37 “Don’t judge, and you won’t be judged. Don’t condemn, and you won’t be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good portion—packed down, firmly shaken, and overflowing—will fall into your lap. The portion you give will determine the portion you receive in return.”
39 Jesus also told them a riddle. “A blind person can’t lead another blind person, right? Won’t they both fall into a ditch? 40 Disciples aren’t greater than their teacher, but whoever is fully prepared will be like their teacher. 41 Why do you see the splinter in your brother’s or sister’s eye but don’t notice the log in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother or sister, ‘Brother, Sister, let me take the splinter out of your eye,’ when you don’t see the log in your own eye? You deceive yourselves! First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s or sister’s eye.
The parables that Jesus told sometimes portray people making tragic and terrible mistakes and sometimes being wise and avoiding such mistakes. People generally seem, at least initially, blind to mistakes they make in life.
The Parable of the Blind, Leading the Blind, fits well into the theme of Christian Living. Christ’s poignant stories so vividly present our mistakes in life. It is hard to remain blind, once the point of a parable sinks in, if only we’ll let it in. A burden of Jesus’s teaching is to enlighten humankind, to help us realize the mistakes we’ve made, and learn how we can prevent them.
Looking at verse 37, we can’t live without making judgements. As we grow out of childhood we encounter life’s challenges and, with guidance from parents, teachers, books and other influences, we gain discernment to make judgements and use that to function in secular society.
If you can go back to verses 27 – 36 for a couple of minutes you will see that Jesus is introducing us to new commitments and behaviors, a fresh new way of understanding how the world works. These new attitudes and behavior flow from Jesus’ image of God as merciful, lavish, and full of grace. Be merciful, as God is.
In verses 39 – 42 Jesus begins to conclude his message by urging his audience not only to listen but to really hear and obey his message.
In my mind’s eye I see the guaranteed calamity associated with the image of two persons, each blindfolded, trying to walk down a road with ditches on both sides.
The proverbial saying of verses 41 and 42 is a further encouragement for the disciples to follow and faithfully reflect the way that their teacher is leading. Jesus continues the warning against self-delusion and continues the exhortation to genuinely, rather than superficially, follow him.
by Clarence Beverage
For Pondering & Prayer
Do you ever think of yourself as smarter than the person teaching you how to do something new? Would it be better to fight off the urge to feel there must be a better way, focus, and then once you are proficient, be comfortable in seeing if it is even worth looking at a better way?
How do you see the splinter and the log proverb in your mind’s eye? What words would you use to make the same point to someone you know who would really get it because you can speak their language?
Prayer: Lord, we thank you for Pastor Joe and others like him who can take your Word and translate it into vernacular that can gives us understanding that leads to sharing the grace and light that you want us to have and to give. We ask for the indwelling of your Spirit to lead us and to grow. We pray these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.