By Dr. Donald Whitchard
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn and you will not be condemned. Pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and it shall be given to you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return. 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.
And 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? 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? 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. For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor on the other hand a bad tree which produces good fruit. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth what is evil, for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not what I say?
Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts upon them, I will show you whom he is like. He is like a man building a house who dug deep and laid a foundation upon the rock, and when a flood arose, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it because it had been well built. But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly is like a man who built a house upon the ground without any foundation, and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”
- Luke 6:37-49 (NASB)
The Lord Jesus is in the process of teaching both His disciples and the people around Him that true devotion to God means to have an attitude of love towards their enemies and to see them as spiritually lost and destitute, in need of peace and redemption. We are to befriend them, pray for them, and see to their needs. This was a radical concept, especially since almost every Jewish citizen despised the Roman overlords and wanted them out of Judea, and some zealots wanted the them dead. As Christianity spread throughout the Empire in later years through the preaching and miracles of the apostles, the followers of Jesus demonstrated the attitude of love He had taught, and many Romans and other Gentile nations began to come to Christ as a result. Jesus continues His teaching by telling His listeners not to look down on each other and finding fault with them. He tells them to examine their own hearts and lives, lest they be guilty of hypocrisy. There is a time and place for direct, honest, and rational determination of right and wrong, the LORD tells them not to come to hasty or prejudiced conclusions beforehand (vv.37-38)
In judging someone without having full knowledge about the situation, we are demonstrating the fact that save for the grace of God, we might be in a similar situation with others having an attitude of superiority of self-righteousness themselves. Jesus points out that we tend to be blind to our sins, which need to be dealt with and resolved before we take it upon ourselves to lend our help and advice to someone else who is dealing with their own faults. We need to be spiritually sound and approach the other person with the attitude of Jesus, who is our Teacher and example (vv.39-42).
Anyone who claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ should be a person who demonstrates authentic devotion to Him through not just his words, but his works as well. Works in and of themselves do not redeem us spiritually, but are the natural result of demonstrating the love, peace, and mercy that the LORD has shown us by saving us from our sins (vv.43-48). We can say that we are faithful followers of Christ all we want, but unless it is demonstrated to a watching world, we do not fully show the reality of our faith. James would speak of this in his letter to the church years later (James 2:14-26).
We need to stop and examine ourselves at times and be honest before the LORD. Have we lived a life of obedience to Him, or has it all been a game of “lip service” without any real evidence of the faith we claim to have? (v.46) We are surrounded by a world whose advice is to be someone of “self-confidence”, and to “do it yourself” concerning pretty much everything that has to do with our daily lives, out thinking, and personal satisfaction. Unfortunately, that kind of advice is also coming from the pulpits of our churches today. As a result, we are building our houses on the foundation of self-centeredness and the belief by too many people that we do not need to rely on any kind of deity or higher power to guide or advise us. The houses that are built upon this type of foundation will always crumble into ruins at the first sign of a storm in their lives that they cannot control or avoid.
The quality of the house we occupy depends on the reputation of the contractor. Remember that our LORD made His living as a carpenter. The truth of His Word is the solid foundation on which to build the house. He also has the blueprints at hand to carefully put together the structure without mistake, waste, or hidden cost. He shows us the progression of the work and will use only the best material of the highest quality to ensure that what He has built will withstand the most devastating of storms. We are to trust that his craftsmanship will be not just a place of comfort and use, but a shelter for others whose foundations have cracked and are falling apart. The reputation of the Carpenter’s work is so sound that we who have benefitted from His skill should always be ready to recommend Him and watch other houses be constructed and become the neighborhood that will be the permanent fixture of the new heaven and the new earth forever. Now that is a builder in Whom I can trust. Let Him handle your construction today and for all time. He has all the proper tools. Let Him complete the job (vv.46-49).
Don was born and raised in the true Cajun Country of Louisiana. He holds a Bachelors Degree in History from Louisiana College, a Masters Degree in Christian Education from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Pastoral Theology from Andersonville Baptist Seminary in Georgia. Don has served as a pastor, interim pastor, high school teacher, and hospital chaplain over the past thirty years. He currently serves as a volunteer chaplain (2008-present) with St. Francis Hospital and also served as the pastor/teacher from 2013-2016 at the Gospel Rescue Mission, both of which are here in Muskogee. He was called to Meadowbrook in February 0f 2017 and began his ministry in March of that year. He has also served as President of the Muskogee Baptist Association’s Pastors Conference, which is a weekly meeting that presents speakers and ministry ideas and concepts to church leaders in the greater Muskogee area.
Don’s top priority is to see that the good news of Jesus Christ is shared with our lost and hurting world and that the people of God are taught sound doctrine and preparation for our Lord’s soon return.
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