Luke 6: 39 – 42
There’s a lot going on in this sixth chapter of Luke’s gospel. It begins with two different teachings about the sabbath. It includes the calling, and naming of the twelve apostles. We hear Luke’s version of the Beatitudes, here given as a Sermon on the Plain, rather than Matthew’s more popular Sermon on the Mount. And then it ends with a collection of teachings, or sayings, perhaps gathered from a variety of occasions, and put together by Luke, as a sort of catalogue of teachings.
What we have this morning are three of those teachings lumped together. One about the blind leading the blind; another about a disciple and their teacher; and the third about the speck and the log.
I wonder though, if these are not so much a collection of random teachings, as an invitation by Luke to some serious self-reflection.
Each of these teachings, in this morning’s gospel is an invitation by Jesus to the disciple to be clear sighted, not about others, but about themselves. They are invitations by Jesus, reminding us that unless we can see clearly, we cannot lead, never mind follow; that the life of discipleship, and even discipline, is for the purpose of becoming like the teacher; that we cannot help another address their shortcomings, unless we have first addressed our own.
One of the easiest things in the world is to be clear sighted, when it comes to others, and to know exactly what another needs to do to address their shortcomings. It is not so easy to address, or even admit, our own shortcomings.
To be clearsighted about ourselves, is to be aware of our own shortcomings, limitations, and challenges. But it also means to be aware of our own gifts and talents. Real humility is not about humiliation. Rather it is about knowing ourselves as God knows us: imperfect creatures, whom God loves.
Knowing ourselves loved by God, means first recognizing that we are loveable. To do that, we need I think, to be clear sighted, not about the other person, but about ourselves, and that’s where today’s gospel fits it: it’s an invitation to be clearsighted about ourselves, and only then can we help another to become clearsighted.
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