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Luke 6:27-36

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27 "“But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you, 28 "bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 "If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer the other also. And if anyone takes away your coat, don’t hold back your shirt either. 30 "Give to everyone who asks you, and from someone who takes your things, don’t ask for them back. 31 "Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them. 32 "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 "If you do what is good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 "And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners to be repaid in full. 35 "But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High. For he is gracious to the ungrateful and evil. 36 "Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.” ()
Amen, this is God’s Word.
This section that was just read is a portion from the Sermon on the mount, which started in v17.
Following the designation of the 12 apostles, Jesus now focuses on the identity and character of those who belong to this new community of God’s people.
The discussion begins by
outlining or defining God’s people (vv. 17–26) and
centers on their distinct ethic (vv. 27–42).
It ends by calling for people to properly respond to Jesus and his gospel (vv. 43–49).
For our purposes tonight, we want to look at what it means to love our enemies.
This is the grand characteristic of the gospel- LOVE.
Let’s look first to 1. the nature and extent of Christian love.
27 "“But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you, 28 "bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” ()
So if we ask, “Lord Jesus who are we to love?” What answer does He give His followers? (v27)
to do good to those who hate them,
to bless those who curse them, and to
pray for those who ill-treat them.
Their love was to be like his own toward sinners—unselfish, & unattached or uninfluenced by any hope of return.
Jesus’ words, “Love your enemies,” lack any commonly held ethical base and
can only be understood as an exhortation to conduct
inspired by God’s own graciousness (vv 35d–36).
This is not love for all humanity in general, but more specifically
for those who stand in opposition to Jesus’ followers—
28 "bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 "If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer the other also. And if anyone takes away your coat, don’t hold back your shirt either. 30"Give to everyone who asks you, and from someone who takes your things, don’t ask for them back. ” ()
Green, J. B. (1997). The Gospel of Luke (p. 272). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
28 "bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 "If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer the other also. And if anyone takes away your coat, don’t hold back your shirt either. 30"Give to everyone who asks you, and from someone who takes your things, don’t ask for them back. ” ()
Those who are in the community of faith, we are to
give up much and
endure more
for the sake of showing kindness and avoiding strife.
In this they were to be like their Master—long-suffering, meek, and lowly of heart.
I also want you to see in these verses that the centrality of the love-command is marked by its appearance as a heading.
So the heading is “Love your enemies”
That heading is followed by references to particular actions that embody its content.
So, so is expressed in doing good—that is, not by passivity in the face of opposition but in productivity:
doing good,
blessing,
praying,
offering the second cheek and
the shirt along with the coat.
2. A golden principle for settling uncertain cases.
31 "Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them.” ()
What would it look like if our church lived by this verse?
Do you like the idea of being loved and thought of by others in the church?
Then you love and think of others in the church.
Do you like the idea of being discipled so that you can grow into Christ?
Then you disciple and mature others to help them to grow into Christ!
Isn’t this to walk in the steps of our blessed Savior?
What if He dealt with you the same way that you dealt with Him this past week?
Would He ignore you?
3. To Care for their neighbor in the better way than worldly people do.
32 "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 "If you do what is good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 "And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners to be repaid in full.” ()
The word “sinners” would be those whose behaviors mark them as outsider to the community.
Their lives are marked by, “If you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours!” It’s love mixed with manipulation!
What do you hear in the words: Yeah, we’re leaving the church because while we were gone, no one sent a card or even bothered to call!
Though tragic and wrong for a church body to neglect a person like that, it’s still wrong to leave a church family because of that!
Underneath that statement is: I’m here to be served and if I don’t get the service that i’m entitled to, I’ll leave!
This is how sinners love, not Christians!
We are shown that the nature of the loving attitude of God’s people is to surpass sinners in three ways or three illustrations.
Even people who own no allegiance to God practise some virtues.
They love those who love them.
They repay good deeds done to them.
They lend to those in need if they can be sure of getting their money back or
perhaps rely on getting loans in return when they themselves are in need.
Morris, L. (1988). Luke: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 3, pp. 150–151). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
If Christians do these things they are doing no more than the world does.
It is easy for believers to congratulate themselves on some virtue they fancy they perceive in themselves.
But before they can claim that they are obeying Christ’s command
they should ask whether they are doing
anything more than sinners do in similar circumstances.
As a church, we should never be content with that sort of love.
If we are content with such love, we much realize that our practice doesn’t rise an inch above the level of an
atheist,
nudist,
homosexual,
pagan, person.
They all do the same.
4. Behavior toward neighbors should be based on God’s example.
35 "But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High. For he is gracious to the ungrateful and evil. 36 "Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.” ()
Love others and have no expectation of getting back in return, then your reward will be great and thus prove we’re God’s children.
We should remember that our Father is kind to the ungrateful and wicked (v35).
Think of the extent of unacknowledged mercies to mankind. They couldn’t ever be counted by man.
Every year He pours out His blessings on millions who never honor Him or
Ryle, J. C. (1997). Luke (). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.
turn to Him in gratitude
to the Giver of all things.
Yet, every year these blessings continue.
God’s mercy endures forever.
His loving-kindness never tires.
His compassions never fail.
It ought to be the same with us, the children of God.
The thanklessness and ingratitude of others
should not make us slacken or lower our hands from deeds of love and mercy.
Like our Father in heaven, we should never be tired of doing good.
So, if we’re thirsting for God and increasingly being led by the Scriptures, how then ought we to love?
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