UPDATED Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought was first posted on August 23, 2013.
Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend
“The True Discipleship”
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” 39 He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. 41 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. 43 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. 46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.[a] 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”
I would like to share two thoughts regarding this passage.
First, those who want no correction or accountability in their lives misapply too often verse 37. The real issue here is “with what measure/standard are we discerning/judging others” (v. 38)? Meaning what? The emphasis in this command is “forgiveness,” not “tolerance.” The difference between the two is this: forgiveness is acknowledging that what was done is sinful and wrong, while tolerance is keeping one’s silence even though what was done could be wrong—all for the sake of maintaining superficial peace. This morning, we want to pray that our spiritual eyes would be opened, judging things in the way Jesus would. After all, the goal in life is to be like Jesus, is it not?
Second, Jesus is not advocating minding our own business; instead, it is about being trained, discipled (v. 40). The goal of discipleship is to be like Christ by being discipled by those who have been walking in that path earlier and longer than you have. If I were to apply this passage to discipleship without having to distort the very fundamental teachings of Christ, I would raise the following three questions. First, with the kingdom standard/measurement what do I need to give to those whom I seek to disciple? (vv. 37-38)? Second, note that the parable of verses 39-40 points to the fact that we often try to help others to grow without focusing on our own growth at the same time. In view of that, what areas in my life has God constantly reminded me to change as I am involved in discipling others (vv. 41-42)? Third, the heart of discipleship training is about dealing with the heart (vv. 43-45). So then, what is deeply rooted in other people’s hearts and mine as well?
Prayer: Dear God, help me to change even as I am involved in helping others to change through Your eternal word and the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Genesis 28-29