I'm finally reading the New Testament all the way through. I've read individual parts several times but I've never sat down and read the whole thing. So that is one of my personal goals this year (that I have to get cracking on if I'm going to make it).

I was reading The Sermon on the Mount last night. Here are the scriptures I was reading.

1 aJudge not, that ye be not bjudged.
2 For with what ajudgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what bmeasure ye mete, it shall be cmeasured to you again.
3 aAnd why beholdest thou the bmote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the cbeam that is in thine own eye?
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?
5 Thou ahypocrite, 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.

(Sorry, I don't know how to undo the links. Feel free to ignore them.)

What struck me as I read this last night is that we can't do this. We are all sinners. We, none of us are perfect. As hard as we may try, we will always have a beam in our own eye. We can't be worried about any motes because no matter what, we have a beam.

Ultimately what God is saying is that we can do our best to help those around us, but ultimately it is only our own salvation that we can worry about, and we can only do that by turning to The One, The Only One who has clear eyes--He who lived a sinless life and then sacrificed that life for us. Only Christ can truly pull our beam from our eyes, and we have to trust that He will, if they are willing, pull the motes out of others.

I'm awed, again, at our dependence on Christ and His atoning sacrifice.

What else do you see in this small parable?

12 Responses
  1. Kimberly Says:

    You know, I'd never thought of this in terms of how black and white it is. We really don't have the right to judge, much as we might like to rationalize such that we think it's okay. Not one single one of us has attained perfection yet and hey, the more we judge those we should really be helping, the further from perfection we are, I think.

  2. Kazzy Says:

    Yes, once you are flawless then you can talk about the flaws of others. It is rhetorical. It is powerful.

    Great thing to think about. Thanks.

  3. I think it is an awesome reminder that we simply aren't capable of judging anyone accurately. I have felt so darn judged in my life (having a kid like the Big Guy will do that to a person) and boy did those people have it wrong! Yet, I could see why they thought the way they did--I probably would have too. It was a painful but much valued lesson to know that things are very rarely (if ever) totally as we see them. It also frees you up to just love a person and not focus on what is wrong with them (unless they do something really hurtful to me or mine in which case all bets are off!)

  4. LexiconLuvr Says:

    I see that Eowyn is an excellent person. I'm so glad I found you.

    As for the parable, I figure I'm so chock full of problems, I don't have the right to worry about what anyone else's are before I fix my own. =P

  5. Amber Says:

    I see it as a reminder to give others the benefit of the doubt. It's so easy to be snarky about someone's parenting/outfit/blog/housekeeping skills but really they're likely excelling in another area that we can't see. Anyway- hi!

  6. Lately I feel like I have been struggling a lot with people judging me and me feeling like I am being overly critical of others. This parable helps me a lot. It also reminds me of a recent conference talk President Eyring gave and he cautioned us to not judge for we have imperfect eyes. That really hit home with me because although there are situations where we feel like we are really right, there is absolutely no way we can completely understand the motives and intentions of another.

  7. Laine Says:

    thanks for reminding me of this.

  8. Abra Says:

    I'd never looked at it from that angle at all. Sometimes we try to read so much into something, that we miss the message staring us in the face. Thank you.

  9. Brillig Says:

    What a fantastic post. I definitely fall short here. Thanks for the reminder to do better!

  10. charrette Says:

    My downfall here is that I really can't stand judging. And so I find myself judging the judgers. And then I'm no better than they are, silly judgmental people.

    --Which is what the parable is about, that no one is better than anybody else, yet it's so much easier to see those flaws in others. (But I like the way you said it better.)

  11. EEEEMommy Says:

    Interesting thoughts, but I'm going to have to dissent. I do not see v.5 as an impossibility or rhetorical, but as an instruction from our Lord than needs to be followed. I agree that Christ alone can remove the beam from our own eye, but I am confident that He can do it, and then when He has done it, I believe that He can use us to help others deal with the moat in their own eye. I am reminded of Jesus' words to Peter, "Satan has demanded to sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail, and you, when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." (Luke 22:31-32) Peter was far from perfect after He denied Christ, but his eyes were opened, he was humbled, he was forgiven, and he was restored, and God used Him mightily to strengthen the brethren.

    I've seen God do this in my life countless times. He'll convict my heart about something, and work in me to overcome that sin, and then He'll bring someone into my life who is struggling with the same. I've been able to look at their situation with clarity, because of the clarity that the Holy Spirit has given me to deal with my own sin. In doing so, I am exercising judgment, but it is a judgment born out of love, compassion, and understanding, which desires their edification and maturity. I can comfort them with the comfort with which I've been comforted, share with them the lesson that He has taught me, and point them to the One who can bring them freedom as well. Am I perfect? Far from it! But God chooses to use me anyway just like He has used so many imperfect people throughout time.

    The key to this passage for me is that my tendency is to judge or be critical of others for the very things in which I am failing myself. If I will allow the Holy Spirit to turn my judgment inward, I'll realize that I need to give Him the freedom to perform surgery in me before I can be of any use to Him in helping the other person.
    But again, I think it can be done, because HE is faithful to do it!

    Grace and Peace,

  12. Very interesting conversation here, huh?

    I loved Charrette's comment because I'm the same. I judge the judgers too much.

    And what Angel said is true too, I think. I don't think we can be made perfectly sinless, but I do think that God can work something out in us and then open our eyes to help others with the same issue. But I don't know that this is the kind of judging that Jesus was talking about. It's more like discernment. He was talking more about critical, angry judgment, I think. And that's just always wrong.

    I love your posts!