One of the most interesting ways for me to study the Bible is to narrow my focus. If I just look for one phrase, or even one word, it allows me to sift through the scriptures in a very specific way. One example of this is to search for something that piques your interest or gets stuck in your mind. Today I was watching a video and while a man was speaking the word “consider” really stood out. I wondered if there were any verses that had interesting points around the thought “consider”. Below is something that I found while searching for that word.
The first verse in the New Testament that uses the English word “consider” is Matthew 7:3: “And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye.” From this we expand our view to get a survey for the context looking at Matthew 7:1-5. The main point of this text is not to judge hypocritically but to judge yourself before passing that judgment onto someone else.
So how is the word consider used in this passage to emphasize this overall point? Well, a simple search of this word in the original Greek shows that the word is “katanoeō”. It is defined by Strong’s as “to perceive, remark, observe, understand.” That seems simple enough but when you dive a little deeper it is actually compound word. It take two Greek words and combines them to make this word. Literally this word means to “observe-down” which give a clear word picture of “looking down to fully understand”. This means that Jesus wanted to impress upon His hearers that before you try to remove the speck of wood from someone else’s eye…we need to “look down to understand fully” our own situation.
So the application can be made that one thing that we need to “consider” is that before we pass judgment on someone else, we need to fully think about our own situation and correct ourselves. One thing to note about this context is that Jesus is not forbidding judgment and correction of others, but only condemns hypocritical judgment. To prove this statement simply read Matthew 7:5: “Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.” Notice how Jesus taught that you can judge (help correct) someone only if you first judge yourself.
This is just an example of a way I study the Word and consider these things when I compile my thoughts for lesson and sermon preparation. I encourage you to try noticing these things as you go about your life and then use those things that stand out to enhance your time in the Bible.