“More Than Authentic”
Our latest edition of Light and Life Magazine has an article titled, “The Power and Problem of Authenticity”. The point of this article is two-fold. 1st, authenticity is important for Christianity. 2nd, authenticity is not an end point for Christians. Popeye said, ‘I am what I am”, with no intention of changing.
Luke 6:27-38 A greater call to action!
After our Holy Week observances we return to our text in Luke, re-engaging Jesus teaching known as the Sermon on the Plane. Let’s be perfectly blunt here: What Jesus calls us to, is difficult, humbling, and against our nature.
Verse 27 sets our tone: Love! This is the primary attribute of Jesus and His kingdom_______
____________________________________________________________________________ Jesus doesn’t start with the easier examples and then work His way up, He starts with the things that make us cringe, the fingernails on the blackboard example – “love your enemies.” ____________________________________________________________________________ Jesus single command to disciples, “that you love one another that your joy may be full.” Nothing kills joy like resentment. Nothing stifles growth like a grudge.
The description that Jesus gives of this love is depicted in this sort of ‘top ten things I don’t want to do’ list. Listen to this list without clenching your jaw:
Love your enemies – do good to those who hate you. ___________________________
Bless those who curse you. ________________________________________________
Pray for those who spitefully use you. _______________________________________
To those who strike you – give them another chance. ___________________________
Whoever takes away your property – give them even more. ______________________
So verse 31 is well known, we call it in some form, the golden rule. “And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.” ____________________________________
Jesus is directing our thinking here into how the kingdom works, not how the world works. The IVP Commentary says this about what Jesus is teaching here. The topic is love: “This love cannot be reduced merely to the "golden rule"; it is love that is golden even when everything around is not.”
The Lord is moving us here from self-serving ideas to God-serving ideas and of course Jesus is our example: “Greater love has no man than this, that He lay down His life for His friends.”
“The greatest in the Kingdom will be the servant of all.” “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” God’s love is Holy love!
The golden rule is just a bridge because the Lord then takes us through a series of challenges to assumptions that we might hold, part of that rationalizing thinking.
Loving the lovely is not a great accomplishment. (vs 32) Loving those who love us.
Like for like treatment is not meeting the standard either. (vs. 33&34)
Love do good and lend – expecting nothing in return. (vs. 35) Accomplish this and you will give witness that you are sons of the Most High.
Mercy is an attribute of this love and look at the Lord’s example. (vs. 36)
Verse 37 points us to the Lord’s example relative to judgment, condemnation and forgiveness.
Verse 38 is a statement of a marvelous kingdom of God principle: “Give, and it will be given to you.” God is the master economist and His resources are without end.
STAY IN THE LOOP
GET THE LATEST NEWS, EVENTS, AND SERMONS DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX