Jesus descended from a mountain top where He selected the twelve, “whom also he named apostles” (Luke 6:13). Having arrived in the plain, our Lord was met by a great multitude of people out of all Judaea, Jerusalem, and the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon. They were there to hear and for healing; “which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases” (vs.17). Having spoken to them on a multitude of subjects, in verse 39-49, He enlightened them to at least five basic principles of fruitfulness. We have already addressed two of five, “Progress is dictated by your partner” and “Promotion is determined by your professor.” At this time, I want to enumerate on the third.
Pride Is Destroyed By Your Perception
“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.” Luke 6:41-42
Of the many things that can destroy and deter fruitfulness in the life of an individual, pride is one that ranks near the top. Pride was an attribute that surfaced continually in the lives of Jesus’ disciples; “And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest” (Mark 9:33-34). It was true of the disciples is equally true of most people! Pride is an evil within us that is usually recognized by others previous to being acknowledged by one’s self. Pride is the fountainhead of shame, contention, and destruction (see Proverbs 11:2, 13:10, & 16:18). Pride will ultimately rob the Lord’s disciple of effective service and future rewards.
The Vision of Pride
“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”
The very first thing that must be understood is that the vision of pride is farsighted and faulty! The vision of pride is forever looking at a distance at the weakness of others while maintaining a distorted perception of that which is closest to them. Pride “beholdest” in others, but never “perceives” in self. “Beholdest” means to look at as to be aware of, to regard. Pride not only sees the imperfections, but continually focuses on them, making them the constant object of attention. “Perceives” means to discover or consider, to observe fully. Because of pride’s constant outward look; it fails to discover personal areas of weakness and if these areas are apparent, pride quickly minimizes their importance and fails to pursue them fully. Pride’s vision perceives itself as being superior to all others; if others could only see as it does, they too would be disturbed by the apparent weaknesses and shortcomings of those around them.
The Volition of Pride
“Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”
If there was a positive thing to be said about the vision of pride, it would be the fact that pride is not idle. Pride is actively seeking every opportunity to “pull out the mote.” Pride is energetic! While it is motivated by a false perception, it will not rest until it has rid those it perceives as less fortunate of motes! Pride will assert itself in every situation. The only problem to pride’s energetic activity is pride’s ineffectiveness! While pride’s motivation is to help, pride’s hindrance will not permit it; “thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye.” While pride’s vision is sufficient enough to discover the mote, it proves to be defective in removing the mote because of the beam protruding from its own eye. The “beam” is a stick of timber and gives the idea of that which supports or holds up. The word “mote” means a withered twig or piece of straw, sawdust or a shaving off of the beam. Some old writers had pointed to the fact that it is possible that the mote in the brother’s eye was a speck of sawdust from the beam protruding from the other person’s eye. That’s a new twist; trying to solve everyone’s problems which you are the instigator of!
The Victory Over Pride
“Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.”
There is victory for those that will do first things first; “cast out first the beam out of thine own eye.” When one gains the proper perception of one’s self, pride is smitten! This Biblical truth is set forth in Galatians 6:1. A brother has been overtaken in a fault and the body of Christ has become aware of it. If the brother is to be effectively restored, it will require the aid of fellow believers. What is to be the first response of the body; “considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Only those that have effectively removed beams from their own eye are qualified to remove motes from a brother’s eye.
The satanic nature of pride is a destructive force in the life of a believer. It renders them ineffective in the work and makes the prospects of rewards void. Pride can be smitten by a change in perspective by gaining the proper perspective of self. Consider an inward inspection of self before participating in the outward gaze of a critical spirit. The proper perception of self is the answer to the destructive force of pride.