Luke 6:20-42

Luke  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  31:59
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Good morning.
This is going to be a tough sermon this morning.
Some of the sermons in Daniel were tough because the passages took a lot of study and then I had to figure out how to relay to you what I learned clearly and within the time frame.
This is hard in a completely different way.
The words, “love your enemies” are not very hard to understand.
I don’t really need to go into a long explanation of what love means or who your enemies are.
A lot of study of the original Greek is not going to clarify these concepts.
This sermon is hard because it is not within the natural person to love his enemies.
It is most unnatural.
And unfortunately I am no expert.
When I see blatantly hypocritical and diabolically evil politicians on TV, my mind doesn’t jump to “they need Jesus”,
The god of this world has blinded their eyes, I should pray for them.
My immediate reaction is more like...
Luke 9:54 ESV
54 And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?”
I don’t actually go on then to pray that because I read ahead and saw that...
Luke 9:55 ESV
55 But he turned and rebuked them.
but I am prone to flare up with anger - some of it may be righteous anger, but I am sure not all of it is.
You all are going to want to fire me, but I will go ahead and confess some more.
When I see people blocking bridges or other roadways and threatening motorists, I start to fantasize about investing in a really big, old, solid truck with oversized tires.
because I really, really need this sermon!
Let’s try to humbly learn together and then, by the power of the Holy Spirit, let’s practice what it says.
We will start today in verse 20 of Luke chapter 6, but you can go back and see a list of the disciples that Jesus called to be apostles in v.14-16.
(you can memorize those names and make yourself feel better about not loving your enemies…)
Before we get to loving your enemies, let’s warm up with Jesus showing us the priorities of the kingdom minded disciple.
Please read with me starting in v. 20
Luke 6:20–26 ESV
20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21 “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. 22 “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! 23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets. 24 “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. 25 “Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry. “Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. 26 “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.
Jesus’ audience would have thought being rich was an indication of the blessing of God and being poor meant that you were out of favor with God.
Prosperity preachers will tell you the same thing today.
They run exactly contrary to the teaching of Jesus when they do.

Poverty + Jesus = blessed

The word translated “blessed” here could also be rightly translated “happy”.
Jesus is describing a happy, blessed, joyful life from a kingdom perspective.
Notice who is happy...
the poor v.20
the hungry and those who weep v.21
the hated, excluded, reviled, and spurned as evil v.22
(elaborate on how people can bring misery on themselves - neighbor who wanted relationship advice and they were both married to other people…)
So, you can still be blessed even in these undesirable conditions.
Why are these people happy in spite of their circumstances?
Because their poverty is temporary - they will inherit the kingdom of God which lasts forever.
Their hunger now will be traded in for eternal satisfaction.
Their weeping will turn into laughter.
Those who are hated, excluded, reviled, and spurned as evil will be greatly rewarded in heaven.
We cannot out-give God.
Whatever we give up here, for his sake, we will be overcompensated in the next life.

Wealth - Jesus = doomed

Jesus pronounces “woes” on...
the rich v.24
the full now and those who laugh now v.25
the popular in this world v.26
God is not against your being wealthy, full, laughing, and popular. (Tebow)
but ...
without Jesus, everything good that happens to you, and all the joy you experience in this life is all there will be.
Joel Osteen wrote a best-selling book called Your Best Life Now
Only if you are lost, is your best life is now.
Jesus is talking about those who have these things, but do not follow God.
See in v. 26
Luke 6:26 ESV
26 “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.
to the false prophets. (folks out for themselves with no regard for God)
The point is that we need to think long-term.
Is temporary suffering and discomfort for the sake of Christ and his kingdom worth it?
So, what are we going to pursue?
What is worth our time and effort?
God’s kingdom or our wealth and comfort?
Jesus is telling us to choose wisely.
Now let’s look at loving our enemies.

Love your enemies.

Luke 6:27–30 ESV
27 “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.
This almost leaves you speechless doesn’t it?
I mean, what can you say to this?
It is crystal clear instruction to do the impossible.
Well, it’s only impossible without the Spirit of God.
That is kind of freeing though.
I know I can’t do this in my own strength - I may as well not even try to do it in my own strength.
I absolutely have to rely entirely on the Holy Spirit for this.
So that covers the how.
I can only do this through prayer and the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Now let’s talk about why.
Luke 6:31 ESV
31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
When you do something stupid, or evil, you want grace, forgiveness, and love.
Thinking about this starts to melt my hard heart a little bit.
When I am a jerk to someone I don’t want them to be out for vengeance.
I want to be forgiven.
If I were perfect I guess I would be a bit more harsh here because I wouldn’t know what it felt like to need forgiveness.
We all do know what it feels like to need forgiveness.
We know what it’s like to need someone else to overlook our offense.
That frame of reference ought to help us see why we should love our enemies.
As Jesus’ disciples, we are called to be different.
Luke 6:32–34 ESV
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.
Any pagan can show this level of decency.
We can’t be an effective witness for Jesus if we just do what the world does.
We are called to go above and beyond.
Didn’t Jesus tell us that we would be known by our love?
If so, we can’t just display the love common to man - We have to have love for those who are unlovely.
Here comes the why that should really humble us and finish melting our proud and resistant hearts.
Luke 6:35–36 ESV
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.
God loved us when we were his enemies.
And where would we be if He did not???
You may say, “I was never an enemy of God!”
That is what the Bible calls us, though, when we are lost.
Romans 5:10 ESV
10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
Romans 8:7 ESV
7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.
When we were lost, we were enemies of God.
And yet, he loved us enough to send his Son to die in our place.
Let that sink in.
Even though I have confessed that love for my enemies is antithetical to my flesh, when the Spirit of God in me ponders this truth in the Word of God, that is when he can produce in me love for my enemies.
And if he can do it in me, he can do it in you.
Now we get to the lost person’s absolute favorite verse in the Bible.
Just about everyone has this verse memorized.
is it...
John 3:16 ESV
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Romans 8:1 ESV
1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
no, it is judge not
They may not have the whole verse memorized, but they know that much.
We need to see what it really means.
Luke 6:37–38 ESV
37 “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.”
Be generous and charitable toward others because what goes around, comes around.
Kindness, though, does not mean we are to fail to confront sin.
The Bible tells us we are to seek to restore a brother or sister who is in sin.
We have to be able to judge whether someone is in sin in order to do that.
“Judge not” does not mean we are to lose our ability to discern between right and wrong,
that we are to be kind, forgiving, and charitable rather than condemning to others because we will need them to be that way to us.
Most of the time when people quote this verse they are saying, “don’t tell me that my sin is sin!”
Jesus is fleshing out what he said in v. 31
Luke 6:31 ESV
31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

Be careful who you follow.

Luke 6:39–40 ESV
39 He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.
If you listen to the wrong Bible teachers they can lead you off a theological cliff.
Not every smiling fellow with a bible is going to tell you the truth.
There are plenty of wolves in sheep’s clothing.
If you want recommendations of excellent and trustworthy bible teachers, I will be glad to provide them.
You can listen to the world’s best bible teachers anytime you want to on your phone.
That’s awesome - the bad news is you can listen to, and be led by, the spiritually blind as well.

Regularly examine yourself in the mirror of the Word of God.

Luke 6:41–42 ESV
41 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.
Does Jesus say to leave your brother’s eye alone?
He says for us not to be hypocrites who ignore our own problems.
Deal with your sin first, and then help him.
We need to learn to deal with sins as soon as we are aware of them.
Keep a short list!

What do we do?

Based on the gospel, we love our enemies - even during election season.
Let people observe a different kind of love from you that can only come from the Holy Spirit in you.
Live for the advancement of the kingdom of God - not for earthly riches or prestige.
Keep the logs out of your eye so you can help your brother get the speck out of his.
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