by Rev. Benjamin Chung (鍾立恆牧師)
In Matthew 7:1-5 and Luke 6:41-2, we read of Jesus’s teaching regarding judging and the connection to the parable of “The Speck and the Log”. It refers to how one can hypocritically judge others of some minor infraction while committing a much more serious crime themselves. For if you judge in this way, Jesus says, then by the same degree of seriousness Jesus will judge you. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t evaluate and critique circumstances, but that we should be aware of an overly critical
heart and the hypocrisy that lies therein. This isn’t right—it’s wrong. As God told Isaiah to prophecy, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20 ESV).
With this parable, Jesus was addressing the Pharisees and teachers of the law for abusing and twisting the law for their own gain and avoiding criminality, while highlighting and calling out much more minor infractions. As a pastor, what saddens me when I reflect on this is how many churches have not learned this lesson. Instead of being the Bride of Christ, they are the Bride of Satan and turn young believers away from the faith and hurt many other believers.
I recall hearing Dr. Jeff Iorg, President of Gateway Baptist Seminary share of how his wife was given letters by a very critical church member who would write all the “wrong” things she did as a pastor’s wife and would leave her in tears. At the beginning, his wife would read the letters. But with time, he would read them first and then shake his head and not even let his wife read them, to protect her. Only after several DECADES did this “believer” admit her fault and seek forgiveness with the pastor’s wife. Hallelujah, the immature believer’s deceived eyes were opened to her sin!
What saddens me still, is to consider the primary audience to whom Jesus was addressing. He wasn’t addressing the “laity” of the Jews. He was addressing the leaders, who should know better. Yet they were the most serious offenders because they didn’t have specks in their eyes, but logs! And even today, our churches repeat this same offense. We should not allow this to happen or be complicit in this crime. It is an abomination to God’s holy name and His ways. We have been warned!
Let us all humble ourselves to see where we might have wronged others and them seek their forgiveness. Jesus warned, “Beware the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy” (Luke 12:1). Beware, even the leaven of the Pharisees of today! 1 Peter 2:1 says, “So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander”. Indeed, let us instead know what is right, say what is good and do what is pleasing to the LORD as His image bearers. For Peter reminds us later in 5:5, “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
在馬太福音7：1-5 和路加福音6：41-42 中，我們閱讀了耶穌有關於審判別人及如何明白“刺和梁木”寓言的教導。它指的是當人們自己犯下更嚴重的罪行時，卻如何虛偽地審判別人輕微的罪行。耶穌說如果你們這樣審判別人，那麼我也會以同樣嚴重的程度審判你們。這行為並不意味著我們不能評價和評論狀況，但也應該注意到一個過於批判的心和其中的虛偽。這是不對的，是錯誤的。正如上帝對以賽亞所說預言的那樣，“禍哉！那些稱惡為善，稱善為惡，以暗為光，以光為暗，以苦為甜，以甜為苦的人。” （以賽亞書5:20）。
我回想起Gateway 浸信會神學院院長Jeff Lorg 博士的講話，他分享了一位非常挑剔的會友給他的妻子的信，這會友寫下她作為牧師妻子所做的所有“錯誤”事情，讓他妻子流淚了。起初，她會讀信件。但是隨著時間，Jeff 會先讀信件，不禁搖頭，甚至不讓妻子閱讀，以保護她。只是在幾個十年之後，這位“信徒”才承認自己的過錯，並尋求師母的寬恕。哈利路亞！這未成熟信徒蒙閉的眼睛睜開了，看見自己的罪！
讓我們謙卑自己，看看我們可能在那處錯怪了別人，並尋求他們的寬恕。耶穌警告說：“這時，有幾萬人聚集，甚至彼此踐踏。耶穌開講，先對門徒說：你們要防備法利賽人的酵，就是假冒為善。”（路加福音12：1）。直至今天，我們也要當心法利賽人的酵！彼得前書2：1 說：“所以，你們既除去一切的惡毒 、詭詐，並假善、嫉妒，和一切毀謗的話”。確實的，讓我們不只知道什麼是對的，說什麼是好的，並能以耶和華繼承者的形象，作出衪所喜悅的行為。因彼得後來在5：5 中提醒我們：“你們年幼的，也要順 服年長的。就是你們眾人也都要以謙