Luke: What Credit is That to You?

Read: Luke 6:27-49

Love your enemies, don’t judge others, the mouth speaks what the heart is full of, here the words and do what Jesus commanded.

Somewhere there’s a sign for the wall with these short phrases that summarize so much of Jesus’ teaching. The original audience that heard these words for the very first time were amazed at the teaching and very likely confused by the concepts. I’m confident that Jesus unpacked each point carefully with the crowds of people gathered around.

Here’s the main point: The love that Jesus is preaching is a love of action, not merely words. We are to take action and do what He says, not just sit and take notes.

You can stop reading now. That’s the gist of this post.

Love Your Enemies Luke 6:27-36

There are those who love you, who are good to you, and those who you will lend things to — even those who are completely evil. Big deal! Jesus makes it clear: we are to love our enemies.

If He said this just once, or with some caveats, we could walk away from the idea, but Jesus makes it clear that His ministry is about action, about doing things that are uncomfortable by earthly standards.

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Luke 6:35

Jesus sets the bar high. It’s no wonder that the number of disciples thinned out as He preached. But to those who heard these edicts and responded, life on earth changed. What if a group of people decided to adopt these principles as they went about their daily routines? Could we change the culture around us?

Judging Others: Luke 6:37-42

Don’t judge or condemn. Practice forgiveness and give generously. Rest assured that your reward is greater than you can appreciate. This is easy to type, much harder to put into action because these are essentially responses to events.

Easy to do if we stay at home, surround ourselves with friends and family, avoid those who are difficult to get along with. That’s the secret, right? Nope. I don’t believe we were called to live the “safe” life. I think we were meant to get dirty, to go out and change the world by getting into the mess, joining the fray, making mistakes, risking too much for the sake of Christ — all based on love of others.

It’s much harder to withhold judgment when we get out into the real world where sinners outnumber the saints. But isn’t this what Jesus expects us to do?

A Tree and Its Fruit: Luke 6:43-45

Right after talking about judging others, Jesus is careful to remind us that our actions reveal our heart:

Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. Luke 6:44

It doesn’t do any good to wear a shirt that says, “I’m not judging you!” What we do will ultimately be seen, the results speak for themselves.

The standard is high, some days too high for me. We sang the song, Seasons, yesterday. It reminds me that we go through times of trial, cold winters that linger far too long. I needed to hear that…well, perhaps not past tense, I need to know that. Winter can be hard. Branches are bare, nothing green in sight. We need to be confident that the roots are being nourished even when the branches are brittle, that spring is sure to come–eventually. Accept this promise, help me to know Jesus is always faithful.

The Wise and Foolish Builders: Luke 6:46-49

There is a way to build a house, to create anything that will last. It requires digging deep and starting with a solid foundation. Sometimes this isn’t as easy to do as we would think. Some people keep digging deeper, looking for the rock, caught up in the effort, but getting nowhere. Perhaps we dig in the wrong place at times. Lord, help me to know when it’s time to relocate the building!

Lots of words. Random thoughts. Now it’s time for action. Lord, help us to be a people of movement, confident You are there to support and guide us. Jesus, we love You. Help us to go and share that with others, especially those who are not like us!

Thoughts about serving others

This link includes a list of posts about Serving the Least, the Lost, and the Lonely.

My prayer is for you to join me on this journey. Subscribe to this blog below to get an email when a new post is available.

Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.

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