Lord, I seek You with my whole heart. Be my guardian and my guide.
Read Luke 6:37–42
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 to you.”
39 He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.
41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
New International Version (NIV)
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ReflectWhat does this passage teach us about Jesus’ new (at that time) teaching about forgiveness and mercy?
The Old Testament maxim “Eye for eye, tooth for tooth” (Lev. 24:19,20) was not a license for individuals, but guidelines given to those appointed to administer justice in Israel. In contrast, Jesus’ words (37,38) don’t relate to judicial systems but speak into our personal relationships.
Yesterday’s reading closed with Jesus urging, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (36). The more conscious we are of the enormity of our own sin, the greater our appreciation of the magnanimity of God’s grace. Those who are truly touched and transformed by God’s grace will also look “grace-fully” at their fellow- sinners. It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean overlooking or condoning sin. Extending unconditional love to someone is not the same as expressing unqualified approval of all they do.
Jesus, in the parables that follow (39–42), uses humor and hyperbole to highlight our tendency towards hypocrisy. Most of us tend to be indulgent about our own flaws while remaining intolerant of others’ failings. Jesus doesn’t discount the need to correct a brother, and in fact, he recommends it; but only after we have become aware of and have addressed our own blind spots and sin stains (42).
“A grace-full Christian is one who looks at the world through ‘grace-tinted lenses’” (Philip Yancey, What’s So Amazing About Grace?).
Lord, open my eyes to “blind spots” in my life.