WHO GETS THE WASHCLOTH?
"He quoted a proverb: 'Can a blind man guide a blind man?' Wouldn't they both end up in a ditch? An apprentice doesn't lecture the master. The point is to be careful who you follow as your teacher.
"It's easy to see a smudge on your neighbour's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, 'Let me wash your face for you,' when your own face is distorted by contempt? It's this I-know-better-than-you mentality again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your own part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbour.'" Luke 6:39-42 (The Message).
Isn't it amazing how right we all think we are! The world is full of blind guides who think they can see, and are leading blind people into ditches everywhere.
Jesus warned His hearers to be careful who they followed. The scribes and Pharisees, the religious "experts" of His day, fitted His description very well -- blind guides who thought they were right, so right in fact that they were ready to destroy truth for the sake of their right-ness.
Take, for example, the scientific fraternity that teaches the ridiculous theory of evolution as proven fact when every intricate detail of creation (a word they freely use, yet deny the Creator), screams out the truth that there has to be a Designer. Yet most of the people in the educated world believe they are right!
And where has that got us? Into the ditch of utter moral darkness! To accept evolution as fact and follow its ramifications is to be just like the apes we are supposed to have evolved from, devoid of common sense and reason. It takes a huge leap of faith into a deep, dark void of foolishness to believe that, in spite of the fact that every simple thing humans make needs a design, the whole of creation just "happened" by chance! Really?
How can we be safeguarded from the boffins who insist they are right regardless of the facts? Weigh up the evidence! In the Apostle Paul's day, the Bereans were applauded for their good sense. "Now the Bereans were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." Acts 17:11 (NIV).
What does it take to weigh up the evidence and come to an informed conclusion? It takes a humble admission that I don't know everything, I can't explain everything but someone else does, and I'll take the trouble to find out from an authoritative source.
Jesus laid the problem at the door of our innate human pride. We are so blind to our own pitiful ignorance that we dare to sneer at others and offer to wash the spots off their faces when our own are blotched with contempt because we think we know better.
Test your own heart. What lies underneath those judgmental, critical thoughts, even if they are never uttered? "I'm not like that! I don't do that! I'm better than you! I know more than you do! I'm right and you're wrong!"
Humility is a great leveller and it opens the door to many things that pride excludes us from -- wisdom, knowledge and understanding, friendship, peace and harmony with others, just for a start and, most important of all, God's grace. "All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another because, "God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble." 1 Peter 5:5b (NIV).
There is one source of truth upon which we can stand with great confidence, the Word of God. Truth needs no defence. It needs only to be spoken. It will endure while lies, false teaching, and wrong thinking will all disappear because they have no substance. The Scriptures admonish us to test everything and to hold fast to that which is good.
Are you a fool or do you do that?
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