"It takes one to know one!"
I heard that in kindergarten. It's a protective response when someone is throwing verbal darts at us. It can start with name calling and escalate very rapidly into violence if it is not wisely capped off or diverted. Maybe you've already figured that out what I am talking about, but I'm painfully aware as an adult how truthful of this statement really is.
Jesus' sermon takes a decidedly personal tone in Chapter 7. He blatantly says, "Don't judge others, or you too will be judged." He uses a simple metaphor: a speck and a log or plank. Notice his eloquence in identifying the same substance is in both eyes. One is just greater than the other. It takes one to know one. Here is an interesting insight, a plank is refined and measured and perfected. A log. Is just a log.
Perhaps Jesus states that we do a little introspection before we call out behaviors or wrong doings in others. But, few of us really do. The truly wise disciple of Jesus would notice the speck-plank issue as it unfolds.
1. A parent gets upset about a son's failing grade but doesn't own his own failure to connect with his son to find out what's going on.
2. A spouse becomes more detached and considers what single life would be like not considering they too are drifting away from the covenant they once made.
3. A Christ follower no longer attends worship because the sermons just don't do anything for him or her but fails to recognize they haven't truthfully worked on their relationship with Jesus in a long...long time.
4. A co-worker is caught stealing but no one reached out to ask what was going on in their life or confesses they too steal from the company whether it's pens or countless hours on Facebook.
As we were talking about this well known scripture at Teaching Team, we decided to use the word compare, instead of, judge. That may be what it all boils down to: comparisons. It's human nature to want to fit in or be seen in our best light. Jesus expressly states the opposite! Chapter 7 could be read and understood as an expansion of the 'Do not Covet' clause in the Ten Commandments. When we covet or compare we lose our true self in the process because we want to be just like someone else. God designed us to be unique--one of a kind---never to be repeated individuals. By coveting or comparing, we give away our sacred worth and throw what is precious away to be trampled and lost forever.
Jesus simply states we need to ask, seek and knock. The door will be opened to you. God is really that good. Honestly, why waste any more time pointing out specks? God has greater things for you than you could ever dream or imagine.
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who seek him! Matthew 7:11 (Notice the exclamation point!)