devotion 12-16-14

Good Morning!

Luke 6.37-44

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; 38give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” 39He also told them a parable: “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? 40A disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher. 41Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? 42Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye. 43“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; 44for each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush.

Jesus says it is not our job to judge another person, nor to condemn. For if we judge others, we will be judged, and if we condemn others, we will be condemned. But, if we forgive others, then we will be forgiven; if we give, it will be given to us. Think of your giving, of your loving others, as a basket of grain. When you give, are you stingy, or do you fill the basket as much as possible, until it is overflowing? That is what God gives to us – a return of love, packed down, shaken down, and overflowing, so much so that we have to sit down and take it into our lap! It is, after all, Jesus says, the measure we give that will be the measure we get back. Only – add to that, what Christ has already given for us, the love beyond all reason that he has already given!

He adds a parable – Can the blind lead the blind? Would you give a blind person a blind guide-dog? No, Jesus says, both would fall into the pit. One who sees must guide the blind – the disciples were still blind; Jesus, the Teacher, was their guide. They would become like the Teacher, over time, if they are qualified and seek to follow him, but meanwhile, they are the blind.

And then he returns to his statement about judging – and he tells another parable, “Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?” Jesus is saying, before we can judge another person’s sins, we must see our own! We must forgive and ask forgiveness for ourselves before we can help another person to remove the speck from his own eye. That means that we do not get to decide what sin is for another person, whose sin is “greater” than another’s; our job is to get the sin out of our own lives, the log out of our own eyes – then we can help the other person, remove the speck from their eyes, by telling them how God has worked in our lives – never by judging and condemning them!

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