In the Gospels, Jesus admonishes us to “judge not, lest ye be judged.” Catholics are supposed to read that as a command to not pass summary judgment on a person, (i.e. not condemn them to hell) as that is only for God to do. We also understand, however, that this command does not call us to abdicate prudent judgement in discerning right from wrong. That is, we must exercise prudent judgement in the moral and spiritual life. So far so good.
What I’m wondering, though, is if anybody knows of any Biblical scholarship out there that says Jesus was drawing a parallel between the kind of ultimate judging mentioned above and certain juridical aspects of life in ancient Jerusalem. I seem to remember reading somewhere that the judges of ancient Israel would sit at the city gates and literally decide who was granted entrance to the city and who was not. Jesus, therefore, was invoking a parallel between Jerusalem and heaven. In essence, he was saying do not be like the Earthly judges who sit at the city gates, because only God can decide who is worthy of entering heaven. Again, I seem to remember reading that somewhere, but I can’t recall. Does anyone know about this?