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THE PARABLES OF JESUS, #003
A chronological Study

Jesus Said:
Why are you observing the speck in your brother’s eye?
Matthew 7:1-5; Luke 6:39-42

 

"To Him who opened His mouth in parables and
uttered things hidden since the creations of the world."
Psalm 78:2




INTRODUCTION

The parables are the direct words of Jesus! Now, open your ears,

sharpen your understanding, and hear what He has to say!

Now that we've made it through our introduction the Parables in general, we now move on to the First parable that talks about Christian responsibility as Jesus begins to contemplate His move from the land of Galilee to Jerusalem and the Cross. When thinking about the words of the teachings of the Scriptures we need to remember that in the plan of God - these words were not just for those to which He first gave them. These words belong to those to whom the were supposed to bring change. These words belong to those who first hear them in their original context. These words belong to those who first read the Scriptures. These words belong to us who read and study them today, and they belong to each and every generation that follows.

This first parable deals with personal judgment of each other, and the unbeliever. It is important to note that Paul instructs us in the area of judgment of members of the Local Church body. That is an entirely different matter, and is largely placed upon those called to Elder/Deacon ministry. We'll talk more about the differences in what Jesus has to say to His disciples and what Paul has to say to the Church. Our first concern is, "What does Jesus call us to be like in our ministry to the world for the sake of the Gospel?"
 




The Spec VS. The Wooden Beam

Matthew 7:1-5 

 

 

[NASB]

Jesus Said:

1 "Do not judge, so that you will not be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.
 
3 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and look, the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye!"

 
[SFA Lit]
Jesus Said:

1 "You, do not be judging that you may not be being judged. 2 For in which judgement you are judging you shall be being judged and in which measure you are measuring it shall be being measured to you.
 
3 Why are you observing the speck [something insignificant] in the eye of your brother, yet you are not considering the beam of wood [something significant] in your own eye? 4 or how shall you be declaring to your brother, 'I should be extracting that speck out of your eye,' and lo! The beam is in your eye. 5 Hypocrite! You, be first extracting the beam out of your eye, and then you will be keen-sighted enough to be extracting the speck out of your brother's eye."

 


 

[Comments from Matthew 7:1-5]

 

In the background of this Parable Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees - and the people of Israel - concerning the way the rabbinical teachers had turned God's Word (His law) into idolatry. They set up a system whereby the requirements of God for holy living were superseded by rules and regulations that exceeded God's will for His people. As an example, God's law called upon them to rest on His day of Sabbath. The rabbinical teachers then dictated that you shall not cook, light candles after sunset on Friday. Even today, you can flush your toilet but only if you don't have something that disinfects and/or colors the water when you push the button, for you must take care of your physical needs, but disinfecting the toilet water is work - and you may not work on the Sabaoth. According to these teachers... what they added to the Law of God made you more holy than the Word of God - that's idolatry.

 

Jesus begins His teaching to bring repentance to these people. He introduces His teachings by listing what's wrong and then says, "But I say to you..." A quick list, starting back in Matthew 6:1 would include: Don't practice your righteousness in the sight of people (like the Pharisees do). When you give to the poor - don't even let your lift hand know what your right hand is doing. When you pray, do so in secret. Forgive other people... your heavenly Father will forgive you. Don't attempt to serve God and wealth. Don't be worried about your life. Don't judge the spirituality of others. And then, don't look upon the speck in your brother's eye....

 

Again, the reminder that Jesus is indicating the proper way of life that those outside the New Testament Believing Church will see you - for the sake of the Gospel. The judgment of others is detrimental to the image of Christ and the efficient spread of the Gospel.

 

This parable is introduced by one of Jesus' often used commands, "Don't judge!" Judgement has the quality to make you responsible for the way you judge. If you wish not to be judged for judging others... then "Don't judge!" An old Indian saying comes to mind, "Don't judge another man until you have walked a mile in his moccasins." God calls all of us to walk according to His calling. Sometimes that calls us to do things others may not agree with. But who are we to judge what God has called others to do? Let us not be guilty of the sin of the rabbinical teachers and the Pharisees - Don't judge! God called the prophet Hosea and commanded him to marry a harlot who already had children through her harlotry and Hosea had a son by her as well. If that happened in our neighborhood - oh, how we would talk and judge. But this happened at God's calling and command - for His purposes, not ours. It is important that each one of us do what God calls us to do, and do it faithfully, and making judgment on others is not what He has called us to do in the ministry of the presentation of the Gospel to those others.

 




The Speck and The Beam

 

I like the wording of the literal translation for this parable about the "Speck" and the "Beam". "Why are you observing...?" Do you see it there? Observing indicates that you are purposefully spending time being intent upon looking at the speck in a brother's eye. Oh, and the word for brother here includes all those around you who have a part in your life (men, women, children). And after you have become satisfied that what you see... it needs to be removed... and it needs to be removed by you! We are not to judge others nor are we to enforce a remedy.

 

We don't want to miss the Pharisaical implications here. Oh, me, the holy one of God, let me take that speck out of your eye so you can be holy as I am! Hypocrite! You see, in doing that you are judging the other person. Only God shall judge. Don't become an idolator by taking the position of Judge away from Almighty God. You see, this parable is not about the other guy. It's about you. Jesus says that you need to pay attention to you, in the area of holiness before Him. There's not one of us that is not steeped in daily sin. All of us have giant wooden beams sticking out of our eyes... we have no right to judge.

 

Jesus finishes the parable by telling us, if we were able to remove all of the wooden beams from out of our eyes... then, and then only, would we be in a place to judge, and help, the one with the speck in their eye - and become perfect - that's not going to happen this side of heaven. And remember, that the speck in the other person's eye - may have been placed there for God's purposes.

 

Therefore:

1.         Don't judge your brothers and sisters. It is not your place to execute judgement. It is God's place. And Please - don't say, "Yes, but I am just the fruit inspector." No you are not - just don't judge.

2.         It behooves us to keep a careful watch of our unbelieving friends and neighbors. Pray for them, help them, encourage them, continue to share the Word of God with them. Talk of Jesus to them. Take your concerns to you heavenly Father concerning them and remember - He is the judge, not you.


Within the Church body:
New testament leadership of the Local Church body is typically divided into three positions. These are the people charged with the responsibilities of Church body leadership and judgement. If there seems to be one, or a group, who need help - take it to one of these:
       A.   [Gk. Poimano: Pastor, shepherd] Those who feed, nurture and teaching of the flock (1 Peter 5:2; Acts 20-:28).
       B.   [Gk. Presbuteros: Elder, older, senior] those who care for the Word of God, doctrine, and oversight of the body (Acts 14:23; 20:17-18; I Timothy 5:1-2; 17-19; Titus 1:5; James 5:14; I Peter 5:1).
       C.    [Gk. Episkopos, Diakonos: Overseer, guardian, servant] Those who are charged with looking after the needs of the body (Acts 20:28; Phil. 1:1; I Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:7; I Peter 2:25.

 




Now let's see what the Apostle Luke has to report about what Jesus had to say:


LUKE
6:39-42
[NASB]

 

39 Now He also spoke a parable to them:

 

Jesus Said:

“A person who is blind cannot guide another who is blind, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 A student is not above the teacher; but everyone, when he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher. 41 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.”


[SFA Lit]

 

39 Now He told them a parable also:

 

Jesus Said:

“No one who is blind is able to be guiding the blind. Will not both be falling into a pit? 40 The disciple is not over the teacher, yet everyone who is taught will be as his teacher. 41 So, why are you looking at the speck if your brother's eye and yet the wood beam in your own eye you are not considering. 42 Or how can you be saying to your brother, 'brother, let me extract that speck in your eye,' and not observing, you yourself, the wooden beam in your eye. Hypocrite! You, first extract the beam out of your eye, and then you will be keen sighted to be extracting the speck in your brother's eye."

 




[Comments from Luke 14:34-35]
So, now we look for little nuances that Luke can offer to us. The background issues are the same - the rabbinical teachings of their erroneous idolistic teachings. Luke brings up the issue of blind leaders and blind followers (blind spiritually).
 
This illustration would be funny if it were not for the terrible ramifications of the actual problem. "The blind leading the blind." I've heard that expression all of my life. In today's society this reality is "pan-demic." So many voices from the spiritually blind attempting to lead the way for the spiritually blind. Luke reports that Jesus said that the only way to grow up, especially spiritually, is to be "fully trained." Jesus looks upon His disciples and tells them that they will grow up out of the spiritual mess of the end of the old covenant and become like their teacher (Jesus) when they are fully trained. This of course they will do. They will learn, be educated by pre and post resurrected Jesus. They will be filled with God's Holy Spirit. They will come to understand the Old Testament. They will teach, they will preach, they will lead in the transition from old Judaism to the Church Age. They will themselves write scripture.
 
But, in the meantime... Jesus instructs them to not be like the Pharisees and attempt to judge all in the nation of Israel because they see themselves as being so holy. Luke literally records Jesus' question, "So, why are you looking at the speck in your brother's eye." Jesus says, "Make sure your own eyes are clear first, then help your brothers and sisters to clear their eyes. And, Don't Judge.
 
Therefore:
 
1. Recognize that the world system around you is blind. So, don't let them attempt to lead you - so you don't fall into the pit with them!

2. Grab onto Jesus, your teacher - He is worthy of following.

3. Keep your own life centered in Jesus, the Word of God, the Holy Spirit, and the spread of the Gospel through you.

4. Be constantly self-evaluating and looking for the "speck" or "wooden beam" in your own eyes and get them out. Place yourself under the Holy Spirit, the Kingship of Jesus, and the power of Almighty God. Keep yourself saturated with The Word of God.

5. Be there for your Spiritual Family, your brothers and sisters in-Christ. Love them, care for them, fellowship with them, and Pray for them - constantly.

 


 



WRAP-UP COMMENTARY on Specks and Wooden Beams

We may not see it at first, but a primary quality that Jesus wants us to demonstrate to the world is that Christians are not judgmental toward them or toward each other. Is that anti-human or what? But that's what studying the Bible is supposed to do to you. Matthew's first teachings were about the blessings presented in the Sermon on the Mount, and then... Don't allow yourself to be a judge through "observing" the sin of others and trying to fix them before making sure you yourself are holy; or by being a "blind guide."

In Matthew's perspective it is important that you "get cleaned up" and "grow into maturity" before casting any judgment upon another. In Luke's perspective it is important that you don't try to lead if you are blind to Biblical truth.

According to both writers God (the Trinity) isn't pleased with anyone taking God's responsibilities away from Him. We are to [1] not judge others, and [2] not be blind guides.




FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS WITHOUT ANSWERS
According to Jesus in Matthew's Gospel...

1. Why should you not judge?

2. If you judge another, how will you be judged?

3. Should we be spending our time looking to judge others?

4. What is Jesus' standard for criticizing others?


According to Jesus in Luke's Gospel...

1. If you are spiritually blind (ignorant of the mind of God) and you try to lead others... what will be your, and their, destination?

 
2. What is your expected position when being under a Biblically qualified teacher?

 
3. What will happen to you if you place yourself under the teachings of Jesus and learn them fully?

 
4. What is your responsibility, according to Luke 6:42,

 
5. What's the BIG message of these two Gospel writers in this lesson?





FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS WITH ANSWERS
According to Jesus in Matthew's Gospel...
 
1. Why should you not judge?
So that you will not be so judged.
 
2. If you judge another, how will you be judged?
"by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you."
 
3. Should we be spending our time looking to judge others?
No, not unless we desire to be judged according to our human understanding.
 
4. What is Jesus' standard for criticizing others?
You must be holy as He is holy - without specks in our own eyes.
 
According to Jesus in Luke's Gospel...
1. If you are spiritually blind (ignorant of the mind of God) and you try to lead others... what will be your, and their, destination?
The Pit!
 
2. What is your expected position when being under a Biblically qualified teacher?
To be "spiritually Under" their authority.
 
3. What will happen to you if you place yourself under the teachings of Jesus and learn them fully?
You will be LIKE Jesus, and "apt to teach."
 
4. What is your responsibility, according to Luke 6:42?
"first, clean up your own act!" And clean it up Biblically! Don't judge those you are trying to help.
 
5. What's the BIG message of these two Gospel writers in this lesson?
Don't judge the life, witness, or testimony of your fellow believers. This is a primary command for every believer. Our job is to show forth the Gospel to a fallen world. Like Jesus said, "I have not come to judge the world, but to save it."



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