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SCRIPTURE - Lu 6:41 - 42:   JUNE, 1999
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.
SUBJECT - THE MOTE AND THE BEAM
For quite some time, I have been hearing people, mainly Christians, quoting this scripture, when they are faced with someone telling them that they are doing something wrong.
In order to get the guilt off of themselves, they seem to think that if the person telling them about themselves, is guilty of some thing, then they need to get themselves straight first, before they go trying to get others straight. And, this is a good argument, except for one thing. That one thing is what I want to focus on in this message.
This whole idea of trying to make the messenger out to be more guilty of wrongdoing than you, is something that Jesus, was fully aware of. He knew that some of you would be trying to hide behind a slick way of thinking, so as to make no one able to tell you anything. Your reasoning being, 'they have to be perfect before they can tell me anything'. Some of you even make the mistaken assumption that some sins, are worse than others. You figure, if you lie all the time, or gamble, then someone that, let's say commits adultery, should not be trying to get you to straighten up.
Jesus, knew there would be this type of reasoning, so He put it like this, for a reason, and I will try to explain it, as He has shown it to me.
First, the bible says that all have sinned, meaning that we all have sin in our lives now, or in the past, so none of us, can claim to be perfect, not having committed any sin at all.
Many times, some will say, "I remember when you used to do this, and that." Well, what is in the past, or should I say, covered by the blood, is to be left there. To bring up someone's past, in this instance, will bring you in to condemnation, because, to God, who has no memory of it, you are lying on them.
Then we have those, who are looking for you to do one thing wrong, so they can say, 'you can't tell me any thing, until you get yourself straight.' They figure, if they can put a guilt trip on you, then you will not say anything at all. Therefore they can still feel good, doing their thing.
But, the group that Jesus is addressing here, is the group that feels there is a difference in sins. You know, one sin is worse than another?? They feel that Jesus is addressing that when He is talking about a mote, and a beam.
But, the bible tells me, that those that lie, or commit any sin, are just as guilty as if they had broken all of the law. So, a person that lies all the time, is just as guilty, and will serve the same punishment as the murderer. [Rev. 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers and idolators, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death]. There is only one hell, and therefore punishment is the same, so no sin is greater than another. In fact, Jesus said, 'he who hates his brother, is a murderer.' [1 John 3:15]
So, what does Jesus mean between a mote, and a beam???
It is my belief, that He is talking about a person trying to straighten out another person, when they are guilty of the same thing the other person is guilty of, and to a far greater extent.
You see, since Jesus usually addressed the people, in terms that they understood, or could relate to, He was referring to a material that they all used, wood. A mote, would be like what we call a splinter, while a beam, is a larger piece of wood. Therefore, He was saying, how can you get a little piece of wood out of your brother's eye, when you have a larger piece of wood in your own??
Well, translating that in to today's situation, it is like Him saying, "How can you help your brother stop smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, when you are smoking three packs a day???' You need to stop smoking the three packs you are smoking first, then you can show them how to quit. To do otherwise, makes you out to be a hypocrite.
The whole thing is based on the same sin, not different sins. If, as many are thinking, Jesus was talking about the way they are thinking, then no preacher in the world should be preaching. We would all be too busy watching out for ourselves, and wrongdoing, to tell anybody about anything. But, thank God, that is not the case. A person, who is, say for instance, a liar, could very well be able to tell a person that is a drunkard, that they need to get off of alcohol, before it kills them, and be doing the right thing.
A while back, I remember seeing a commercial about a man, sternly scolding his son, while his wife was standing by. The man, had found a joint, in his son's room. For those of you that don't know what a joint is, it's a marijuana cigarette. Any way, the son just sat there for a little while, not answering him. But, after repeatedly asking him, 'where did you get the idea for doing this?', the son blurted out, 'From you, all right?? I got it from you!!! The father could say nothing behind that, except drop his head, and turn away.
That, my friends, was an example of a true hypocrite. Someone, scolding another, for doing what they, themselves are doing.
Jesus, was doing the work of the Father, and the religious leaders, were finding fault in everything He did. When He healed someone on the Sabbath, they jumped all over Him, talking about how He was breaking the law. Other times, they would say, He was doing the work of the devil. Many times He would be teaching something to the people, and these leaders, would try to entrap Him, and make Him look bad. All of these things, were false accusations of course. But the thing is, they were trying to scold Jesus, in all these areas, and in reality, they were the ones that were the guilty.
They didn't mind doing whatever they wanted to do, even playing holy and self righteous, while at the same time, trying to condemn others, for making mistakes, while trying to live the life that God said for them to live. Jesus, in scolding them, used the statement, that they, the religious leaders, would strain at a gnat, but swallow a camel. [Matt. 23:24]. He was implying that they frown on people making little mistakes, yet they easily overlook, and even participate in, the more serious violations of the law.
Some time back, when I first got saved, I used to witness those that I was real familiar with, go-go dancers. Before I got saved, I used to make the outfits that they wore. Well, after I got saved, I began to tell them about how they were sinning because of what they were doing, and how they were enticing men, to want to commit sexual sin. Well, one young lady, who was still getting outfits from me, said, 'aren't you helping me entice them by making these outfits for me???' No truer words, were ever uttered. Here I was as big a hypocrite as anybody, and hadn't even realized it. And it took a sinner, to get me to see it.
When I realized that I was just like these religious leaders, just as guilty as the ones I was trying to get saved, I quit making the outfits, so I could then tell these dancers, about their wrongdoing, and not be guilty of aiding them, in it. That is what Jesus was talking about.
The way we live our lives today, is a testament to others, who may be looking for a way out of their dilemma, but they can tell a phony, when they see one, and some of you, my friends are as phony as a three dollar bill.
Some of you out there are guilty of simple things like, sending your kids to church, because you say, they need to go, while you lay up there in the bed. What you are doing, is saying 'When get grown, then you can send your kids off to church, and stay at home. It's not that important.' Hypocrite. Your kids need to see that Jesus, is for the grownups, as well as them. You never outgrow Jesus.
Now, I know this message, is hitting some of you where it hurts, but that is my job.
One thing you need to realize, is that I had the same situations in my life, with the dancers, and I changed. It takes a real person, to hear something like this, and accept it, and change. Any one can start lashing out, and throwing blame around, but the bottom line is, it's only going to hinder you in your Christian experience.
In order for you, or I, to walk in the true light and power of God's word, we have to be able to first, clean up our own lives, then we can help others that are going through the same thing. It does no good for us, to try to help someone in a sinking boat, to keep them from going down, if we are in that same boat. To try to do that, will only mean that both of us will go under. What needs to happen, is that we get to a place of safety, then we can reach out, and help others.