Seeing Specks.

 

Jesus warned His disciples to beware of looking at faults in other disciples.

Luk 6:39  And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?

Mat 7:1  Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Mat 7:2  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Mat 7:3  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Mat 7:4  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

Mat 7:5  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

There is a time and place for pointing out dangerous error.
As when Paul confronted Peter and the others in Antioch about withdrawing from the gentile saints when more religious Jewish believers came down from Jerusalem.
The thing is though; generally my brothers and sisters don't need another lecturer or expert.
If they are anything like me, they need brothers and sisters who are there with them and there for them.
I reckon when we have some genuine assembled life on a foundation of the revelation that Jesus is the Christ then as the Spirit leads there may be some 'washing of one another's feet', with love and humility.
John the Baptist preached repentance and pointed out categories of sin and hypocrisy but I don't read of him getting personal about it.
In the same way, Jesus was gentle with individuals (woman taken in adultery, rich young ruler) though He was forthright in condemning sin and hypocrisy publicly.
If we let the Spirit of peace rule in our hearts, the urge to rush in and criticise will be replaced by something gentler. And probably more effective.

 

Making judgements is part and parcel of the human condition. We can’t help ourselves.

Satan tempted Eve in the garden by getting her to make a judgement on the reliability of what God had told her and Adam.  He persuaded her that she should use her own judgement and eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Having eaten of this fruit and persuading Adam to do likewise they both are enabled by this fruit of the knowledge of good and evil to make a judgement on their own state of nudity.

They judged that it was something to be ashamed of in the presence of God.

Being naked was not wrong or evil before eating the fruit; neither was it wrong or evil after eating the fruit.

What had changed was their perception of their nudity. They made a judgement as to whether it was a good or an evil thing. They had moved from God’s judgment to their own, now ‘enhanced’ judgement. No one said that their powers of knowing good and evil would be perfect, like God’s. Obviously their powers of judgment on good and evil were flawed.

So apparently are our powers of judgement.

As it is written in Isaiah, ‘My ways are not your ways, neither are your thoughts my thoughts, says the Lord’.

Because man’s judgments were flawed God gave his law to the people of Israel and demanded that they make a covenant with Him to keep His law instead of relying on their own values and standards..

In the new covenant those whom are born from above of the Holy Spirit through faith in the Lord Jesus, the Christ, have the laws of God written on their hearts.

We still have the choice though of whether to follow the law written on our hearts by the Spirit or to follow our own thoughts and judgements.

This is what Paul referred to when he wrote;’ It is no longer I who live, but the Christ lives in me.’ And; ‘I die daily and the life I now live I live through/in the Christ, who strengthens me. Jesus the tree of life instead of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Which produces death. Eating of Jesus is our daily provision of eternal life.

The Greek word ‘Metanoia’ translated as repentance in many English versions of scripture literally means ‘change of mind or thought’. It doesn’t mean to feel sorry about something.

It is ongoing in those who ‘put on the Christ’.

Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

If we ‘get it’, that our own judgements are not God’s judgements, then perhaps we won’t be so quick to judge others, especially our brothers and sisters in the Christ.

Me spotting the speck of dust in my brother’s eye means I am looking for specks, rather than looking him in the eye. Sure my brother may very possibly have a speck in his eye. He is human, same as me. But since I am blind also, I am not qualified to be his guide.

There is One who is qualified to be his guide, and mine also. 

Also if I concentrate on the flaws in the earthen vessel, I will miss the treasure it contains.

I think that Jesus brought up this point because of the destructive effect criticism/judgement has on the oneness of the assembly that He is building.

The assembly that the Christ is building consists of flawed human beings just like me.

Many of us are caught up in various distractions and hindrances to their own spiritual welfare as well as that of others. But that is no problem to the One Who loves them, and gave Himself for them. We are still His ‘beloved’. Sinners saved by grace. Not yet perfected, but being perfected, each individual being taught by Him.

All I have to do is keep myself from judging my brothers and taking every opportunity to engage them in whatever form of fellowship and friendship I can, as our  Father allows us.

My brother doesn’t have to believe what I believe.

He doesn’t have to see ‘fellowship’ as I see it.

He can ‘go to church’ or not go anywhere.

He can be a missionary, pastor or a bit of a liability.

If he’s my brother, how wonderful a gift to me is that?

 

Colin Thompson. Gateshead. England. (Nobody important.)

Comments welcome by email to colin@followingjesuschrist.co.uk

Other material on site at http://www.followingjesuschrist.co.uk/