Specks and planks!
Scripture reading for March 25th: Luke 6:39-7:10
It is always easy to see the faults in others and to miss your own. We tend to be willfully blind to any problems we may have. It is not easy to change ourselves and impossible unless we acknowledge that there is a problem. This first step is hard because of pride. Admitting weakness or sin makes us feel ashamed or worthless. Often we really don’t want to change either. We may use our weakness or our sin as a crutch to help us get by or give us an excuse as to why we are like we are.
Jesus told the people a parable to help them see their trouble. “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A student is not above His teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like His teacher. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Luke 6:39-42)
The Pharisees had been deriding Jesus and His disciples for various small issues. They didn’t like them eating with ‘sinners and tax collectors’ whom they considered ‘unclean’. This was a ‘speck’ they were trying to remove from Jesus’ eye while Jesus was showing them the plank in their eye! (Luke 5:31) The Pharisees condemned Jesus for healing the man with the shriveled hand on the Sabbath, thus doing work on a day of rest. Jesus tried to help them with their ‘plank’–missing the mercy and love of God towards hurting people, even on the Sabbath. (Luke 6:9-11)
Christians must guard against the ‘planks’ that come to block our vision and cause us to judge others. With the judgment we give, it will be measured back to us! (Luke 6:37-28) What ‘planks’ are sticking out of your eye today? “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)