He also offered them a parable: "Can one blind man be guide to another? Will not they both fall into a ditch?

"A pupil is not superior to his teacher, but everyone, when his training is complete, will reach his teacher's level."

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I certainly hope that many of my students have exceeded my knowledge in specific areas that they have chosen, and I have not taken the time to study those specifics that I have tried to facilitate the study of. If the best we can hope for is the same level as the teacher, then we can not expect any advancement of knowledge.

I think we're talking about equal competence in this part, not quantitative equivalence. ie, Newton was the equal of Galileo etc. because he was capable of taking Galileo's work further.

 

But what drew my attention to these two sentences is the way they were matched and put in the same paragraph in my Bible. One "parable." How are they part of the same thought?

 

Everyone, I think, "knows" what the first sentence says. But what is it?

From the context in which the passage appears in Luke, I read it as, "don't take lessons from those who haven't learned to refrain from judging others or how to forgive; and who are more concerned with correcting the shortcomings of others before addressing their own. They are not qualified to teach others and listening to them can only lead the student into error."

This is perhaps made more explicit in Matthew, chap. 15, where the disciples have informed Jesus that the Pharisees are offended at his teaching that one is defiled by what comes out of one's mouth, not by what goes into it.  Jesus then replies, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

Okay, thanks, I should have looked up Matthew & compared the context myself!  [& is there any chance I can get you to come play on kwakerskripturestudy.blogspot.com ? It seems to be livening up at last!]

 

I find it also interesting that the context is different in Luke, while a sentence or so later we have the part about trying to get the sawdust out of your brother's eye while there's a plank in your own. I'd been trying to work out:

 

~ "If this isn't just another wise saying, what was Jesus meaning by it at the time?"-- and decided it would have been heard as a slur against the Pharisees. Which your Matthew text makes clear.

 

So, then... taking this back to a wider context again: It hints that religions will have two kinds of elements; because people who misunderstand God's intentions will add things that seem right to them, but which don't serve God's purposes in the long run.

 

I'd been reading "blindness" as "lack of contact with God." But then, is a habit of being judgemental-- the chief obstacle to knowing God? (I know it's an obstacle, one of the big ones-- but is this implying that it is the most significant? As in having munched fruit from that Wrong Tree in the Garden?)

I don't know if its the chief obstacle.   But it seems particularly key.  Thinking about what others are doing that I don't like or dissaprove of is a particularly engrossing activity of the human mind.  Its also the beginning of every conflict, from the internal, to the minor spat to warfare itself.  Jesus connects our relationship to God with our relationship to others -- even to the extent of saying that these two things are really the same thing. 

If internal conflict, as you say, then this is also what I'm doing that I don't like or disapprove of... So taking that a little further, it suggests that Jesus connects our relationship to God with our relationship to ourself. Which also, ultimately, would equate to our relationship to others.

 

God's relationship to us, though...  would be a whole lot less cluttered, blocked, confused-- that is, not at all distorted. Not necessarily giving what we want, but what we need, even when that's a broken leg-- or what looks from here like death.

 

It's our side that's the problem-- and not a problem at all if our confidence is in God, not in our ability to meet some norm or other. Wouldn't want to be malicious, terminally lazy, etc. But so far as I am so, to want & expect healing?

Forrest,  I wouldn't presume that there is anything malicious or lazy about wanting to heal.  There are plenty of scriptural examples of people seeking and finding exactly that, both physically and spiritually.  However, I may not be clear on your question. 

I'm seldom malicious, but often terminally lazy. And want to be healed of such things so far as they get in the way. Clearer?

 

The awkwardness  was in trying to say that:  It would be wrong, either  to  misbehave while assuming that would be okay-- or to insist that God make me into The Creature of My Ideals. (Like Chuange Tzu's crazy lump of metal insisting that the blacksmith should turn it into Excaliber.)

 

God has made me capable of good and bad, made me prefer to be good, but not to always find myself looking so good.

 

So I can't trust myself never to misbehave, but I can trust God to help me do better, to manifest whatever virtue God intends me to have. So long as I know it isn't mine-- and neither are the 'slight flaws in my character,' no matter how embarrassing.

In my case I am coming to understand my "laziness" as a call to contemplation and stillness. Perhaps this could be true for you as well?
What I observe is an urge to retreat into solitare games & the like, sorry. A mental fidget while I wait for inspiration, or for bepuzzlements to sort out, however one would rather put this. I seem called to keep that mind wiggling, so far!

I'm quite familiar with those urges, Friend! I've always found it difficult to be still on my own.  I'm a sudoku and tetris addict.  I've even turned deleting my junk mail at work into a word game (finding search terms to pare the list down to one screen).

 Last week I participated in the daily extended worship (approximately 2-1/2 hours a day) at the Gathering.  It had such a significant impact that I am determined to est. a daily practice.  Made a fairly good start on Monday, slept in yesterday, did about a half-hour and then picked up the iPhone and got into Facebook this morning! I've determined to keep my iPhone in another room during my times of retirement. 

 

Some of the games are good for our brains, say the experts, so their not an altogether bad thing!

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