Living As God's People

Luke 6:20-31

SS Lesson for 01/12/2014

 

Devotional Scripture:  2 Peter 3:9-14

Introduction

Overview and Approach to Lesson

The lesson examines how we should Live as God's People. The study's aim is to note what it takes to live as a child of God and to show that there is a profound difference between God's people and the world. The study's application is to see and follow specific examples for Christian conduct and living.

 

Key Verse:  Luke 6:27

27 "But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

 

Commentary from the Bible Knowledge Commentary

Jesus mentioned seven aspects of unconditional love. These actions, not done naturally by human nature, require supernatural enabling—and are thus proof of true righteousness:

(1) Love your enemies.

(2) Do good to those who hate you.

(3) Bless those who curse you.

(4) Pray for those who mistreat you.

(5) Do not retaliate (v. 29a).

(6) Give freely (vv. 29b-30).

(7) Treat others the way you want to be treated (v. 31).

This kind of love marks one off as distinctive (vv. 32-34), and as having the same characteristics as the heavenly Father (v. 35).

 

Jesus then taught His followers a fundamental principle of the universe—what one sows he will reap (vv. 36-38; cf. Gal. 6:7). Jesus outlined five areas which were proof of the sowing and reaping theme, mentioned so often in Scripture:

(1) Mercy will lead to mercy (Luke 6:36). The disciples were exhorted to have the same merciful attitude God displayed toward them.

(2) Judgment will lead to judgment (v. 37a).

(3) Condemnation will lead to condemnation (v. 37b).

(4) Pardon will lead to pardon (v. 37c).

(5) Giving will lead to giving (v. 38). It is simply a fact of life that certain attitudes and actions often reflect back on the individual.

 

Commentary from the Bible Expositor and Illuminator

This key verse text was spoken by the Lord Jesus before a large multitude of people (Luke 6:17). It is an early example of the kind of teaching Jesus proclaimed in His public ministry. It was revolutionary teaching. The Lord wonderfully contrasted the ethics and practices of God's people to the common practices of the world. Living as God's people in an ungodly world is never easy. We must welcome God's reign over our lives just as Jesus taught so many years ago. In this key verse text we are taught by the Lord what to do with those who are our enemies. The term for "enemies" here is just a general term for someone who is an opponent. The reason is not stated. There might be many reasons we find ourselves with opponents. Jesus further described them as those who "hate" us. This brings emotion

into it. Emotion is not always rational or even plausible. So we may have opponents for many reasons, including the fact that we are serving the Lord Jesus in our lives. Some will not like this. Some will develop other reasons for becoming our enemies. Since bitter emotions and opposition will enter into the picture, what are we to do about this? Jesus said we are to practice love toward our enemies. This is a powerful ethical demand for those who want to live for God in this world. It certainly is not easy to carry out. It goes against fallen human nature. It can offend our sense of justice and fair play. But this is what the Lord asks of us. Are we going to let Him rule over us or not? Are we going to love our enemies as He instructed? Let us consider the meaning of "love." Love should not be thought of only as an emotion. We may, in fact, not have good feelings toward those who have wronged us or slandered us or opposed us for no good reason. We may look at people who are doing the devil's work in this world and not have happy thoughts toward them. We rightly see them as enemies. But the Lord is not asking us to have warm feelings toward them. He is asking us to love them. Love in this context refers to an unconditional willingness to do good to those who may be our enemies. So, yes, we are to love our enemies. We are to go against the pull of our sinful flesh. We are to submit ourselves to God and advance His rule and kingdom by being utterly different from the world around us. How do our enemies view us? Do we retaliate against them? Do we treat them as they have treated us? Do they see something different at work in our lives? Do they see the love of Christ and the patience of the godly? This is what the Lord is asking of us. This is what He rewards. This is what advances His name, rule, and kingdom. So loving our enemies is not primarily designed to offer a pragmatic solution for our troubled relationships, although it may be helpful in that regard. It is meant to give evidence of the presence of God in our lives and to advance His name and kingdom. We are to deal with others as God has dealt with us—in love and mercy. It is vital that we live differently as God's people in the world. This is what testifies of the reign and kingdom of God in the midst of the world.

 

Approach to the Major Outlines in Lesson

The major outline of the lesson came from the Bible Expositor and Illuminator and from the points revealed by the study of the Scriptural text.             

     

Verse

Phrase

Commentary

20

Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples, and said: "Blessed are you"

Four Beatitudes

24

But woe to you

Four Woes

27

"But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies"

Imperatives for Love

 

Lesson Introduction and Background

From the NIV Standard Lesson Commentary

One of the most famous blocks of teaching in history is Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew 5-7. Much of the material in that sermon is found in the other Gospels, and an example of that is in Luke 6, today's text. The setting of Luke 6:17 has Jesus coming down from a mountain to teach "on a level place," or a plain. Therefore what follows is often referred to as Jesus' Sermon on the Plain. The apparent difference in geography from Matthew 5:1, combined with differences in the contents of Matthew 5-7 and Luke 6:17-49, lead some to believe that the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain are different-yet-similar sermons, given in different locations. On the other hand, the descriptions of "a mountainside" (Matthew 5:1) and "a level place" (Luke 6:17) can refer to the same location when we realize that mountainous areas have level places here and there. Also, the different-yet-­similar content of Matthew 5-7 and Luke 6:17-49 does not necessarily indicate different sermons by Jesus, since the Holy Spirit-inspired writers of the Gospels are known to abbreviate, summarize, and otherwise condense their accounts of Jesus' ministry (see John 21:25). In any case, we should approach Luke's Sermon on the Plain in its own right. Delivered during Jesus' first general tour of Galilee (Luke 4:44), Jesus' popularity was rising as large crowds flocked to him (as in today's lesson). But opposition was also rising, as we saw last week.

 

Major Theme Analysis

(Scriptural Text from the New King James Version; cross-references from the NIV)

Four Beatitudes (Luke 6:20-23)

 

20 Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples, and said: "Blessed are you poor, For yours is the kingdom of God.

21 Blessed are you who hunger now, For you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, For you shall laugh.

22 Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man's sake.

23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.

 

Blessed through being in the kingdom of God (20)

Being poor in spirit means having a spiritual need that we cannot supply (From the NIV Standard Lesson Commentary)

One who is poor in spirit feels deep within himself that he is spiritually poor and needy—with a need that he cannot supply for himself. The kingdom of heaven belongs to those poor in spirit, because they are willing to receive it. They are willing, even eager, to be ruled by Jesus the King. They exert themselves in doing His will, and they find joy in doing it.

Poor in spirit means humility (from the UBS Handbook Series)

Poor in spirit is understood by some few interpreters to mean "poor for the sake of their spirit." The reference would then be to persons who impoverish themselves for the sake of strengthening their spiritual condition. But it is more natural to take the Greek phrase following "poor" with the meaning "in the realm of," after the analogy of such expressions as "pure in heart" (Matt 5:8) or "humble in spirit" (Ps 34:18 RSV: "crushed in spirit"), rather than with the meaning of "for the sake of."

Only those who do the will of God will be in the kingdom of God (Matt 7:21)

21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Christians have been given the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God  (Matt 13:11)

11 He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.

Unless we change and become like little children, we will never enter the kingdom of God (Matt 18:3-4)

3 And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

 

Blessed through being filled with righteousness (21)

Hunger is a compulsion to obtain (From the NIV Standard Lesson Commentary)

A greater blessing than hunger for food is hunger after righteousness, or for righteousness. Hunger for food compels us to get some food; hunger for righteousness compels us to get some righteousness. How do we obtain righteousness? There are two ways. One is by simply doing right. We can try to keep that up every day, but it is not enough. So God has provided a second way to obtain righteousness—a way by which our righteousness can be made complete. Speaking of this better way, Paul wrote that he desired to be found in Christ, not having his own righteousness, which would come from the law, but a righteousness that comes from God by virtue of faith in Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:9). So by God’s gracious forgiveness, we can be filled with the righteousness of Christ. But that will not take place unless we are hungry and thirsty—unless we really want to be righteous.

A righteousness that comes through faith (Rom 3:22)

22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,

A righteousness that comes from being under grace (Rom 6:12-14)

 13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

A righteousness that comes from Christ being in us (Rom 8:10)

10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.

A righteousness that comes from Jesus ending the penalty of sin (Rom 10:4)

4 Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

A righteousness that is part of the kingdom of God (Rom 14:17)

17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,

A righteousness that is part of the armor of God (Eph 6:14)

14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,

 

Blessed through being comforted enough to laugh (21)

Sorrow over spiritual shortcomings (From the NIV Standard Lesson Commentary)

The tax collector in Jesus’ parable offers a perfect example of what this Beatitude means. He mourned over his sins; beating his breast (Luke 18:13) was the traditional expression of deep sorrow. He went home “justified,” or forgiven (Luke 18:14). What blessed comfort!

Calling on God relieves sorrow because God is compassionate  (Ps 116:3-5)

3 The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow. 4 Then I called on the name of the LORD: "O LORD, save me!" 5 The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.

God promises joy in the place of tears  (Ps 126:5-6)

5 Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. 6 He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.

God is the father of Compassion (2 Cor 1:3-4)

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

 

Blessed through being rewarded for enduring persecution (22-23)

Persecution is mistreatment for serving God (From the NIV Standard Lesson Commentary)

Jesus’ life was faultless, yet evildoers were constantly plotting to kill Him (Matthew 26:3, 4; John 5:18; 7:1). He warned His disciples that they would be persecuted, too (John 15:20; 16:2). Here the general promise of verse 10 is applied to the disciples whom Jesus was teaching (vv. 1, 2). Is it not applicable to us as well? Notice, however, that there is no promise of blessing unless the persecution comes for Jesus’ sake. If we suffer because we have done wrong, or because we have not been poor in spirit (v. 3) or meek (v. 5) or merciful (v. 7), then we have no blessing (cf. 1 Peter 4:15). The evil spoken against us must be false, not accurate. The persecution of God’s people did not begin with Jesus and His disciples. God’s prophets had been mistreated long before this. Consider such examples as Elijah (1 Kings 19:2, 13, 14), Micaiah (1 Kings 22:26, 27), and Jeremiah (Jeremiah 37:15; 38:6).

Persecution for the sake of Jesus happens because those who persecute do not know God  (John 15:20-21)

20 Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.

Persecution cannot separate us from the love of Jesus  (Rom 8:35)

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

We may be persecuted, but we will never be abandoned by God  (2 Cor 4:8-9)

8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

The momentary persecutions experienced now are nothing compared to the glory that awaits  (2 Cor 4:17)

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

We must count persecutions as joy because they aid in perseverance  (James 1:2-3)

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

We must never be surprised by persecution  (1 Peter 4:12-13)

12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

In our persecution, we have not shed blood  (Heb 12:4)

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

 

Four Woes (Luke 6:24-26)

 

24 "But woe to you who are rich, For you have received your consolation.

25 Woe to you who are full, For you shall hunger. Woe to you who laugh now, For you shall mourn and weep.

26 Woe to you when all men speak well of you, For so did their fathers to the false prophets.

 

Woe to the rich (24)

Don't put trust in wealth (Ps 49:6-7)

6 those who trust in their wealth and boast of their great riches?  7 No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him

Be on guard against greed (Luke 12:15)

15 Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."

Do not put hope in money, only hope in God (1 Tim 6:17-19)

17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

 

Woe to those who are satisfied with worldly things (25)

Beware of having too much and disowning God (Prov 30:7-9)

7 "Two things I ask of you, O Lord; do not refuse me before I die:  8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. 9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the Lord?' Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.

Learn to be content with what we have (Phil 4:11-12)

11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

Beware of failing to remember God when things are going good (Deut 6:10-12)

10 When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you — a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build,  11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant — then when you eat and are satisfied,  12 be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

 

Woe to those who are happy in this world (25)

Just because one seems happy, there can be grief internally (Prov 14:13)

13 Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief.

Remember momentary pleasure means nothing (Eccl 2:1-3)

1 I thought in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good." But that also proved to be meaningless. 2 "Laughter," I said, "is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?" 3 I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly — my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives.

Without God one's laughter could turn to mourning (James 4:8-10)

8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

 

Woe to those who are seeking approval of man (26)

We are approved by who we belong to (John 15:18-19)

18 "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

Approval of men comes from a worldly viewpoint (1 John 4:5-6)

5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

It is much better to be praised by God than man (1 Thess 2:4-6)

4 On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts. 5 You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed — God is our witness. 6 We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else.

 

Imperatives for Love (Luke 6:27-31)

 

27 "But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.

29 To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either.

30 Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back.

31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.

 

Love enemies (27)

Love Your Enemy (from the NIV Standard Lesson Commentary)

Dirk Willems was an Anabaptist living in Holland in 1569. The Anabaptists were a persecuted religious minority under the Spanish rulers, who were still trying to enforce a Roman Catholic monopoly in the country. Willems was thrown into prison to await trial as a heretic. The prison diet was inadequate, and Willems lost a considerable amount of weight. Knowing his life was at stake, he made a rope out of knotted rags and lowered himself out of an upper window. Then he ran! A prison guard saw Willems and pursued. Willems was able to cross over a frozen pond safely; his lightweight, emaciated body did not break through the thin ice. But his pursuer, much heavier, broke through the ice. He tried to get out on his own but was unsuccessful. Willems heard the man’s cries. But Willems knew that if he tried to help the pursuer, he most likely would be caught again. He could not let the man drown. So he returned and helped the man to safety. Then the guard promptly hauled Willems back to prison. Shortly thereafter he was burned at the stake for his “heresy” of being an Anabaptist. Willems exemplified exactly what Jesus was talking about. Willems loved his enemy to the extent that it cost him his own life. Jesus’ words are easily acknowledged, but rarely implemented. Dirk Willems is a marvelous exception.

Love enemies by praying for them (Matt 5:43-45)

44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Love enemies by doing good to them (Luke 6:35-36)

35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Love enemies by loving them as we love ourselves (Rom 13:8-10)

9 The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself."   10 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Love enemies by serving them (Gal 5:13-14)

13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

Love enemies as we have been taught by God  (1 Thess 4:9)

9 Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.

Love enemies by defending them and sharing with them (1 John 3:16-19)

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

 

Bless those who hate us (28)

Bless those who hate us by blessing them (Rom 12:14)

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

Bless those who hate us by keeping no record of wrongs (1 Cor 13:4-8)

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.

Bless those who hate us by forgiving and living in unity  (Col 3:13-14)

13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Bless those who hate us by being kind to them (1 Cor 4:12-13)

12 We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless ; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.

Bless those who hate us by meeting their needs (Prov 25:21-22)

21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. 22 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.

 

Pray for those who hurt us (28-29)

Pray that Christians be rescued from them (Rom 15:31)

31 Pray that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there,

Pray for deliverance (2 Thess 3:2)

2 And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith.

Pray that God grant them repentance (2 Tim 2:24-26)

24 And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

Pray for their disgrace (Lam 3:30)

30 Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him, and let him be filled with disgrace.

Pray for them knowing that we have a better and lasting future  (Heb 10:34)

34 You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.

 

Give to those who take from us (30)

Give because they may be in need (Rom 12:13)

13 Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Give by working to be able to give to them (Eph 4:28)

28 He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.

Give by doing good deeds and sharing with others (1 Tim 6:17-19)

17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

Give by sharing with them (Heb 13:16)

16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

Give by giving with cheerfulness (2 Cor 9:7)

7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

Give by supporting the weak (Acts 20:35)

35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"

 

Treat people the way we want to be treated (31)

Treat people right because this sums up obedience to God's word (Matt 7:12)

12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

God holds us accountable for how we treat everyone because He created all and therefore requires justice (Job 31:13-15)

13 "If I have denied justice to my menservants and maidservants when they had a grievance against me, 14 what will I do when God confronts me? What will I answer when called to account? 15 Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?

Treat people right because we are accountable for how we treat others (Matt 18:32-34)

32 "Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' 34 In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

In the judgment of God, He does not forget the treatment of the poor (Heb 6:10)

10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

In our treatment of others we are to remember that God is the Creator and Master of us all (Eph 6:9)

9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.

It is wise to ensure our treatment of others is consistent with biblical principles (Col 4:5)

5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.

 

Conclusion and Other Thoughts

Concluding Thought From Bob Deffinbaugh

From the series: Luke: The Gospel of the Gentiles

 

The point of Luke 6:20-26 is clear. Men must make a decision as to their values and their priorities. We must all choose to forsake some things in the pursuit of others. Not all men must forsake wealth to follow Christ, although all must forsake the love of money. Life involves choices. We must choose what in life to pursue. Every choice has both benefits (blessings) and a price to pay. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news of a gift, the gift of eternal life, which is of infinite value. To have it is worth the loss of anything else. The price is that we must acknowledge our sins and trust only in Christ. We must forsake all other gods and follow Christ alone. If such a choice comes at the price of poverty, hunger, sadness and rejection, it is well worth it, and it is still blessed. May God grant that each of us may be disciples of our Lord. That we may find following Him better than anything else life has to offer. Jesus never minimized the cost of discipleship. He didn’t need to, because it is the pearl of great price. Intimacy with God is the greatest of all blessings. All other “blessings” are but trash in comparison. May God’s values and those of the gospel be ours. It is not the pursuit of riches that is wrong, but the pursuit of false riches. Let these words of the Lord of Glory to the church at Laodicea be a guide to us as well (Rev. 3:17-18). Let us all purse riches, but let those be the riches which only our Lord can give.

 

Entire sermons could be preached on Luke 6:27-30, but our approach precludes this. Let us begin with an overview of what Jesus is calling for in this section.

(1) Jesus is giving instructions to all of those who would be His followers, His disciples. Verse 27 informs us that Jesus spoke these words to “all who hear.” This may be another way of saying, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Nevertheless, I believe that Jesus is telling those who would follow Him what practices are required of them.

(2) The practices which our Lord requires here all pertain to our “enemy,” the one who hates, curses, mistreats, attacks, and takes advantage of us. Our enemy, I think we can say, is the one who is not seeking our best interest at their expense, but who is striving to achieve their best interest at our expense.

(3) The practices which Jesus requires are all responses to a specific evil done to us personally by our enemy. The actions our Lord requires are responses to personal offenses against us.

(4) The evils done against us may be due to the fact that we are followers of Christ, although this is not clearly stated. The responses are clearly required of Christ’s followers.

(5) The actions (responses) our Lord requires are those which are contrary to Judaism, to our culture, and to our own fallen nature. The actions which Jesus requires are supernatural responses. We would not do them normally (motivation), nor could we (means, power). Thus, the actions set the follower of Jesus apart from all others.

(6) Generally speaking, the actions required of our Lord necessitate the surrender of our personal rights. To put it in other words, we could file charges against our enemy for their doing to us what they have done.

(7) The list of practices which Jesus laid down here is suggestive, not all inclusive. Matthew, for example, gives us additional matters to consider, which were a part of this same sermon (cf. Matt. 5:41). Jesus did not intend for this list of required responses to be considered complete, but rather suggestive. These are but examples of the way in which a more general principle: Do not return evil for evil, but overcome evil with good.

(8) The things Jesus required require faith and supernatural enablement. These are not acts which one does in his own strength, in order to be saved, but are acts which one who has been saved does, due to the new mind and the new strength Christ gives through His Spirit.

(9) The things which our Lord here commands could be abused and may need to be set aside in order to carry out other instructions. The Christian life is not simple, as the Pharisees sought to make it (they really complicated it further). The Christian seldom acts on just one principle at a time, but on several, all held in balance and tension. We are thus something like a juggler, trying to keep several principles in the air at the same time by our deeds.

(10) The practice of the commands of our Lord given here relate to the “blessings” pronounced by our Lord above. Doing as Jesus commands may make us poor. We may object, “But I’d go broke doing this!” Jesus’ words above, “Blessed are you who are poor … ” would become very relevant.

(11) Knowing that one had made the commitment to practice these precepts would have a great impact on his conduct. For example, if I knew that I were not going to strike a person back who hit me, I would be encouraged thereby to become a blessed “peacemaker” and “gentle” person (cf. Matt. 5:5, 9). Those who choose to carry firearms in their cars know that this does not tend to make them meek, just as those who choose a more pacifistic lifestyle tend to avoid developing chips on their shoulders. The conscious chose to obey Jesus’ commands here will also tend us to develop other godly characteristics.

 

From URL: https://bible.org/seriespage/defining-discipleship-luke-612-26 & https://bible.org/seriespage/tough-love-luke-627-49

 

Practical Points from the Bible Expositor and Illuminator

1.      Recognizing spiritual poverty is a must in order to experience God's eternal riches in Christ (Luke 6:20)

2.      To hunger after God should be our first desire (vs. 21)

3.      True sorrow can lead to God's joy (2 Cor. 7:10)

4.      God rewards suffering for Him, bringing His joy to those afflicted (Luke 6:22-23)

5.      Trusting in wealth, pleasure, or fame brings only death (vss. 24-26)

6.      Be Christlike to those who are your enemies (vss. 27-30)

7.      Enjoy living for the Lord in His power (vs. 31)