does for us.

These are all difficult challenges. We have a tendency to either go to the extreme of thinking everyone is responsible for their own sin, therefore their actions are not my business, or to think we have the right to judge everyone else’s behavior. We are supposed to love others enough to help them avoid mistakes, but judgment is not a part of that. We also tend to do the opposite of what Jesus says about thankfulness. We want God to be thrilled with each of our acts of obedience and sacrifice for Him but then don’t thank Him for what He does for us.