Notes on Motes
3And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
Today, we present 4 points in relation to Motes. The NIV speaks of a speck.
Point #1: A mote or speck in the eye is irritating and needs to be removed.
We all know how uncomfortable even an eyelash is in our eye. The eye is not very tolerant of things that do not belong there.
This is the perspective that Christians should have of sin. Christians should view sin as an irritant and be as uncomfortable with sin as the eye is with a mote or speck in it.
Our discomfort should be so pressing and urgent that we will not stop until we remove the source of the offence. Yet, we all know about the concept of the besetting sin. (A wrong that keeps repeating itself in our life.)
In some instances, it is almost as if we have resigned ourselves to living with this problem. Yet, who among us is willing to ignore the mote in our eye and accept it as part of our reality?
The call today is for us to be intolerant of sin in our lives in the same way that we refuse to leave a speck in our eye. We should spare no effort to remove the offending behaviour from our conduct.
Sin is irritating not only to the individual but to God and the church. A speck in the eye distracts our whole being. The problem is not restricted to just the eye. Similarly, sin in a Christian’s life has wider relevance.
It has impact on the church and on others. It also has implications for the relations of the body to God. It has been shown to block God’s blessing on His people and to invite His wrath.
10 The LORD said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? 11 Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. 12 That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.
13 “Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: That which is devoted is among you, O Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove it.
Point #2: The mote is not easily detected by others
A speck in your eye is not readily seen by onlookers. For a similar reason, sin in a Christian’s life is often missed by brethren. This limits the pressure on the individual to remove the sin and some Christians continue in sin while remaining in the fellowship.
One important consideration is that our level of discomfort with a speck in our eye is not reduced because those looking on do not see it. It is irritating to us and we have the urge to remove it even though it is not visible.
That is the philosophy that we must adopt as Christians. However, well hidden we consider our sin to be, it must annoy us to the point where we do not stop until we remove it from our lives.
It helps to remember that while human eyes may not detect the sin, God knows everything and is fully aware of even our most secret of sins.
Point #3: To detect the speck in our life we only need to look at what we think we see in the eyes of others
Sometimes we are not certain about the substance that is in our eye. We sense that all is not well but we cannot pinpoint exactly what is the source. We are also hard pressed to prevent the invasion of our eye if we have are unable to readily identify potential contaminants.
One way of identifying areas of vulnerability in our lives is to carefully review the lists of faults that we are quick to point out in others. There is strong evidence to indicate that we tend to be passionate and alert to defects that that appear in the life of others when we ourselves are guilty of them.
God’s Righteous Judgment
1You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth.3So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?
5But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6God “will give to each person according to what he has done.”[a] 7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11For God does not show favoritism.
The mixture of denial and disappointment prompts us to see the flaw in others. The twin factors of denial and disappointment also has the tendency to make us less patient and tolerant with others. We are quick to correct, criticize and chastise.
So my message is for us to reflect in the things that upset us in the behaviour of others. Look at the things that we are critical about. The exercise might give us some insight into where we are vulnerable.
By looking at the motes that we readily see, maybe we can identify some potential beams that are growing in us.
Point #4: An effective way of getting a speck out of our eye is to flush it out
The equivalent of a water flush for the eye is the blood of Christ in the life of an individual.
1 John 1:
5This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[b] sin.
What must WE do to flush our lives with the blood of Christ?
Hear the Word – the Gospel
John 6: 45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.
Luke 13: 1 Now there were some present at that very season who told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And he answered and said unto them, Think ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they have suffered these things? 3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all in like manner perish.
Confess Jesus is Lord
Matt 10:32 Every one therefore who shall confess me before men, him will I also confess before my Father who is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father who is in heaven.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Be baptized for the remission of your sins
Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
1 Pet 3:21The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Remain in Christ and walk in the light
John 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
1 Pet 2: 1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.