LK 6: 39-45




While listening to a man rant about his problem with his wife – that she was a wasteful and extravagant spender, a negligent mother, a careless homemaker, and an annoying nagger – I just imagined what the story was on the other side. If every event has two stories, surely, the man too, must have his shortcomings to balance his wife’s weaknesses… unless he claims to be perfect.


We hear the Lord Jesus’ first reproach against a hypocrite in the gospel of Luke. The Lord views the hypocrite as someone who has a clear vision of other people’s faults but has a blurred vision of his own negative traits. This person loudly complains about another person from the vantage point of superiority or righteousness believing that only the other is at fault. He excuses himself from the blame confident that he is flawless in character and behavior.


The Lord describes the hypocrite as being blind. He does not see the total picture, only the vista he imagines to be right. Thus he cannot lead a person to the right path since he himself has a distorted vision of what is just. And if he tries to lead another by the hand, surely, both of them will fall to the ground. What a precise metaphorical description Jesus had for this kind of person.


The Lord challenges us to a life of balance. Surely, he calls us to correct others when we clearly see the wrong they do. He does not invite us to ignore others’ faults and pretend they do not exist. He does not call us to indifference and neglect. However, Jesus calls us to first guard our heart, our intentions, our thoughts, and our actions. Otherwise, we will find ourselves in a ridiculous position of accusing others of the same imperfections that are present in us. Then we are not in any high moral ground to pronounce judgment on others.


When we judge others of spreading lies, do we in fact always tell the truth? When we accuse others of cruelty, are we truly kind and merciful to others? A wife can complain of her husband’s excesses, but is she there to guide, love and understand him? A child can resent her parents’ lack of concern, but is she more present to her family than to her friends or to social media? An old illustration drives home the point: each time we point our finger at our neighbor, one finger is directed at others, while 3 fingers are pointed at us.


Let us ask the Lord for true concern for others so ask to correct and guide them. Let us also ask the Lord for true humility for us to first improve and conform ourselves to his Word.