Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 5 Study # 30
May 25, 2008
:Addressing the faults of others without benefit for others in mind is hypocrisy.
:We have been looking into Jesus' insistence that His disciples put the development of their Father's compassion at the top of their "Kingdom goals". We have said on several occasions that Luke's record of Jesus' words is a condensation of what Jesus had to say. Even if we take Matthew's record, which is three chapters long, there is no way that it is a complete record of what Jesus said. So, we are studying a divinely inspired summary every time we look into these historical records. And, if my take on Luke's record is correct, it, while being a condensation of Jesus' sermon, is, at the same time, an expansion of one principle: Luke 6:36.
This is not a novel idea. Paul said, in Galatians 5:14, that the entire Old Testament could be summarized in one commandment ... love your neighbor as yourself (a commandment, by the way, that is found in the words of Luke 6:31). The difference between Luke 6:31 and 6:36 is simply the difference between actions and motives.
Because the development of compassion is the issue, it is expected that Jesus would address the problems that might block that development. This is what we find Him doing in the section in which we find ourselves this morning. In our last two studies we have considered the issues of why a blind man would seek to be a guide to the blind, and why a disciple would seek to be superior to his teacher. In the former, we argued that there is an active seeking for the status of superiority in the arrogance of a blind person seeking to be known as a guide to the blind. In the latter we argued that, though there is some of that same arrogance in the disciple who would be known as superior to his teacher, there is a more foundational "problem" in the disciple: he is seeking a justification for departing from the teachings of his teacher.
This morning we are going to look at the last illustration that Jesus used in His attempt to remove the roadblocks to the development of compassion: the attempt to "correct" a brother who is having a problem "seeing" some truth. One would think that helping another see the truth with greater clarity would be a major aspect of the essence of "compassion". But, instead, in our text, it is a major hindrance. How so?
- I. As the Last Illustration, What is Jesus' Point?
- A. To answer, we look for some kind of "progression" in thought.
- 1. It seems apparent that a blind man's assertion of his qualifications to be a guide is simply egotism.
- 2. It also seems apparent that a disciple's assertion of his superiority to his teacher is more than mere ego: it's "permission" to reject, or alter, the "teacher's" doctrine reveals a desire to be independent of the inherent necessities of that doctrine.
- 3. Thus, we are looking for something "more than" ego and independence as we consider this third illustration.
- B. To answer, all we have to do is look at what is going on: an attempt to "correct" a brother's perspective while having an enormous flaw in one's own perspective.
- 1. This is more than egotistical status seeking.
- 2. This is more than egotistical "freedom" from constraint.
- 3. This is an egotistical intent to dominate others.
- II. Under This Thesis, What is Jesus Saying?
- A. First, Jesus is addressing blatant hypocrisy.
- 1. At issue is the reality that "specks" lead to "logs".
- a. Paul, in 2 Thessalonians 2:7, wrote of a matter called, "the mystery of iniquity".
- 1) What he was addressing is the incremental development of evil over time by means of one small step at a time.
- 2) The essential "evil" of which he wrote is the exaltation of the creature over the Creator as a "final kingdom" reality.
- 3) The goal of this evil is the absolute perversion of the Servant Kingdom into a Dominion Kingdom.
- b. For this process to "work", there must be a chain of causes/effects that build from one step to the next.
- c. Thus, a "speck", given enough time, invariably leads to a "log" just as an acorn leads to a gigantic oak tree, given enough time.
- 2. At issue is the reality that "compassion" concerns itself with getting rid of the specks before they can do too much irreversible damage.
- a. Interestingly, Jesus did not say, "Do not attempt to remove a brother's 'speck'."
- b. With Jesus, there is no "backing up".
- 1) With Jesus, the solution is not our culture's.
- a) Our culture says, "Since you are not perfect, leave everyone else that is less than perfect alone."
- b) Jesus says, "Do not leave anyone alone; just be compassionate before you start meddling."
- 2) With Jesus, the solution is moving forward.
- a) First, compassion.
- b) Second, ministry.
- B. Second, Jesus is addressing the difference between "specks" and "logs".
- 1. "Specks" are relatively minor aberrations in either/both theology and practice.
- 2. "Logs" are relatively major aberrations in "T"heology and its practice.
- C. Third, in our context, Jesus is dealing with the inherent conflict between "compassion" in a "Servant Kingdom" context and "domination" in a "Lordship Kingdom" context.
- 1. Anyone who has bought into the Kingdom as a "Dominion" entity has also bought into a "Sovereignty" over "Compassion" "T"heology and, having done so, has allowed a "log" to dominate the vision.
- a. God is sovereign.
- b. But "sovereignty" has a guide: compassion.
- 2. The culture of Jesus was "log afflicted" in both Matthew 9:13 and Matthew 12:7.
- 3. The disciples of Jesus were "log afflicted" in Luke 10:17.
- D. Fourth, Jesus expected His disciples to buy into both the "Kingdom" theology of the absolute superiority of servanthood over lordship and the "King" theology of the "Compassionate Father".
- 1. Jesus did not want His disciples to "bow out" of the "speck removal" business.
- 2. Jesus did want His disciples to do as Paul wrote in Galatians 6:1.