Rev Moss

I have been wearing glasses ever since I can remember. Each morning, I put on my glasses in the hope of seeing the world clearly. Now that I am fifty, my close-up vision is starting to go as well. In my recent visit to the optometrist, they even suggested bi-focal glasses. My vision is not what it should be. I have trouble seeing the world clearly. What is true for me physically is also true for me spiritually.

Jesus says in Matthew Chapter 7,

‘Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Jesus tells us that we all have impaired vision. When we observe wrong or hurtful behaviour in others, we always view that behaviour with impaired vision. Before we make a judgement, we need to assume that our vision of the other is impaired. How can I see the other person clearly with a log in my eye? I have to recognise that I can’t see the whole story. We are complex creatures, why and how we make decisions has so many layers to it. A lot of the time, I am not even clear on why I did or said certain things. Therefore, we have to assume that you do not know their story. You are not saying that their actions are right, but you can never assume that we know why they did what they did.

We should also assume that my own sin and pride is more grievous than the person who I am observing. I have a plank, they have a speck. Sadly, we tend to combine an arrogance towards others with an ignorance towards ourselves. Jesus says, just assume that the mess and mistakes you have made are way more serious. Jesus calls his people to a life of serious self-reflection. It is only with a posture of love and a commitment to the other, then will we be able to see clearly and help remove our friend’s speck of sawdust.

Recognition of our plank-impaired vision should move you closer towards Jesus. How do I deal with the plank? We come to Jesus. That is what it is to be a follower of Jesus. It is an acknowledgement that I have serious issues and I am in desperate need of God’s grace.

Again and again, Jesus meets people with planks in their eyes. He never condemns them, but always moves towards them with love and mercy and always acts in ways to restore their relationship with God and with the people around them. When we recognise all that has been done for us, that experience has the power to change us and change the way we view the specks in all the eyes around us.