critique YES criticise NO – Luke 6:39-42

Jesus has gathered a reconstituted Israel in the appointment the twelve. Today’s pericope forms part of Luke’s ‘sermon on the plain’ Chapter 6:17-49 is a reinforcement of the parabolic messages of verses 20-38 where one is exhorted to love one’s enemies and not be quick in judging others. This is the code by which the reconstituted Israel is to live its calling.

The text is an invitation to a personal examination of our lives. Jesus is exhorting one to remove the plank from one’s eye rather than be focused on the splinter in another’s. In no way are the words of Jesus to be misconstrued as a denial of failings in the life of others. Everyone has their failings but what is essential is to be able to identify my own blind spot first.  

When I become aware of my inadequacies, I become gentler with dealing with others and think the best of others rather than the worst. Such an attitude helps me to hold off criticism till I have cleaned my own slate. In short, Jesus is challenging the way we evaluate people and the yard sticks we use.

For the apostles and the disciples of Jesus, self-examination was to be an important part in their role as leaders. One can’t lead others if one is lost themselves and if they attempt to do so they will both fall in a pit. Verse 39 is not a text meant to be read in reference to false leaders in Luke community but rather Luke wants to reiterate that the disciples are blind as long as they do not open their eyes to the teachings of Jesus.

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