One of the most common problems people have is an inability to see their own faults.
It’s just like the man who always met the preacher at the back of the church on Sunday and said, “You really told ‘em good, preacher!” This went on several Sundays until one day in February when a deep snow fell and the only one in church was that man. The preacher thought, “Well, now’s my chance!” After a lesson designed to point out the man’s faults, the man met the preacher at the back of the church and said, “If they had all been here, you would have really told ‘em good, preacher!”
The Pharisees were great at demanding others obey the law, but not themselves. They expected God to pardon their “minor” faults, but condemned what they saw as grievous sin in others. Jesus told them, “go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matthew 9:13 NKJV). The Pharisees knew what Jesus meant when he told them to “go and learn.” Each of them used that same phrase when correcting their students.
These teachers of the Law of Moses, however, refused to see themselves as having any need to repent because they thought they were not sinners. Near the end of the Lord’s human life, Jesus pronounced a woe on these same men, saying they had “neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith” (Matthew 23:23). Jesus said the Pharisees were very good at straining to magnify the small sin of others while they ignored their own (Matthew 23:24).
Like the man who met the preacher at the back of the church, we humans sometimes are not very honest with ourselves. It is easy indeed to look into the mirror of our souls and see what we want to see instead of what is really there.