“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”Then Jesus gave the following illustration: “Can one blind person lead another? Won’t they both fall into a ditch? Students are not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher.“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying, ‘Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.
Jesus was telling his disciples how they were to be lovingly, unconditionally and inclusively generous. And here he reminded his followers that their attitude to people should also be non-judgemental. However, they weren’t going to be able to do this in their own strength. Their ability to live out relationships in the world was going to be linked to their ability to live out their relationship with God. Jesus explained that there was a link between their relationship with God and their relationship with each other, especially with regard to judging, condemning, forgiving and giving.
Jesus then went on to tell three ‘mini’ stories or metaphors that described what it was like to live a life separately from God. These metaphors were funny, to help them create a visual cartoon in their minds eye, but were also deadly serious. Jesus was saying that if you take God out of the equation then you’re left with only human interactions:
- It’d be like the blind leading the blind – they’d both fall into a ditch.
- It’d be like being a pupil of a worldly teacher – that you wouldn’t grow in wisdom beyond that of your teacher.
- It’d be like seeing specks of dust in someone’s eye when you have a plank in your own eye.
We are to be lovingly, unconditionally, inclusively, and non-judgmentally generous in our lives – and we can’t do this on our own. We need God’s help.
Today, ask for God’s help as you seek to live the way of Jesus and under his kingship.
I want to live a generous life.
I want my love to be whole-hearted,
inclusive and unrestricted.
I know that I can’t do this without you;
without your presence in my life.
May your Holy Spirit fill me,
and may your will be done in my life.
This day and for ever.
Why do you think Jesus used three humorous metaphors to get across his point? Unpack each one in turn thinking about how each metaphor could be applied to both his listeners then, and to us today.