Beams and Motes

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 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? Thou hypocrite, 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.

Matthew 7:3-5

Yesterday, we saw that Jesus did not intend for us to ignore sin in the lives of those around us. He taught us to view that sin in the proper perspective of helping the person, not condemning them.

These verses, expand on the idea of the motivation of many who judge others harshly to make themselves feel better.

First of all, let’s consider one of the words Jesus uses in this teaching – “brother.” A brother in Christ is a fellow-elect of God. Therefore, we cannot condemn the person because God is for them!

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Romans 8:33-34

If God has justified our brother, we cannot condemn him!

Beyond this, Jesus is teaching us to have the proper attitude when we see our brother in a sin.

If we see a brother commit a sin and we judge him harshly, we have pointed out a small speck of dirt (mote) in our brother’s eye but ignored the huge shard of wood (beam) of hypocrisy in our own eye. We cannot help others until we realize our frailty without Christ. We are sinners in need of God’s grace just as much as the person we see sinning. Only, our sin is compounded with hypocrisy when we judge others harshly.

This area of scripture is not telling us to ignore sin in the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is telling us that we must only approach them in their error after we have realized how much we need grace and mercy. When we see how merciful God has been to us, we will be in the right frame of mind to extend grace and mercy to others who need it.

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