The facts are the same.

Matthew 7:3–5

“And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

Part of Christian eyes—maybe the most important part—is being honest with ourselves about the quality of our vision. We understand that we know very little this side of eternity. Regular eyes can see everything that’s near them (given enough light) and assume that’s all there is.

The difference with Christian eyes isn’t that we see better; it’s that we have a Christian perspective. The facts are the same; it’s their meaning that’s different. Christian eyes see everything in terms of the kingdom, and it’s king Jesus Christ. They’re what’s important.

The king has plans and purposes for His kingdom and those plans and purposes are what creation is all about. Without that, the whole universe is meaningless.

“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless.”
— Ecclesiastes 1:2 (NIV)

But those heavenly plans and purposes are beyond our vision. Christian eyes are honest enough to know their limitations.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. — 1 Corinthians 13:12 (KJV)

So, understand where this leads. Christian eyes are frustrating, even as they’re comforting. They’re comforting because we have learned that the universe is not out of control, and the Lord of it all is a loving Lord.

But they’re frustrating because we aren’t privy to much of the information that we know is there. People with only regular eyes don’t know what they’re missing.

In that sense, ignorance is bliss.

Part of learning to live with Christian eyes is learning to be patient—patient with ourselves as well as patient with others. This gets back to the direct meaning of today’s passage.

Yes, there is a speck in your brother’s eye. Yes, it needs to come out.

No, you’re not qualified to remove it.

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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