Luke 6:39

ESV He also told them a parable: "Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?
NIV He also told them this parable: "Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit?
NASB Now He also spoke a parable to them: 'A person who is blind cannot guide another who is blind, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit?
CSB He also told them a parable: "Can the blind guide the blind? Won’t they both fall into a pit?
NLT Then Jesus gave the following illustration: 'Can one blind person lead another? Won’t they both fall into a ditch?
KJV And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?
NKJV And He spoke a parable to them: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch?

What does Luke 6:39 mean?

In the Sermon on the Plain, Jesus explains that God will reward those who suffer for following Christ. He will judge those who persecute His followers (Luke 6:20–26). Because of these rewards, Jesus explains that His followers should actively love their enemies and seek their well-being, just as our heavenly Father blesses His enemies (Luke 6:27–36). From actions, Jesus transitions to the heart-attitude we need to have toward others, to be quick to forgive and slow to judge (Luke 6:37–38).

Now, Jesus presents how we should go about spiritual growth in judging rightly. First, we need to determine if we are so blind that we have no business guiding anyone. Second, we must find a good teacher and be a faithful disciple (Luke 6:40). Finally, we carefully judge our own righteousness and discernment before attempting to help another (Luke 6:41–42).

John writes, "Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes" (1 John 2:10–11). Jesus includes "enemies" with brothers, telling us to love and forgive those who persecute us (Luke 6:27–28). Those who don't love are blind: they exist in spiritual darkness.

In the first statement, we learn that although we are called to identify ungodly behavior, we can't do so if we are consumed in our own sin. Our discernment and our actions need to reflect our Teacher's (Luke 6:40). We prove ourselves blind to Jesus' truth by being quick to judge and condemn others, refusing to forgive. If so, we show that we're unqualified to judge and condemn anyone.

It may even be that our judgmentalism is a greater sin—a "log" compared to the splinter of our enemies' persecution (Luke 6:41–42). To abuse someone for following Jesus is a lesser sin than to condemn that abuser to hell; we don't have the authority to declare another's eternal damnation (Luke 3:17). Instead, we should be ready to forgive them, giving them a taste of the reconciliation with God they need so much (Galatians 6:1).

The "pit" is literally a deep hole in the ground. The blind men will fall into a dark spiritual state without hope of rescuing themselves. Jesus applies the concept of the blind leading the blind to the Pharisees in Matthew 15:14.
What is the Gospel?
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