The Trouble with Speck Inspectors Luke 6;37-42 110407

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The Trouble with Speck Inspectors (Luke 6:37-42)


Intro: In many ways, the message today is about sincerity and honesty. Honest Hymns

   Give Background. Jesus has just described a radical and supernatural love that is to mark the life of a disciple. Now, he continues to show how disciples they should live.

 Read Luke 6:37-42

   - Four Imperatives (2 pos and 2 neg) with Four Promises (37-38)

   - Three Pictures to Illustrate His Teaching (39-42)

What is a Speck Inspector? It is a person who feels it is their calling and job to find and remove sinful behaviors or faults (specks) from other people’s lives.


1.        They are generous in judgment when they should be generous in giving (37a, 38)

a.        What does Jesus not mean by judge?

                    i.  To judge or distinguish between right and wrong

                  ii.  He is not referring to the government’s God ordained responsibility to pronounce judgment (Romans 13:1-7)

                 iii.  He is not referring to the church’s God ordained responsibility to pronounce judgment (Matt. 18; 1 Cor. 5-6)

                 iv.  He is not referring to our individual responsibility to judge ourselves (1 Cor. 11:28; 2 Cor. 13:5; 2 Pet. 1:5-10)

b.        What does Jesus mean by judge? To pronounce judgment on someone in a rash, hasty, and harsh way. Quickly coming to the conclusion of guilt. They are generous when it comes to giving judgment on people. Quick to judge and slow to give.

App: We should judge only in discerning between right and wrong. We are allowed to have our opinions and more importantly our biblical convictions. But our biblical convictions do not give us the right to convict others. This is the legal job of the state and the spiritual response of the church to offending members. The biggest problem with judging is that it is an attempt by us to play the part of God.

The promise should make us reconsider this attitude. Promise of judgment to fear if we have a judgmental attitude, and promise of a greater reward if we are generous in our giving.

ILL: A matter of attitude.

2.        They are ready to condemn when they should be ready to forgive (37bc)

a.        Condemn means to pronounce guilty. It is to give a verdict of guilty. It is a legal pronouncement. Again, when we do this we are trying to play God.

b.        Forgive means to treat as not guilty. It is not to eagerly declare someone guilty, but to ready to declare forgiven. We are to have an attitude of forgiveness.

Quote: “A forgiving spirit is evidence that the person has been forgiven.”

c.        The promise is similar to the ones already given. We are more likely to be forgiven when we show forgiveness. We are much more likely to receive condemnation if we are ready to heap it up onto others.

ILL: Every Sunday morning on the way home from church, a young pastor and his wife would ask their three year old son to tell them about what he learned in Sunday School. They liked to see if he was paying attention. One Sunday, the lesson was on Stephen, and how he asked God to forgive the people who were stoning him. The young pastor asked his son, “What should we do if somebody does something mean to us?” To which his son replied, "You forgive them and then you die!"

App: We had better be ready to forgive. We cannot condemn someone if we are focused on the Cross. Jesus came to forgive the condemned, the guilty. Perhaps you suffer from an unforgiving heart. Your unforgiving heart may be pointing to the fact that you stand condemned before God. You cannot forgive because you have not been forgiven by God. You can be forgiven. Share the Gospel.



3.         They are blind to God’s Ways and lead others away from God (39-40)

a.        Spiritual Blindness caused by ongoing sin that hardens the heart.

b.        A spiritually blind leader will always lead others the wrong way, the pit (deep pit that represents death and hell).

c.        In verse 40, the teacher/ disciple (learner/pupil) relationship is used to picture the problem of resisting authority. To try to be above your teacher was mutiny. Their blindness rejects God’s authority or any spiritual authority God puts in our life.

d.        The danger for the disciples is that if they follow the wrong teacher they will have followers that are as blind as themselves. They are to follow Jesus.

App: One of the most blinding sins is unrealistic expectations. Why, some of us are such perfectionists that there is our way and the wrong way. That is dangerous.

ILL: “Where To Put Your Expectations” by Rev. Joe McKeever; FBC-Kenner, LA

1. Expectations about other people: Give them up.               2. Expectations about Jesus: Lift them up. 3. Expectations about the preacher: Lighten up.                                                                            4. Expectations on yourself: toughen up.


4.         They are quick to find and try to remove smaller sins and faults in other people, but  are slow to consider and remove larger sins and faults in themselves (41-42a)

a.        The comical picture given by Christ. Speck (Karphos) – small fleck of wood or hay; plank (Dokos) – one of the main supporting beams of a building.

b.        What is not comical is the sad display of quick faultfinding of others, and the lack of perception of one’s own sin.

App: When was the last time you turned in your speck inspecting for some self- inspecting? Perhaps the problem you have with someone else’s sin or faults is a distorted picture of reality. Maybe your plank is obscuring your vision. How long does it take us to find a fault in someone else? In our marriages. With our children. With our boss or coworker. At church. Maybe our biggest problem is the condition of our own heart.


5.         They are pretenders, when other people need a real, sincere Christian (42b)

a.        We all need help from other believers. We all have sins, shortcomings, and silly quirks, that annoy others.

b.        But, people do not need fake Christians. People do not need to pretend, they need to live in the real world. We have enough pretending going on in our world. We do everything we can to escape reality – to not deal with life.

c.        Jesus called this type of person a Hypocrite – Greeks used the word for actors who played a part;  pretender; double hearted; more focused on outward appearance than inward experience.

Quote: “Such a man is rightly termed a hypocrite; for if it was hatred of evil that inspired his judgment would he not begin by showing this feeling in an unsparing way towards himself.” Godet

d.        Speck removal is a noble activity, but if it is done by a hypocrite it is messy and destructive. Why? Because a hypocrite is not really interested in the speck, if he or she was, they would not have failed to deal with their own sin.

e.        The hypocrite is only interested in saving face, looking good, and putting on a good show.

ILL: Deceptive packaging

App: We better be real. People out there need the real deal. They need to see true Christianity, not some counterfeit Christian who will lead them to hell. People in here need the real thing. New believer and young people need to see real Christians. Young people can smell a fake a mile away. They know if you’re real. Are you the real deal today? You can fool yourself, you can fool your family, friends, and even your pastor, but you can never fool God? Heaven will not house any fake Christians. Only humble, sincere, forgiving blood bought sinners will see streets of gold and the Savior’s face.

Conclusion: Invitation:  Salvation; Baptism; Church Membership; The call.

ILL: Honest Hymns - The way we might sing some well-known hymns if we were being honest:

 1. I Surrender Some

 2. There Shall Be Sprinkles of Blessings

 3. Spirit of the Living God, Fall Somewhere Near Me

 4. Sweet Five Minutes of Prayer

 5. I Love to Talk About Telling the Story

 6. Take My Life and Let Me Be

 7. Pillow of Ages, Fluffed for Me

 8. I'm Fairly Certain that My Redeemer Lives

 9. Where He Leads Me, I Will Consider Following

10. Just As I Pretend to Be


ILL: There was a story on a greeting card several years ago called “A Matter Of Attitude” by Leslie A. Turvey.

The story was about an elderly lady in Arkansas.  The State voted to increase welfare payments to indigents.  Hoping for a tearjerker story, a television interviewer went into the back hills where many welfare recipients lived.

The old woman he chose to interview lived in a one-room shack: drafty in winter; stifling in summer.  Her bed was a few rough planks nailed together, with a pine-needle mattress.  A couple thin blankets, and a fireplace, which did little to protect her from the cold.

Her furniture consisted of an old table and two chairs.  Her shelves held a few cans of food from the general store, along with everal jars of preserves and a few squash. She had no fridge or freezer.  The fireplace provided heat for cooking.  With no phone or television her only connection with the outside world was an old radio that pulled in two or three local stations on a good day.

The old woman had one convenience, running water.  A crystal clear stream gurgled a short distance behind her home.

A small garden near her back door provided fresh vegetables during the summer, and some squash and turnips for the winter.  A tidy flower garden brightened the front of her house.

The television crew arrived and set up their big expensive cameras.  Their mobile station broadcast pictures of the woman and the place she called home.

Eventually the interviewer asked the old woman, “If the government gave you $200 more each month, what would you do with it?”

Without hesitation the woman replied, “I'd give it to the poor.”

Deceptive Packaging

Through its laws, our country declares it a crime to lie about the contents in a box of cereal. These laws demand that the outside of the package tell the truth about what is on the inside. Deceptive packaging is illegal. "Truth in advertising" regulations are another way to protect the public. A good example of this is the warning on a pack of cigarettes: "Smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and may complicate pregnancy."

Unfortunately, there are no such laws about people.

Strange People

People who talk about prayer but never pray.

People who say tithing is right but never tithe.

People who want to belong to the church but never attend.

People who say the Bible is God's Word to man but never read it.


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