Jesus told them a parable: 'Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher.
Why do you see the speck in your neighbour's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbour, "Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye", when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour's eye.
(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)
"You must look after number one!" It's not often that you hear a Christian minister say this to their congregation, especially when much of our world only concentrates on what they want. The "me first" attitude is one of the things that's wrong with our world, and it often leads to attitudes like "I have a right to a job", or "I've a right to have children". These self-centred attitudes are essentially unchristian, since God calls us to care for others, and to put them before ourselves.
However, here is one area where we do need to concentrate on ourselves. We need to learn self-criticism, and examine our own faults. This little parable of the blind leading the blind reminds me of a film I once saw where a blind man is standing at a busy cross-roads trying to cross. Another man comes up and says "Help across the street?" and the first man gladly takes up his offer. They link arms and step off into the traffic! Unfortunately the second man was also blind, and the result was almost a huge accident.
Jesus says, don't judge others, look first at yourself, and if you can't find any sin, look again. For we are like a blind guide when we don't start with ourselves, not physically blind, but spiritually blind.
may we only be concerned
with looking at ourselves,
when it comes to dealing
with our own sin.
Keep us from judging others,
and encourage us to judge ourselves.
Then forgive us and help us to
move forward into a new future.
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