We become more and more aware of how we “miss the mark” inside us as an individual. In a way to comfort ourselves we start looking at how those close to us “miss the mark” also so we can say “ At least I’m not as bad as that person”.
The truth of this statement reminded me of the illustration Jesus presented in Luke 18 where he himself not only makes this very point, but also endeavors to drive home to us just how serious a matter it really is; the way it comes across to our creator.
9 "But he spoke this illustration also to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and considered the rest as nothing: 10 "Two men went up into the temple to pray, the one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and began to pray these things to himself, 'O God, I thank you that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week, I give the tenth of the things I acquire.' 13 But the tax collector standing at a distance was not willing even to raise his eyes heavenward, but kept beating his breast, saying: 'O God, be gracious to me a sinner.' 14 I tell you, this man went down to his home proved more righteous than that man; because everyone who exalts himself will be humiliated, but he who humbles himself will be exalted." (Lu 18:9-14)
Rather than choosing to be honest even with OURSELVES, taking responsibility for our failings and working toward CORRECTING them, most people seem to opt for a more lazy and prideful approach. It reminds me of Jesus' words concerning the "wicked and sluggish slave." (Mt 25:26) Most people seem to want to simply begin pointing to the failings of others (just like Adam did when confronted by Jehovah on his sin) that might appear to be even worse, and begin deceiving themselves into thinking they don't need to make any changes since they are better than others. It's really rather sick and childish if we really think about it, and we all are probably guilty of this to some extent or other at least at some point in our lives.
Our leader and exemplar has actually demonstrated not only the very opposite approach to this for us, but even in a manner that we could perhaps rightly recognize as extreme in at least some sense. In other words, Jesus set the example of actually accepting even FULL responsibility for the sins of OTHERS in the case of his atoning sacrifice. What made this even MORE extreme was that in his own case, he actually HAD no failings, or had become guilty of no sin whatsoever!
This is really something to seriously contemplate, particularly since this was an example that was set for any and all who would sincerely wish to "come after" Jesus or otherwise follow in the footsteps that were laid out for becoming fellow "kings and priests" with him in heaven. (Mt 16:24) (Re 5:10)
Anyway, this was merely among several things that I appreciated greatly about your commentary here –Simplyme.