39 Jesus also told them a parable: ‘Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit?

40A disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher. 41Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? 42Or 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.

It is odd to notice the sins we pick out of the Bible for special mention. Some of the “sins” Bible readers at times choose to emphasize were never even mentioned by Jesus. Other sins that Jesus railed against constantly, we tend to overlook.

There is one sin in the Gospels, to which Jesus paid particular attention.

The Greek word used to describe the sin which for Jesus seemed to be of perhaps greatest concern is hü-po-krē-tā’s. It means an “actor”, “stage player”, “dissembler”, “pretender”. It is the root for our English word, “hypocrite.” A hypocrite is a person who is one thing on the inside, but something quite different on the outside.

In his tiny parable of the “blind” guide, Jesus draws attention to teachers who pretend to have a spiritual knowledge which fails to manifest in their relationships. These teachers place themselves in the position of acting as judges over those whose lives they have assessed and found lacking. But they refuse to see the contradiction and dishonesty in their own lives.

Before anything else, Jesus wants me to be honest. Jesus instructs me to see the “log” in my “own eye.” There is no place in Christian faith for dishonesty or superiority. We all have “logs” in our own eyes. I need to see my own blind spots before I dare attempt to offer correction to anyone else.

The goal of the spiritual life is consistency. I aim to bring the outside as much as possible into line with the inside.

Jesus calls me to look honestly at my life and to live with enough integrity to always acknowledge those ways in which the outside may contradict the inside.

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