Highlights In Today's Reading:
Religious leaders make the Sabbath a heavy burden. Jesus challenges them (6:1-11). Disciples named (6:12-16). Biblical conduct (6:17-45). Note 6:36! Foundation for life (6:47-49). Jesus heals the sick (7:1-10), raises the dead (7:11-18), forgives sin (7:36-50).
As we associate with others, we naturally observe their conduct . This is not what Jesus spoke against when He said: Why beholdest thou the mote (speck) that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is 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 brother's eye (Luke 6:41-42).
Jesus did not say the mote of sin did not exist, nor did He say not to take action concerning it; but He said we must first remove the beam of sin in our own life. We all have faults to be forgiven and forsaken. If we are truly humble, we will approach other sinners with mercy and compassion as the Lord does us.
It is our responsibility to recognize the mote for what it is; but we must first deal with our own beam, then examine our attitude toward the other sinner, and then the mote (sin).
Do we have the compassion of Paul, who said: I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. . . . for my brethren (Rom. 9:2-3)? Such a concern contrasts with the attitude of those who overlook their own faults and failures, but can't wait to criticize others' conduct; imply evil motives to their deeds; repeat slander, often exaggerating it; and take great pleasure in condemning others. This reveals an attitude of pride going beyond a mere mote. God is a merciful God, forgiving us when we repent of our sins and forsake them. But in response for His mercy to us He expects us to show mercy to others.
Some of us are prone to jump to conclusions of condemnation without taking time to hear or confirm the facts. Consequently, the mote becomes magnified to look like a beam. Surely one of our great needs is to put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye (Col. 3:12-13).
Surely those who are quick to voice uncharitable comments toward others have joined with Satan, the accuser of our brethren . . . which accused them before our God day and night (Rev. 12:10).
Thought for Today:
With the merciful Thou wilt shew Thyself merciful, and with the upright man Thou wilt shew Thyself upright (II Sam. 22:26).
6:11 communed =discussed; 7:14 bier =open coffin on which a corpse was carried to burial.
Pray for Staff: Ken Sharp • Government Officials: Sen. Jim Bunning (KY) and Sen. Mel Martinez (FL) • Country: Hong Kong (7 million) in eastern Asia • Major languages: Chinese and English • Limited religious freedom • 90% Chinese religions; 10% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Confess any sins in your life so that your prayers can be heard (Ps. 66:18-19).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 15:19