It appears that Jesus is condemning his disciples of being too quick to judge others while remaining blind to their own shortcomings and missteps. They have missed Jesus’ example of being quick to forgive rather than quick to judge.
Even though they have been the recipients of the lavishness of Jesus’ mercy, they themselves evidently have failed to, in turn, act as Jesus has acted. In this they have failed as students -- for the teacher has taught the lesson but they have missed the meaning.
Jesus instructs them that what is inside will be manifested on the outside... “a good person out of the store of goodness in their heart produces good...just as a rotten tree produces rotten fruit and a good tree produces good fruit”.
Jesus instructs them that the goodness or the rot of the heart will show forth in a person’s speech. It seems that in our age we do not value truth in speech. We find it hard to always trust the words of political leaders, religious leaders, our newscasters or our neighbors. Many of these people often say one thing but do another. Is this not what we just saw in the lead up to the invasion of Ukraine?
Most of the time we are able to spot dishonesty and the lack of integrity in someone’s words and none of us likes to be deceived. Just as Jesus called his disciples to reflect on how quick they are to judge others, so we too have the opportunity to remove the log from our own eye in order that we might be able to remove the splinter from our neighbor’s eye.
And as we prepare for the season of Lent, we can begin to reflect on what is the fruit that our lives bear? How quick am I to show mercy and forgiveness to those who have wronged me or hurt me? And let us all keep the people of Ukraine in our prayers and pray for a peaceful end to the invasion.