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  • Writer's pictureRob

The Seventy-Sixth (The Mote)

How are you this week? Doing well, I hope! If you have any prayer requests, don't hesitate to let us know. If you prefer anonymity, leave your request here. You don't have to leave your email address or your name (just put a dash or something in the "First Name" block and it'll let you click Submit). Prayer is a powerful weapon in the spiritual battle we are in, and the battle is only going to intensify as we get closer to Jesus' return. As a quick side note, if you happened not to get last week's topic, you can find it here.

This week we're going to take a look at a portion of one of Jesus' first teachings. Commonly known as the sermon on the mount, it is a teaching that covers a lot of different topics. While we're not just going to stick with, "the mote," as this week's title states, that will definitely be something we touch on.

The majority of this teaching covers how we should act towards others. One part of this teaching is to give to anyone that asks for anything, and not to ask for things back from those who take from you (Luke 6:30). When you think about the first half of this, it's pretty obvious Jesus is talking about generosity and charity. The second half is not something you'll find commonplace in the world today.

Jesus is talking here about letting your stuff go if someone steals it from you. This is a completely different attitude than the worldly one where you're supposed to fight back and not let someone take what's yours. Why does Jesus teach this? Is it to have His church be roll-overs that just let people walk all over them? That's not how I take it, because He expects us to be warriors in this spiritual battle. I believe He's telling us how we're supposed to view things of this world. The possessions we have in this life are meaningless, and we should not endanger ourselves or others for such meaningless things. He emphasized this elsewhere in this teaching when He said not to store treasures on earth where things break down and decay (Matthew 6:19).

In another part of the teaching, He tells us to look at ourselves before we look at others and try to help them with their problems (Luke 6:41-42). He says when we see some tiny speck of something imperfect or a problem in someone else (a mote), before we go try to point it out and help them with it we need to get the giant imperfection or problem (a beam) out of us first.

Have you ever had something in your eye? I'm sure you have, because it's pretty common. A beam? Probably not. but a speck of dust? Most likely. And It can be a pretty painful experience. You can definitely feel it, but are you likely to see it? No, so you need someone's help to get it out. If that person has a beam in their eye, they're definitely not going to be much help, though!

What is Jesus really saying here? Well, He's clearly not saying that if we have a "beam" in our life we shouldn't help the person with the "speck" because He tells us to get the beam out and then help. He is telling us that we can't effectively help someone when we have issues of our own, because we can't see well enough past them to set that person on the right path. Jesus actually makes this idea even more clear at the beginning of this portion of His teaching.

Jesus starts the parable of the mote talking about the blind (Luke 6:39). He says a blind person can't lead another blind person. Neither of them can see where they're going, so they're both going to end up in the ditch! But, in between this verse and the mote parable is quite an interesting passage.

In Luke 6:40, right after talking about the blind leading the blind, Jesus points out that a student is not above their teacher. Makes sense, right? Clearly, with the combination of the blind and the students, Jesus is talking about His disciples not being better, or knowing more, than Him. They are the blind, unknowing, that can only be helped to stay out of the ditch by their teacher, Him. But that's not the most interesting part.

In the second half of this verse, according to King James, Jesus says, "everyone that is perfect shall be as his master." If you take the good king at his word, it seems that in order to be like Jesus you have to be perfect. While that may be true, why would Jesus say "everyone that is perfect," when there is no one that is perfect except Him? Was He telling us there's no one that will be like Him? If that's the case, why did He say "shall?" That word indicates a definitive action that will occur. If He is truly talking about everyone that is perfect, He would know there is no one except Him that is perfect and He would say they "would," be like their master, indicating that there's a possibility no one would be like Him.

So what's the truth? Obviously, it's not King James' version of these words of Jesus because it just doesn't make sense. The truth becomes clear when we take a look at the Greek word that was translated to "perfect." The word is katartizo, and it is a very interesting choice for this passage. Strong's concordance says it means, "to complete, prepare," which is interesting enough on its own. However, what's more intriguing is that it's also translated to "mended," or, "made complete."

So, the truth is Jesus is saying everyone that is mended, or made complete, will be like Him! And who does the mending? Him, of course! He told us that when He stood up in the temple: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me...He hath sent me to heal [or mend!] the brokenhearted..." (Luke 4:18). As a quick aside, when you click the link for that verse, you'll notice that many of the versions of that verse leave out this portion. Jesus is actually quoting Isaiah 61:1, which has the healing the brokenhearted portion in it. Makes you wonder why the other versions omit it, doesn't it?

Again, we see how important it is to get into the original language to clear up confusion and find the truth! But what a promise, right? Those that are made complete through Him will be like Him. Makes you wanna say to everyone, "let me tell you 'bout my Jesus!"

I hope you have a great week! Shabbat Shalom and God bless you!

-Rob and Sara Gene

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