Apr 28 2019 Luke 6 - How to Respond when Hurt by Others
28th April 2019
Lord, thank You for this opportunity – clear our hearts and minds – cleanse us by Your blood - we are Your children – no guilt/fear/shame – we are beloved by You. You accept us as we are. Teach us to be the people You would have us be. In Jesus’ Name.
Through Memorial Weekend, we will be going back to some of the parables in Luke – Today is Luke’s version of the Sermon on the Mount. Luke has a condensed version. In Luke, it is called the Sermon on the Plain. There is some debate over whether it is the same sermon as Matthew’s. I don’t think it matters if it was one or two sermons. I’m sure even what Matthew wrote is only a small portion of what Jesus shared. The gospel writers have chosen, out of all that Jesus spoke, what they felt most important for their community, the people they were writing to. There are some differences that we will see.
Here’s how Luke starts:
Luke 6: 20 And turning His gaze toward His disciples, He began to say, "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21 "Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.
Right off the bat, there are some marked differences... What does Matthew say? Blessed are the poor in spirit – that is different than those who are poor. Hunger for righteousness vs. hungry….
What is the difference? When we go back to January, we remember that Luke places emphasis on the disadvantaged. In the communities that Luke was writing this to – there must have been many who were poor and disadvantaged, and Luke is trying to meet their needs. Was Jesus talking about poor in spirit or materially? And the answer is YES!
Of course – both were important to Jesus. In the New Testament world, it would have been very difficult for a poor in spirit person to have wealth. Why? In the Roman world, they would have had to turn on their brothers and sisters to align with Rome. So, most Jews would have been poor – and definitely those who were poor in spirit would be poor…
Then Jesus makes a contrast between the poor and rich:
24 "But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full. 25 "Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.
Wow! Again, in Jesus’ day, in Israel, wealth would have been an indication of a failure to fulfill one’s responsibility to the poor. The Old Testament is full of those responsibilities – there was no social welfare program.
Today, in our world, there are plenty of examples of rich people who do things for the poor. But even though there are a lot of examples of philanthropy – studies have shown, decade after decade – that in America, that rich people give significantly lower percentages of their income than middle or lower-class people. That is sad.
It is easy to think, well, of course they give less percentage, they still give a lot comparatively! But Jesus had something to say about that:
Luke 21:1 And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. 2 And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins. 3 And He said, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them;
Wow! Her two pennies amounted to more money than all of the piles of money the rich were putting in - 4 for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on."
That is amazing, what Jesus is saying.
Think of professional athletes – who sometimes don’t act like professionals and get fined – fined 10/15/$25000 for arguing with the ref, and we think WOW – but when they make so much – that’s a latte to them!
And that is what Jesus compares those who appear to give a lot – for them it is just a latte!
Luke 6:27 27 "But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
This is a simple command – straightforward – love the Roman soldiers, who are taking your possessions. Like I talked about earlier, there are perceived enemies – depending on what side of the aisle you are on – Republicans/Democrats/CNN/Fox News/ Michigan/ Pittsburgh!
People we love hurt us. You hurt people you love. And there are some things here that help us know what to do when that happens. Even at church!
Love your enemy.
First – love those people when we are offended by them. Love is not a feeling. Do good. It is initiative – when someone hurts you – you are to take initiative in action in loving them. That is the time to initiate active love. Seek their well-being in everything.
Acts of generosity. Kindness. Service – support and encouragement. What kinds of actions can I take toward this person who has offended me that will seek their well-being and good. It will go against what we feel like doing – what we want to do – we want to let them know, but we need to take the initiative in loving them.
28 bless those who curse you,
Love them with your speech. Rarely do we bless one another with our speech. It is more often putting down. How often do I say something negative? Bless those who curse you. To bless people is revolutionary and counter-cultural. It is not done very much – but it is a testimony of the love of Christ. Anyone can speak down about someone else – that doesn’t take much, but it takes the power of Christ in us – especially when we have been offended or hurt. We need to watch in our heart and heads where we have bad attitudes. But then, it goes into our public speech. When you are struggling with an individual – it is wonderful to tell others how wonderful that person is! Speak words of affirmation and confidence – that is hard stuff! So often it is the opposite of that.
We need to learn, when offended – to speak privately than to others. We do not have the freedom to speak to others! We are to go personally, privately, to work things out.
pray for those who mistreat you.
I think this speaks of genuine prayer – for their good, needs, and well-being.
29 "Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. 30 "Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. 31 "Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.
The golden rule. Another way – do unto others as you would have them do to you – this is the golden rule for relationships – how to make them work.
Turn the other cheek – give to everyone. That can be difficult. What does it mean to turn the other cheek?
Jesus is not giving new laws here! He is not saying, in every situation, you must give to everyone who asks of you – that is the Law! No, these are situational. He is not saying that there is never a situation to protect yourself (turning the other cheek). These are about insults – bearing insults. And what we are talking about today – we will get hurt in good relationships. People we are close to will hurt us – and if we pursue good, healthy relationships, we put ourselves in a position to get hurt. It is not possible to have healthy relationships without getting hurt, because people are people.
No matter how many relationship seminars you go to – you will still hurt people you love. And in turning the other cheek – to engage the relationship after we’ve been offended.
One caution – this is not talking about those who are unsafe to engage in a relationship. The Gremlin – unsafe at any speed!
This is more, people of goodwill who are just clumsy humans.
DO not retaliate or seek revenge.
It is not that we will hurt them purposefully - but we want them to feel our pain.
I think another thing He is saying – we need to understand the true needs and deep hurts of those who offended us. Ask, what is it that is causing them to hurt me?
James 2: 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacks daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, keep warm and eat well," but you do not give them what the body needs, what good is it? 17 So also faith, if it does not have works, is dead being by itself.
Do not withhold good from those who need it, when you have the ability to help. (Prov. 3:27)
Luke 6: 36 "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. 37 "Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned
3 things – two positive, one negative. Be merciful! How merciful of a person are you? Grace means, we get what we don’t deserve. We like that! We even like to give to people for no reason – it feels good, doesn’t it? Being merciful is ‘not getting what we do deserve!” We deserve judgment. But He doesn’t give us what we really deserve – and in relationships, that is a hard one! People should get what they deserve! It is only right! But He says – be merciful as your heavenly father is merciful.
And don’t judge - . 38 "Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure-- pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return."
41 "Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42 "Or 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.
And we should all feel lousy by this part of the sermon! We all do this! Why do you look at the speck? WHY? Why am I a fault-finder? What is it that has happened in you that makes you a fault-finder – someone who looks for specks – and then go look for that! What has made you that way?
Oftentimes, I have found, something in your past – someone found a lot of fault in you – some crucial stage in your life – someone important to you found fault – someone was never satisfied.
We examine others and fail to examine ourselves – and then we examine ourselves so much that we examine others. For others, they truly believe they are better than others – and so they find fault with others.
This does not mean that we don’t correct needs in others’ lives.
Galatians 6 – the first, most important thing – only correct people for things they have done wrong – sin! Not because their decisions aren’t wise – or that they are clumsy flawed humans! Only sin – things that are truly wrong – otherwise, we’d always be correcting everyone!
The goal of the correction is restoration – not behavioral manipulation! That’s is what it means to not judge –
Third – we need to be willing to walk through the problem with the person all the way to the end. If you are not willing to walk that walk, you probably shouldn’t speak. No, you shouldn’t speak. When you correct someone, know you have a lot of work to do.
Finally – take the log out of our own eyes – if today, you think – I don’t have any logs – Really? Really?! We all have logs in our eyes. That is why He is telling us this.