JESUS GIVES AN EYE TEST
What skill desperately needs cultivation these days in the followers of Jesus?
I think it is the ability to see.
Jesus said in Luke 6:40 "A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher." The verb "fully trained" is κατηρτισμενος (katertismenos) which we know more familiarly as "equipped" (see, e.g., Ephesians 4:11-12).
What equipping or training or acquired skill does Jesus have in mind? Thankfully the immediate context helps us. Think of verse 40 as the juicy, hot-off-the grill hamburger patty and the previous verse (39) as the top half of the bun and verses 41-42 as the bottom half of the bun. Chew on these verses a while.
Note verse 39: "He also told them this parable: 'Can a blind person lead a blind person? Will they not both fall into a pit?'"
This has to be one of Jesus' shortest parables! It's composed of two simple questions that incite the imagination. Think about the answer to these questions? What is the issue? The dangers of blindness.
Now note verses 41-42: "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in someone else's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to that person, 'Friend, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your friend's eye."
Again, Jesus speaks about seeing or not seeing ("look at," "pay no attention to" and "fail to see"). This time it's a little humorous, yet with a sober message as he contrasts the "speck" and the "plank" in human eyes.
We must cultivate the ability to pay attention, to see. Jesus, our Master, wants to open our eyes, not just the eyes of our hearts (Ephesians 1:18), but our physical eyes to see what he sees. "None are so blind as those who refuse to see." Our culture, for all its image-based, video orientation, is flat out blind.
I saw a video today titled "Educate the Girls" produced by the Evangelical Covenant Church in the Congo. Women and girls are "nothing" in that culture; if they are anything, it's "property." It was tough watching the video, but there is hope in the holistic gospel of the kingdom of God through Jesus Christ! Followers of Jesus who see will change the Congo and women, not too long from now, will be its doctors and lawyers and teachers and pastors.
I don't want to be in that group that Jesus speaks about: "...and having eyes, they do not see."
God, what are the planks in our eyes?