And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not
the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out
the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first
cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the
mote out of thy brother's eye. MAT 7:3-5.
If we have learned to see the beam in our own eye, we will not see anything so small as
the mote in our brother's eye. We won't be able to see it because our motives are focused
on our own beams and motes.
With a a little self-knowledge, we begin to see the good in a man rather than the evil:
"A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things and an
evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things," MAT 12:35.
Here is a true story, which makes the point at issue. Ed was talking with a lady named
Nell about Sam. Ed was very critical about Sam; after Nell had listened she asked,
"But wouldn't you say Sam is honest? In spite of all these things you said, wouldn't
you say he is honest?"
Ed admitted that Sam was honest. The next day Nell was talking to Sam who was very
critical of Ed. After all was said Nell replied, "There is one thing about Ed, at
least he goes around telling people that you are honest."
"Oh, I don't believe that," replied Sam.
"Yes, he told me yesterday that one thing he had to say about you was, `the man is
honest.'" Sam had not realized that Ed was out speaking well of him, so he made a
comment for Ed's honor.
Of course, Nell went right back to Ed to tell him that Sam said something good about
him. Two weeks later they were friends.
These events show that a good person brings forth-good things from his heart, but the
evil person brings forth-evil things out of his evil heart. If our hearts are evil, we
will bring forth-evil things about our neighbor.
"And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our
members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it
is set on fire of hell," JAM 3:6.
We are not to strain to find something wrong with our brother, but out of the good
treasure of the heart, look for the good things in your fellow man. Appreciate those
The word mote means a small spot, i.e., a small particle of dust you can see
floating in a ray of sunlight or one of the smallest of objects.
By comparison, in the eyes of the Lord, the sin of being critical is a far greater sin
than you can find in your brother.
The comparison Jesus makes in our text is that of a very small sliver compared with a
beam, i.e., a large piece of timber or the largest piece of wood. The beam is like the
timber used in building; it is compared to the smallest particle of wood dust. That is
quite a comparison.
Jesus asks, "Why beholdest thou...", i.e., why do you strain to find the
smallest fault in your brother? Is it not because you lack self-knowledge?
Once we see our on-going need of grace and need for daily mortification of our own
sins, the faults, errors and lack of grace in our brother or sisters life become
less and less important to us. May God give us the ability to see the beam in our
own eye and not the mote in our brothers eye.