37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over—will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” 39 He also told them a parable: “Can the blind guide the blind? Won’t they both fall into a pit? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher. 41 “Why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye, but don’t notice the beam of wood in your own eye? 42 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the splinter that is in your eye,’ when you yourself don’t see the beam of wood in your eye? Hypocrite! First take the beam of wood out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the splinter in your brother’s eye.
“Do not judge.” Even if you aren’t very familiar with the teachings of the Bible, I would think it’s a safe bet you’ve heard these words of Jesus from Luke chapter 6. This verse could be the “poster child” for the most often misused and taken-out-of-context phrases in Scripture. If you stop with just the opening words from this passage, you can easily miss the point.
I absolutely love being a dad, and I love my children. But a friend of mine once said to me, “Nothing has made me aware of my own sin more than being a parent.” I concur. I see such selfishness in my reactions, such pride. But then I also catch glimpses now and then of things my children do that really get under my skin. Within moments, I recognize that their behavior is very familiar. When I am honest with myself and God, I realize the sad truth that most likely they got that wrong attitude, tone or behavior from me.
Don’t miss the goal to which our Lord is alluding in this passage. This passage is far from the “live and let live” idea our culture drones on and on about. Christ is not saying, “Everybody sins, so just accept it.” He’s giving a blueprint for freedom and for healing. It’s similar to the direction flight attendants give: “In case of an emergency, put your oxygen mask on first.”
The point is that we must first deal with our own sin before the Lord. No one would want a teacher who failed his own subject. The goal is for no one to have anything in their eyes—not a speck, and not a plank. It brings nothing good to the kingdom of God when we are critical of others for that which we are likewise guilty.
But what if you humbly deal with your sin before the Lord, realizing it is only because of Him that you are now free? You are then in an excellent position to humbly assist the other captives. The solution is not acceptance of slavery—it’s becoming free and then leading others to freedom.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- What are things that really irk you? Do you need to deal with the Lord concerning those same things in you?
- What has Christ freed you from? How can you help others to find freedom as well?
Pray for meaningful moments of worship for our global workers around the world this week, both privately and with believing community. Though these moments may happen in a new language, in a living room, outside, or in the shadow of a false religion that rules the culture, pray for the encouragement and peace worship of the Lord brings for our global workers and their families.