Saturday 27 January 2018

Bible Book:

“He also told them a parable: ‘Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher. Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbour, “Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye”, when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour’s eye.’” (vv. 39-42)

Luke 6:39-49 Saturday 27 January 2018

Psalm: Psalm 9:1-10


The challenges keep coming! Jesus paints a picture of two people on a walk. One is blind and knows it; the other shares his disability but does not know it. The latter’s ability to respond to a crisis was severely impaired, not just because, like his companion, he was blind, but also because he thought he didn’t have a problem at all. This raises profound questions which are far beyond the scope of these notes: how do we know what we think we know? Contemporary psychologists remind us that our knowing is not all in our heads. Most of it is in the books, the ideas, the people with whom we pursue our quest for truth and understanding.

Setting that aside, today’s passage takes us in a slightly different direction. If our grasp of our own situation is so poor as to be completely off the scale, how can we help a friend with a minor problem; worse still, what if our problem, in itself, stands in the way of our being helpful at all?

Psalm 9 reminds us of the context in which all our offers of help are given and received: the sovereign lordship of God. I use that phrase with some care, because it is often used to hint that God is all-powerful in a way that many believers find doesn’t make sense: that God can absolutely anything God wishes to do. That too is beyond the scope of these notes. Oh dear! How are we to make any progress at all?

In offering help to a friend (or, of course, to anyone in need whom we have encountered unexpectedly) we are to remember that the very impulse to help comes from a loving God to us and through us. Sometimes we have to pause long enough to realise that our friend’s problem requires help that we are in no position to give: perhaps, as in this case, he requires eye-surgery that is quite beyond our capabilities. First and foremost, what we can offer is ourselves, our patient understanding and care, respectful of the God-given mystery that is the person with whom we are sharing that moment.

To Ponder

  • How can you ‘tune in’ to the face of God that is presented to you in the face of your neighbour?
  • How can you live so that the people who meet you can see, in you, a glimpse of the face of God?
  • In what sense do you believe that God is sovereign?
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