Seventh Sunday After Epiphany | February 24, 2019
27 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. 28 Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. 30 Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. 31 Do to others as you would like them to do to you.
32 “If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! 33 And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! 34 And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return.
35 “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. 36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.
37 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”
Luke 6:27-38 New Living Translation (NLT)
We continue our journey through the Gospel of Luke. This week’s passage picks up where we left off last week. Jesus is teaching to the crowd. In last week’s text, we looked at Luke’s version of the Beatitudes, and this week we pick up on a similar teaching. For us, these words cause us to gulp a little. Jesus is teaching on the Kingdom, but this teaching is not at all what we are used to – Jesus talks about going the extra mile – with our enemies – with those we don’t like.
Yesterday we were watching a video from The Gathering – which was a gathering of Wesleyan pastors in Orlando. John Maxwell was one of the speakers and I had forgotten about this set of lines: (I don’t have them exactly right)
- God loves you
- God loves me
- God everybody
- God love people we don’t like! (ouch)
And it’s so true isn’t it. Jesus says that we are to love our enemies. He is our example – he did it for us.
For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.Romans 5:10
We were enemies of Jesus before we were saved – and Christ died to save us from death. Like I said, Jesus’ words go down tough – they are a tough piece of meat to chew on and yet, this is how we are to respond to those who have something against us. It’s not easy. Ultimately Jesus says, “Do to others as you would like them to do to you.”
Jesus goes on to say that it is easy to love those who already love you. Why should you get credit for that. Sinners can do that. But to be a believer – to be a Christ-follower requires so much more. Jesus goes on to say that we should lend without expecting repayment. It’s not easy to give and not expect something in return – after all our whole economic system is set up that way.
Wow! that is some tough teaching and then as if all that wasn’t enough Jesus adds these words. “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. Give and you will receive.” I’m really not sure I can add anything to what Jesus has taught us in this passage. As I heard one of my professors say, “We are educated well beyond the level of our obedience.” My challenged is simply to put Jesus’ words in to practice. Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. Let’s walk in the footsteps of Jesus.