This is an interesting parable which could be titled, “The parable of the blind hypocrite.” It is actually “two parables within one parable,” both dealing with “the eye.” Let’s read Luke 6:39-42, “And He spoke a parable to them: Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch? A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye” (NKJV).

The Lord wanted to teach His disciples how to be effective in their ministry to other believers. In verse 39 He is basically saying to them, “You can’t lead others on in the truth unless your own eyes have been opened to see and understand God’s Word.” In Matthew 15:14 the Lord had this to say about the Pharisees, “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” The Pharisees prided themselves on knowing God’s Word, yet in reality they were blind to the truth. Isaiah spoke of such in Isaiah 9:16, “For the leaders of the people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.” No one in their right mind would ask a blind man to guide them down a path, but in the spiritual realm this happening every day. Pulpits are filled with those who are spiritually blind and they are leading their congregation down the broad road that leads to hell. The Lord presses this principle on the hearts of His disciples so they will avoid trying to teach others what they do not know, for in doing so they would only make them like themselves. Teaching others is a very serious thing, as we see in James 3:1, “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment” (NKJV). If we are going to teach God’s Word, let’s be sure we are teaching it accurately and that we ourselves are on the path marked out in His word.

In verses 41-42 the Lord has another lesson for them to learn; you can’t help others who are failing if you are blind to your own failures. In this parable the Lord uses an extreme “exaggeration” to illustrate this truth. We may see what we think is a sin in another Christian’s life, as pictured by a “speck” in their eye, but there may very well be a greater sin in our own life, as seen by the “plank” in our own eye. The Pharisees were guilty of this on many occasions. The Lord said in Matthew 23:2-3, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but DO NOT AFTER THEIR WORKS; FOR THEY SAY, AND DO NOT.” They were quick to point to the flaws and faults in the lives of others and to teach them to clean up their up life, but they failed to do what they taught. This was the epitome of HYPOCRISY! Had they examined their own lives they would have discovered the “plank” in their eye and once it was removed they could see clearly to remove the “speck” in the eye of another.   Even believers can fall into this snare of JUDGING OTHERS when we should first JUDGE OURSELVES. This spirit of self-judgment is so needful, for the Lord won’t give us discernment to help a fellow-believer who has sinned if we are in a state of sin ourselves. Galatians 6:1 tells us, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, YE WHICH ARE SPIRITUAL, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness: CONSIDERING THYSELF, LEST THOU ALSO BE TEMPTED.”  (194.7)  (DO)