Luke 6:27-36 (ESV)
“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. 32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 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 get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
Our lives should reflect the attitude of the Lord! Believers respond this way not so that we can be the church but because we are the church.
To be merciful means to refuse to inflict just vengeance, as well as to show compassion.
Have you ever experienced a moment in your life where you completely failed?
Luke 6:37-38 (ESV)
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Jesus not only instructed His followers to be loving and merciful, He also went on to explain to them what true love requires.
Luke 6:37 (ESV)
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;
Judging a person doesn’t define who they are, it defines who you are!
Romans 2:1-5 (ESV)
Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. 2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. 3 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.
Jesus teaches here about the attitudes that would describe His followers. Jesus explained that His witnesses must not judge or condemn but that they should be willing to forgive.
1 Corinthians 4:5 (ESV)
Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.
What are the obstacles to obey the Lord here?
Commentary – While the word “judge” (Greek, krino) can mean to evaluate or analyze, Jesus did not mean His people should refuse to think critically or make decisions, nor was He attempting to abolish the legal system or disciplinary measures. Believers must be discerning and make certain judgments. For example, Jesus said to expose false teachers and to admonish others in order to help them. Paul taught that we should exercise church discipline. Jesus was referring to the judgmental attitude that focuses on others’ faults, tearing them down. Harsh judgment often leads to an attitude of condemnation, and this also must not characterize Jesus’ followers. One cannot love and have a judgmental, condemnatory spirit.
Galatians 6:1 (ESV)
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
Christ did not give us license to take God’s place as judge. Those who don’t judge and condemn others usually find that they will return the favor. Those who refuse to forgive demonstrate that they don’t understand what God has done for them.
When you are made aware of another believer being involved in some immoral behavior, how do you react?
What is necessary to share Jesus’ example here?
We should not look at all of these challenging commands as rules to obey. They express an attitude of the heart that reflects itself positively when others are negative and generously when others are selfish.
Luke 6:38 (ESV)
give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
We are reminded here that we reap what we sow and in the amount that we sow!
2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (ESV)
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:11 (ESV)
You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.
Matthew 18:21-35 (ESV)
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. 23 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. 35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”