Jesus – All About Love

From verse 27 of Luke 6 all the way to the last four verses, the remainder of the “Sermon on the Plain” is really about how we treat and care for one another. And these verses do resonate in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7. Jesus begins with the admonishment about loving ones enemies and doing good to those who hate you. The point of verses 27-29 is not that we are supposed to let people “run over” us, but God’s people are not to be vindictive, vengeful, or unnecessarily combative.

 

Yew trees looking south towards Sermon on the ...

Yew trees looking south towards Sermon on the Mount (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Verse 37 about not judging others is a favorite reference for those who wish to justify sinful behavior. But Jesus did not tell us that we should not point out to others when they are doing wrong. In fact, there are other passages that tell us that the opposite is true. But at the same time, we cannot properly love our fellow-man if we are harshly or hypocritically judgmental. It all comes down to what Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-39 is the second of the greatest commandments – to “love your neighbor as yourself.”

 

In the middle of all of this, Jesus tells us to give generously to those in need. Loving, forgiving, and overflowing with generosity – these are the traits, habits and hallmarks of the way the Lord wants His children to be toward our fellow-man. He could not have been clearer. In verse 31, Jesus paraphrases what we call the golden rule from His Sermon on the Mount – “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.”

 

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

 

/Bob’s boy

 

___________________

 

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

 

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sermon On the Plain

Jesus came down with His apostles after naming them in Luke chapter 6, and stood “on a level place.” Here, verse 17 tells us that, along with His disciples, there was a “great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases.” And He healed them all.

Plain of Gennesaret near Capernaum

Plain of Gennesaret near Capernaum

What follows here in Luke is a sermon that many commentators have tried to “harmonize” with the “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew 5-7.  The similarities are not nearly enough to make up for the differences in circumstances, timing, and content. This is why more astute scholars have dubbed this one as the “Sermon on the Plain.” The Beatitudes here are substantively different from those in Matthew – less of them, as well. The “woes” here are not in the sermon in Matthew at all. Jesus sat on a hill in Matthew. He stood on a level place here. He preached this sermon right after naming His apostles. The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew was long before that event. We could keep going, but you get the idea. It is no surprise that parts of Jesus’s messages bore repeating on numerous occasions.

So what about these woes? What is that all about? The answer comes from reading them in context with the corresponding beatitudes. Let’s take a look at them individually. The first beatitude says “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” The first woe says“but woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.” Does Jesus mean that all of those who are poor are going to inherit the kingdom of God merely by virtue of their poverty?  Is he condemning people that are wealthy – and simply because they are wealthy? The answer, of course, is no on both counts. The point is that those who are poor should take heart in the fact that they have the blessed opportunity for eternal life with God. Those who are wealthy have that same opportunity, of course, if they do not allow their satisfaction with their wealth to be the driving force of their lives. Therein lies the danger of woe.

It is the same for the remaining beatitudes and woes, which describe opposite circumstances of life. There is great hope for all through Jesus Christ, but when this earthly life is going very well for people, some tend to be complacent and neglect the treasures they should be putting up in heaven.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

Enhanced by Zemanta