This is the sixth part in an Advertiser Content Bible stories series by Lighthouse Christian Fellowship to share the story of the Book Of Luke.
Luke 6 (1-49) as told in the New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath
1 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the cornfields, and his disciples began to pick some ears of corn, rub them in their hands and eat the grain. 2 Some of the Pharisees asked, 'Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?'
3 Jesus answered them, 'Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4 He entered the house of God, and taking the consecrated bread, he ate what is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.' 5 Then Jesus said to them, 'The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.'
6 On another Sabbath he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shrivelled. 7 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath. 8 But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to the man with the shrivelled hand, 'Get up and stand in front of everyone.' So he got up and stood there.
9 Then Jesus said to them, 'I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?'
10 He looked round at them all, and then said to the man, 'Stretch out your hand.' He did so, and his hand was completely restored. 11 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus.
For your reflection; Here we see two examples of Jesus apparently breaking the "rules". These rules were religious rules that had been made up by the religious rulers. They were based on the Commandment given by God to the Israelites 3000 years ago. "Remember the Sabbath day [the 7th day of the week] by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work". The rulers had taken this commandment, which is sensible advice after all, and extended it, to mean that a person could not help another person by healing them. A person could not even nibble at some grains of wheat. What has become more important? Following the rules, or caring for the people the rules are intended to protect? Do you look after yourself and your family by resting one day a week? On your rest days, what things do you do, so that you truly rest yourself?
The twelve apostles
12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. 13When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles:
14 Simon (whom he named Peter) and his brother Andrew,
James son of Alphaeus,
Simon who was called the Zealot,
16 Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
Blessings and woes
17 He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, 18 who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, 19 and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.
20 Looking at his disciples, he said:
'Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
22 Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.
23 'Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.
Jesus that has literally reshaped our world. In these few short sentences, Jesus turns upside down our understanding of how the world works, of how we work, of how the world can work if we have the heart of God. First, he teaches us our true nature, our true future, with God as the source of our identity and our provision. Are you poor? God will give you his kingdom. Are you hungry? God will fill you up. Are you crying? God will give you joy.
24 'But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.
25 Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.
26 Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.
For your reflection; And the reverse is true. Are you trusting in earthly wealth? That's it for you, Jesus says. You have already received your comfort. Are you well fed? Are you popular? Jesus teaches not to trust in yourself, and the current world pattern. Instead we are encouraged to seek God and his kingdom.
Love for enemies
27 'But to you who are listening I say: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who ill-treat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
For your reflection; And here it is. One paragraph that should be read in every school, at every home, at every business, at every sitting of parliament. This has been described as the Golden Rule. So different to the way our world works. "Love your enemies. Do to others as you would have them do to you." The amazing thing is that this pattern for living actually works. Can you think of people that you can reach out to in love today? Can you think of broken relationships that you can help restore? Have you asked God to help you, and give you the love you need to live differently, in God's love?
32 'If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do 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 repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
For your reflection; Do you love your enemies? Are you "Doing good to those who hate you?" What does that look like for you? We just had Christmas. Did your Christmas involve blessing those who hate you as well? It is not too late to bless. Jesus teaches us that children of God live with the heart of God, living in the way of God, loving everyone, even our enemies. What action can you take today, to demonstrate this kind of love? Remember to ask God for his help, to give you his heart of love.
37 'Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.'
39 He also told them this parable: 'Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.
41 'Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, "Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye," when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
A tree and its fruit
43 'No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognised by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn-bushes, or grapes from briers. 45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
The wise and foolish builders
46 'Why do you call me, "Lord, Lord," and do not do what I say? 47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When the flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.'
For your reflection; We end this amazing teaching by realising that it is all about action. Jesus teaches us to put into practice what we believe with our action. Trusting God. Loving others. Not judging others, but instead judging ourselves before God our Father in heaven. Bearing good "fruit" which is good action. In doing this we demonstrate living as children of God. And there is an alternative. Jesus talks about destruction that comes from not trusting in God. Where do you place yourself in all of this? Be encouraged. Help comes from God.
To be continued...
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Other parts in this series: