“Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye,
and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
This verse is preceded by the words: “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 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?” So we see the speck in our brother’s eye, which indeed is there, but we cannot see the plank in our own eye. It means that we see even a little fault in our brother but we do not notice our faults and sins. Jesus says: “remove the plank from your own eye” and He emphasizes the word “first”. Despite our good will we tend first to remove the speck from our brother’s eye. Therefore we must literally make a step of faith associated with true repentance – that means admit our own fault, and by this repentance we remove the plank from our own eye, i.e. from the system of our false thinking. After we remove our plank, Jesus does not say that we can then be indifferent to our brother and to appeal to false mercy or false love – no. The next step we are to make is to help remove the speck from our brother’s eye. Jesus says that if we remove our plank, we will be able to see spiritually. Without removing the plank, we will not see spiritually.
Note that some people, especially scientists, who search for certain regularities in the realm of matter, carrying out researches in engineering or medicine, often spend years in a careful search or examination in order to discover a certain law. When they discover something, they derive some enjoyment from it. Similarly, we should discover and come to know certain mysteries hidden in God. The mystery of good and evil, the mystery of the history of humanity and spiritual warfare with demons, the mystery of God’s love, God’s greatness and other mysteries which we will know in the light of God in heaven. Now we see in a mirror (1Cor 13:12), dimly, but then we shall see God and the truth face to face. Discovery and knowledge of things somehow makes man happy, fills the human heart. In heaven we will come to an ever deeper knowledge of the truths.
Heaven surpasses all our imagination. Let us imagine supreme happiness, unspeakable beauty, and yet heaven is far more beautiful. The Scripture says about heaven that no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him. What then this heaven must be like if it surpasses our imagination?!
Let us imagine the most beautiful things in the world – the most beautiful jewels, the most beautiful works of art or the most beautiful scenery – this all is nothing compared with the beauty of heaven.
Let us imagine the beauty of our earth, the beauty of God’s creation. Imagine you are in the Alps watching the sunrise or the sunset or the magnificent scenery in the land of glaciers.
4 June 2016
Quote: “We ask that the Ukrainian Government call on the criminal justice system to bring those responsible to justice and support upcoming Pride events (12 June 2016).”
Response: Let these congressmen try to command Turkey, China, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran or Iraq to hold a gay pride parade in their capitals, and if they do not obey, let these congressmen try to threaten them to introduce a system of criminal sanctions.
Whom do the US congressmen want to condemn and punish in fact? The answer is a quote from their letter: “Activists reported alarming statements by clergy and members of local city and regional councils, who called on individuals to ‘fight back’ against the Equality Festival.” It follows that priests, monks, bishops, pastors as well as members of local and regional councils, who called for the preservation of moral values and the Ukrainian nation against moral degradation, should be condemned and punished. What an absurd requirement of USA! The congressmen intend to punish the representatives of religious and public life for performing their duty and standing in defence of the nation and its values against demoralization and devastation. Can the rights of the Ukrainian people not be defended anymore? Is defence of rights punishable? Can the Ukrainian clergy no longer preach God’s Word?
“Judge not, that you be not judged.
For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged;
and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”
Here the Lord Jesus points out again the practical part of the life of every man, namely the relationship to our neighbour. The first commandment says that we should love God with all our heart… And the second is like it – we should love our neighbour as ourselves. The opposite of love is egoism. Love forces man into self-denial and self-sacrifice. Egoism makes our “self” the centre of universe. Self-love is connected with spiritual blindness which is called pride. Pride is the deadly poison which penetrated into human nature with the first sin. It was manifested in disbelief in God’s word – the truth – and belief in and surrender to lies and hence the spirit of lies – the devil. The fruit of this sin is death which passes to all men.
The goal of our life is to be united to God and to live in this communion for all eternity. Eternal life begins already here on earth where God puts us to the test. The length of this test varies from life to life. We all live in different places and in different times, the number of every man’s days is determined and then our earthly pilgrimage will end. These few decades of life will pass very quickly; and, moreover, they are full of suffering, disappointment… Life on earth is but toil and trouble. God gives us His grace in this life, and if we cooperate with it – i.e. deny or humble ourselves a little, patiently bear our cross, physical or mental suffering – our heart is filled with joy which the Lord gives us. But we are always surrounded by evil, envy, various diseases, suffering or loss of our relatives and friends. This is to remind us that the earth is not our permanent place. Our home is in heaven.