Fourth Sunday After Trinity
July 17, 2011
 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.  "Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;  give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you."
 He also told them a parable: "Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?  A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.  Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye. Luke 6:36-42 (ESV)
Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful… He also told them a parable; Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?”
The whole text here is not much more than law. Except for this reminder that your Father is merciful, you have law, and the kind of law I struggle with more than anything. I think it is the kind of law we all struggle with, I think it is inborn with us to think we are better than others, or above others. It is a law against self-righteousness. It is a law that says to be merciful, because we all need mercy.
Judge not, and you will not be judged, condemn not, and you will not be condemned, forgive, and you will be forgiven. Do for others what your Father has done for you. Your Father has withheld judgment, your Father has pardoned you, your Father has forgiven you with the blood of Jesus Christ.
Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall in the pit? Jesus warns us that we are all blind. We are all blind when it comes to the law. It’s a strange thing. It is not like we can’t help each other out, it is that we need to realize we have planks in our eyes. We all have planks in our eyes, including our brother or sister objecting to us for trying to take the “speck” out of his eye, when we have a log in our own.
Sin, it is such a tricky thing. The depths of it in our own lives is never completely plumbed. We search ourselves week after week in a moment of silence, confessing incognito, as it were, to our sins. What do we confess? Adultery? Lust? Theft? Murder? Disrespecting our parents? Drunkenness? Do we confess the sins of Judgmentalism as we come off the heels of the Casey Anthony trial? The trial the media can’t seem to get enough of? Do we harbor anger at the jury? Do we judge those who judge her? Sin people, we have it. It infects us to the core! We think we are incapable. That’s what gets me. I hear people utter it under their breath. I hear it spoken behind the judgment. I could never do that, I’m a good person. We want to believe that so bad. But it is the fear that is true. It is the fear behind that that drives us to judge. It is the fear behind that that compels us to show no mercy. It is the fear that that sin lives inside all of us. The truth is, you are a sinner, and you are capable of that whatever it is. You are capable of doing even that which most sickens you to death. You are capable of that that insights even the most righteous of your anger and cries for justice. That’s why you cry for justice.
And that isn’t to say there isn’t a place for justice in this world. There most certainly is. It’s probably more to say, be careful what you ask for. There will come a time when you aren’t asking for justice but mercy. In fact, when we are honest with ourselves, and plumb the depths of our sin, then we are the last one’s who should be calling for justice, and the first one’s who should be calling for mercy. But to plumb the depths of our sin like that, is only possible with the help of Jesus, with his word, because he is the only one not blind, the only one not infected with sin, the one who has not even a speck in his eye, but sees our sin for what it is, and he alone is able to show it to us, to train us fully, so that being fully trained we, his disciples, would be like him, our teacher. And our teacher, the only one truly righteous, did not come to judge or condemn, because the world was already condemned, he came to forgive and show the mercy of his Father, our Father, by dying for our sins on the cross, and rising again from the dead to give us life, and give it to us with abundance. To give us life. He gave us life. He gives us life. He forgives our sins, and shows us mercy. So it is, that when we in the name of Christ forgive and show mercy to others, when we love them with the love with which he has loved us, well then, we give them the life he has given us.
Now the peace of God that surpasses all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.