The Book of Luke, The Sermon on the Mount Ė Love Your Enemies, Part Ė Lesson 80
Before Jesus Christ delivered his sermon on the mount he chose 12 Apostles.
In a way this sermon is a job description of what the Apostles are to be as they serve in this new job for which they have been selected.
Job descriptions are necessary when you take on a job.
Any person wants to know what it expected of him or her when taking on a job and it is of utmost importance for a supervisor to instruct those hired as to the duties and the character of the job.
Jesus Christ is a king with a kingdom and he expects those who serve in his kingdom to be of the same character as he is and he therefore instructs in this sermon as to what is expected of his disciples.
From our study of Christís Sermon on the Mount we have learned that for a disciple to become a leader of men and a witness for God and Godís truth, and a proper subject of the kingdom of Jesus Christ he must be yielded to Christ and Christís teachings.
Going to the end of our passage we see how Jesus Christ sums us his teachings and the benefits of living by his word.
47Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: 48He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
Jesus Christ provides in his word that ability to build your house upon a rock foundation.
A disciple who does this must live by faith in Godís word and that means obedience to Godís word.
God will not have his servants live by any other means than faith, nor will be have his servants to live and serve as they please.
You come to God just as you are but donít expect God to keep you that way.
If you are just the same as when you came to God perhaps you never came to God in the first place for when God has a new child that child is to grow according to Godís will for that child.
You certainly do not leave your new born child alone to do as he or she pleases but you expect that child to grow and you bring experiences into your childís life that will aid in that growth.
And God does the same by expecting his children to follow Christ in loving his neighbor, and loving his enemies.
And coupled with love is a requirement for a spirit of humility and an understanding that you as the teacher suffer from the same infirmities as any student that you teach.
We are to understand that we all start in the same leaky boat.
But Jesus Christ expects his disciples to examine themselves and be conformed in heart, in actions and deeds prescribed by His word.
David described this principle when in Psalm 51, after his sin with Bathsheba he wrote:
Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
And he concludes in verse 13 what this cleansing will bring.
13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
Note that he teaches transgressors Godís ways, and not his ways.
This self examination is further described as the Lord Jesus Christ continues his message in:
Luke 6:41-42, And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brotherís eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 42Either 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 brotherís eye.
The beam that is described here is a timber fit to be used for the rafter or joist of a building.
Jesus Christ wants us to see the great contrast between what is in your brotherís eye compared to what is in your eye.
It is given here to communicate to you and to me that your problem needs to be taken care of first if you are going to help another who has only a mote or small piece of straw or of wood, or just a tiny chip of the beam in their eye.
It is a contrast that tells us to be healed first before we attempt to heal another.
It is a message of getting right first before we help another to get right.
As usual Jesus asks a penetrating question designed to elicit thought.
Teachers take note here.
You are not to simply ask easy questions so that all of your students look smart and make you feel good.
Jesus does not ask questions for his benefit, he asks questions for his disciples benefit.
He asks: Why do you behold the mote that is in your brotherís eye?
The question is formed by Jesus Christ to make us think of the intense scrutiny that we give to the faults of others to the exclusion of our own faults.
Why do you behold, he says?
Perhaps you are called upon to help remove a literal speck from anotherís eye.
Picture yourself in that position whereby you peer so carefully and in such an intense way so as to relieve the pain of another.
That is the picture that Jesus asks you to ponder.
But what would you do if you yourself had a bigger speck in your eye.
Why, you would refuse to help another knowing that instead of help there would be hurt!
So why are you so interested in such a small fault, such a small speck in another when you yourself have greater faults?
Are you trying to divert attention to your brother and away from your own sin?
How can you think that you see well enough to help your brother when that big beam protrudes so prominently out of your eye?
Why do you try to look around that log through such a hindered eye and fault another with such a small fault when you have such a large fault?
How does one with such hindered eyesight expect to help another?
Many can see that timber in your eye and many may say, what does a person like that have to offer another who has such a small speck in his eye?
So they call such an ill-equipped eye doctor a hypocrite.
Hypocrite means an actor under an assumed character, a stage player.
It is a person whose outsides do not match his insides.
A hypocrite is one who feigns to be what he is not.
He pretends to be an eye doctor when he himself is blind.
A hypocrite is one who attempts to help another but does not match the specifications of a true helper but is in need of a helper himself.
Therefore a hypocrite is masquerading as something he is not prepared for.
Jesus used this same description on many occasions when he described the Pharisees and scribes.
And later on in Luke 18:9 he describes them as those who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and who despised all others.