Christian “Ophthalmology”

And He also spoke a parable to them: “A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit?  A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.  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?  Or 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. (Luke 6:39-42 NASB)

One of the most well-known parables of Jesus is the “Plank-eyed Ophthalmologist”.  The context is more of the “judgmental” issue I looked at yesterday.  Here Jesus talks about “self-awareness” which is different.  I still believe it has to do with judging others, but doing so with a humble self-aware attitude.

The plank-eyed parable is one of three told together.  The first is the equally known, “Blind-Leading-The-Blind”.  From this we learn you can’t help someone if you have the same problem.  The second is the “Pupil-Teacher” where we learn more humility, and truly, toward everyone.  Do you see it?  We’re either learning or like, never above.

Seeing Our Own Stuff To Help Others

And then we come to logs or planks versus splinters.  Jesus points out in His Eastern cultural setting what we joke about in our Western psychology circles: you can’t see your own stuff as well as someone else can.  Humility is again needed, but so you can be helped, enabling you to help others.  I think this is one of those qualifications of “teachers”, plankless eyes.

But don’t miss Jesus’ ending.  “Then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.”  This parable does not prohibit splinter removal from others.  It calls us to the self-awareness to become “plankless” first.  We must become sighted, learn, and have the beam removed from our eyes before we become able to lead, teach, or help others with their own specks.

Plank Removal, Yours, Mine, Ours

That means a lot to me, because I again hear this used to claim we are not to pull specks from the eyes of others.  I have walked around church for hours with a piece of “breakfast” on my teeth, and no one said anything.  That’s not cool.  Finally a friend said something, but why did it take so long for someone who cared enough to speak up?

We all need help, so we can’t be so scared to help that people wander around with stuff in their teeth or specks in their eyes because we might have something in our own.  Own it!  Get help.  Ask for it.  And then help others.

That’s my view through the knothole.  What do you see?


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