3 “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:3–5, NKJV).
Jesus did not forbid seeing someone’s fault or helping to remove the problem. Mature Christians try to restore fellow Christians overtaken in sin (Gal. 6:1-2). When Christians strays from the truth, we try to turn them from their error and save them from death (James 5:19-20). In today’s text, Christ’s rebukes fixing our attention on the speck in someone’s eye (a dry stalk or twig, straw, chaff; figuratively, a small fault) while failing to perceive our plank (a beam; figuratively, a glaring error). All of us have flaws and faults we ought to perceive and address. And we should be ready to help each other overcome our failings. To do so, we must not be hypocrites who quickly see others’ deficiencies while having a distorted vision of our own. The apostle exposes the hypocrisy of such judging, “Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God (Rom. 2:1-3)?” We can help others remove their speck after first considering and removing our plank.