Luke 6:39 He also told them a parable: “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? 40 A disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher. 41 Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? 42 Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.
In preparation for leadership, the disciples needed to understand their role as teachers. They were the ones who would be teaching and leading others in a life of faith. However, they would only be able to lead others as they had spiritual sight. If they were unable to see, they would cause others to stumble and to fall. It was their responsibility to care for their spiritual sight so that those who followed them would be able to be spiritually robust.
To become a teacher of others one must be open to critical self-examination. Spiritual sight will be distorted when there is a “log” in your own eye. Jesus is using humor and exaggeration to make a point. When there is something going on in the life of the teacher which blocks his/her ability to reflect Christ, then that individual can’t be showing others how to reflect Christ. First, the teacher has to deal with the problem in their own life, and then they will be able to teach and lead others.
Spiritual sight, and insight, is required to be a spiritual leader.
“So you want to teach others?” This has been my response several times in life when individuals have come to tell me about their newest passion. Sometimes the explanation has included a call to a speaking career in which one travels the country and shares “their story” with many people. Next, they’ll ask me how to get started in this kind of a "career."
There are a lot of problems with the above conversations because anyone who is seeking this kind of work is probably not the person who should be doing it! Also, there is a misconception that this is a career-path that people plan out for themselves. We live in a “microwave” society that wants everything now and we fail to see what is required to become a person of influence for God.
Jesus was preparing his disciples for a kind of life and ministry that they would have never imagined. They were going to be fishers of men and lead people to Christ all over the known world. However, they were not going to be invited onto stages in the public arena. Instead, they were going to travel with very light luggage, going house to house, sharing Jesus. Some people would welcome them and others would hate them, but they would continue.
Let’s go back to the one who wants the successful career and a speaking tour. What would Jesus say? I think he would say that your motivations have become distorted because the passion must be for Jesus and not for a career. The desire must be to make Jesus increase, and for us to decrease. Jesus must be the focus of everything that we are to do. We follow Jesus and sometimes it may be in front of a crowd hungry to know truth, but it may also be to a town where they try to shove you off a cliff.
For Jesus to increase, we must have spiritual sight. We must know Jesus Christ and unite with him in his mission in this world. That’s why we must be open to critical self-examination. Wanting a speaking career about Christ for one’s own personal benefit is a pretty big log in the eye. When this is the case, then one cannot be a spiritual guide, for the log is obstructing the spiritual landscape. This was Jesus’ warning to his disciples. They had to be able to see Jesus clearly before they could lead others.
Jesus does need teachers, and preachers and speakers. If we are called into these roles, then we must seek to see spiritually on a daily basis. Just as I have to clean the lenses of my glasses on a daily basis to be able to see clearly, so we must focus on Jesus daily. In this way, he helps to keep our vision clear and directs us in the path that lies ahead. This is required to be a spiritual leader.
Lord, please examine my vision today and remove the specks or logs which may have settled into my life. Amen.
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