Archive for July 6th, 2017

Luke 6

Luke 6 has Jesus teaching in the synagogue and then selecting the Twelve who become His Apostles.  He did that after “he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God”.  This was one of the biggest decisions in Jesus’ ministry – the selection of the Twelve who would lead the early church and create the foundation for what it means to be a Christ Follower for all eternity.  He selected twelve ordinary men whom God used in extraordinary ways to change the world.  The common wisdom would have been to choose very differently, but Jesus knew the potential of each and followed God’s direction in their selection.

Then He continues to teach some important lessons.  “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them”.  These also are not the words of the world, but a higher standard of love and caring.  This is sometimes referred to as the golden rule.  Jesus tells those who would follow Him to live in a different way than the world has ever known.

He goes on to give more clarity in how we should treat each other.  “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you”.  These words are also counter cultural to how the world would tell you to live.  Rather than press people down, we need to set them free.  Rather than hoard and collect stuff for ourselves, we need to be givers who have open hands.  If we love the way Jesus loved, we will receive with that same measure.  His words in other places validate that when He says ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive’.

As humans, we tend to focus on what is wrong in other’s lives rather than look in the mirror and address the challenges we have.  “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye”?  That’s how we tend to live – we see all sorts of things wrong with everyone else but won’t even slow down to take a look at our own life.  Jesus is direct and says “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye”.

We have to address our own issues before even thinking about focusing on others.  The reality is that “each tree is known by its own fruit….for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks”.  How we live and speak reveals who we really are as people.  The real question we must answer is “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you”?  Obedience is the true measure of how we are doing as a Christ Follower.  It reveals just how serious we are in our walk with Him.  We can’t say we want to follow Jesus and ignore what He has taught through His Word.  If He is to be our Lord, then He has to guide our actions and thoughts.  We can’t be a Christ Follower without following!

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