The Sermon on the Mount
“Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?” Matthew 7:4 ESV
This verse comes at the end of the famous Sermon on the Mount. To provide you with some more background knowledge to better understand the meaning and intention behind this verse, and how it applies to Christian leadership.
The Sermon on the Mount comes in the early days of Jesus’ ministry, and provides Christians with a guide to living life for God. The Sermon covers a variety of topics such as, prayer, religious law, fasting, salvation, and judging people. This is also where we are given the Beatitudes, God’s blessings to us, and the Lord’s Prayer.
Jesus’ call to us is to hold ourselves to a higher standard than those around us. As a Christian, we are meant to be leaders in this world and act visibly different than society. In the first few verses of Matthew 7, Jesus outlines the importance of not judging others. Keeping in mind that the general takeaway of this verse is typically to examine your own faults and ignore others; I would like to break apart this verse to hopefully provide a different perspective.
Let’s start with the use of the term “my brother”. This is typically used throughout the Bible to refer to someone that you have a close relationship with or a fellow Christian. It is a term of endearment and used when there is an emotional attachment to a person. Jesus is describing the interaction between people that are close to one another, and have the ability to keep each other accountable in their Christian lives.
Next, I think it is important to recognize that He differentiates “speck” and “log”. Clearly there is a large difference in the sizing of these pieces of wood. A log will obscure your vision more than a speck, yet we often find it easier to recognize that speck in others and ignore the logs that are in our own sight. It is important to be able to humble ourselves and work on clearing our own vision first.
I would finally like to expand the verse that we are looking at, and continue into verse 5, which reads “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye”. Jesus does not command us to look at our own logs and move on. He tells us that we are also called to help our brothers to remove their specks. This is key in being a true leader! We are called to help and serve others, we are called to set an example for those we lead, we are called to pluck out and make known our own downfalls while still holding others accountable. This is the basis for how we are able to become better Christians and continue to grow in our faith. Jesus isn’t saying we are to let everyone else around us to continue to sin, rather we are called to build an accountable community.
I challenge you all to find some fellow Christians that you are close to, and ask them to work with you to keep you accountable in your actions.
- Danielle Moore