Jesus, Lord of the Sabbath (ch. 6:1 - 11)
Luke tells Theophilus the story of Jesus and His disciples walking
through a grainfield on the Sabbath. His disciples were apparently hungry
because they "picked some heads of grain, rubbed them in their hands,
and ateÖ" (ch. 6:1) The picking and the rubbing was supposed to be
against Sabbath Laws as found in the Law of Moses. (Ex.20:10) Ex. 20:10
tells Israel to keep the Sabbath holy. Some of the Pharisees that had
followed Jesus into the grainfield saw this and questioned Jesus right
The Pharisees knew the Jesusí disciples were violating the Law of
Moses, as they understood it. They did not attempt to question the
disciples, but Jesus. It is important to note that Jesus did not pick any
of the grain on that day. Jesus did not violate the Law of Moses, and He
never did. He obeyed the Law in all aspects. He obeyed the Law on our
behalf, because we couldnít. This satisfied His Father.
The Pharisees point is that. Jesus may not have violated the Law but
He allowed His disciples to, thus He was just as guilty, or so the
Pharisees thought. The Pharisees appeared very indignant and upset that
Jesus would allow His disciples to do such a thing. Yet inwardly my guess
is they were happy because they thought they had Jesus on a technical
violation of the Law which would destroy His credibility. Yet in fact the
violation that took place was actually a violation of Rabbinical Law.
There were a number of things that the Rabbinical law said you could not
do on the Sabbath. This was in fact their interpretation of Ex. 20:10,
their means of explaining with more clarity what could be done and what
could not be done on the Sabbath.
The Pharisees wrote much to clarify the Law of Moses. They felt that
these writings were equal to the Law itself. It would be like our many
theology books written today. They are not on the same level as the Bible.
Yet the Pharisees books were considered Canonical by them, that is on the
same level as the Law of Moses, part of the Jewish Bible..
In verse 4 Jesus answers by stating that David, in Old Testament
times entered the house of God and ate bread. This was against the Law of
Moses. That bread was for the priests to eat, and no one else.
We should note that David probably entered the outer court of the
house of God, not the Holy of Holies. In the outer court there would have
been bread for the priests to eat.
By quoting from Davidís experience, Jesus is suggesting that Davidís
experience is in fact a commentary on Ex. 20:10. The Pharisees read Ex.
20:10, interpreted it, without reading from 1 Sam. 21, the passage that
Jesus is referring to. Jesus may have been demonstrating a principle of
Biblical interpretation by using 1 Sam. 21 to help interpret Ex. 20:10.
Jesus continued to answer the Pharisees questioning by saying that
"He was Lord of the Sabbath". Does this mean that Jesus was
superior to the Law of Moses and could do whatever He wanted? No. Jesus
was born under the Law. He lived according to the Law. He obeyed and
fulfilled the Law for us. There is no way that He would disobey the Law of
Moses. But concerning the additional laws of the Pharisees, Jesus had no
part of . He was not obligated to obey these Rabbinical rules. What the
disciples were doing was in direct violation of Rabbinical Law. If people
thought they were disobeying the Law of Moses, that is a matter of how you
interpret Ex. 20:10. Jesusí interpretation of Ex. 20:10 clearly differed
from the Pharisees.
Verse 6 speaks of another Sabbath day dispute. You might get the
feeling now that the Pharisees constantly followed Jesus around, waiting
for Him to do something wrong in order to accuse Him of violating the Law.
Well, this is exactly what Luke says in verse 7.
On this particular Sabbath there was a man with a shriveled hand.
The Pharisees were waiting to see if Jesus would actually heal this man on
the Sabbath, and Jesus knew that they were thinking this way. This is
clearly a word of knowledge on the part of Jesus.
So knowing this, Jesus had the man stand up in front of everyone.
Then Jesus spoke these words to everyone in attendance. "I ask you,
which is lawful on the Sabbath; to do good or to do evil, to save life, or
to destroy it"? Jesus looked around at his accusers. Not giving them
a chance to respond to His question he asked the man to stretch for his
hand. The man did as Jesus asked, and he was completely healed. The
Pharisees "were furious" and thought what they could do to
Jesus. The Pharisees did not like the fact that they were loosing their
people to Jesus.
The Twelve Apostles (ch. 6:12 - 16)
Luke says in verse 12 that Jesus spent all night in prayer on one
occasion. He did not sleep. He prayed about the things He would be doing
in the morning. When morning came, "He called his disciples to
Himself and chose 12 of them". This is the scene. Jesus comes down
from the mountain, there is a very large gathering of people, those who
decided to follow Him (disciples), and from the large number, He chose 12
men to be "apostles". The whole crowd of disciples saw Jesus
choose 12 men. These 12 men were commissioned to be "apostles",
meaning sent ones. Jesus would send these men out to do His work.
From this vast number of disciples Jesus chose 12 men, varying in
personality and social status. Why He chose these 12 men is not really
known. This was truly a divine call of God on these menís lives. As
Jesus told them in the Gospel of John, "He chose them Ė they did
not choose Him". Luke proceeds to name these 12 men.
One thing I have often heard people say over the years, and that is
the words "the 12 disciples". The 12 men that these people are
referring to are actually apostles, as well as disciples. Jesus had
hundred, and most likely even thousands of disciples. He had only 12
apostles. So the number 12 should be in reference to apostles, not
lessing And Woes (ch. 6:17 - 27)
In verses 17 through 19 we see Jesus still in the same place where
He appointed His 12 apostles. Luke says that He came down on a level place
to speak to the vast crowd of people. You can tell that Jesusí
popularity is growing by leaps and bounds. There are people from all over
the area. Some were disciples of His, and some were curious onlookers.
Many came to be healed and get delivered from demons. To me it appears
that the anointing of the Holy Spirit is increasing in the life of Jesus.
Luke says that these people only had to touch Jesus, resulting in power
coming from Him which in turn healed them all. You can well imagine the
people pressing into see, hear and touch Jesus.
In verse 20 Luke tells us that Jesus looked at all of His disciples
and saidÖ To me this suggests that after Jesus viewed all of these
people, his heart went out to them in great compassion. From this heart of
compassion He proceeds to speak to them.
We need to note that there were more people here than just Jesusí
disciples. There were many onlookers but the intent of what Jesus is about
to say is directed to those who claimed to be His followers.
We also need to note that if you compare Lukeís account of this
message, (often called "the sermon on the mount") it differs
from Matthewís account in length and content. Yet we must remember that
Matthew is writing to Jews and Luke is writing to a Gentile name
Theophilus. What may be relevant to one may not be relevant to another.
Also, why do some have to think the accounts have to be the same anyway. A
number of people can give varying, but not conflicting accounts of any
Jesus says, "blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the
kingdom of God". Luke omits the words "in spirit", that is,
"poor in spirit" that Matthew inserts. So we know that Jesus is
speaking about more than financial poverty. The poverty that Jesus is
speaking about is the same poverty that Paul speaks about in Rom. 1 and 2.
All men are spiritually poor, bankrupt. We are spiritual beggars. We can
bring nothing to the table of the Lord. We have absolutely nothing to
It is interesting to me that Jesus begins his sermon with these
words. Recognizing our spiritual poverty is the first thing that should
happen in true salvation. That is why Paul, in Romans begins his book with
this message. Before one can honestly trust Jesus, that is, have faith, he
must repent. And before one can truly repent, he must understand the
depravity, the poverty that he finds himself in. A person needs to know
what to repent of before he can repent. Our souls are totally bankrupt.
This is extremely important to the gospel message, and that is why Jesus
makes this point as his first point.
For those who recognize their spiritual poverty Jesus says that the
Kingdom of God belongs to them. Jesus is saying that if you can recognize
your sinful state, all that pertains to the Kingdom of God belongs to
your. Note the use of the present tense. You will be lifted out of your
beggarly state into the Kingdom of God. Once into this Kingdom all that
comes with it is at your disposal. You are no longer spiritual beggars.
We should note that Matthew gives 8 beatitudes, while Luke gives
only 4. The next one that Luke speaks of is, "blessed are you who
hunger now, for you will be satisfied".
The verb tense concerning the word "hunger" suggests a
continual hungering. One who sees his state of poverty should be very
hungry for God and His Kingdom, where he can be lifted out of poverty. God
will satisfy our hunger pains on a daily basis if we find ourselves
hungering. But if we get satisfied with where we are at spiritually, then
there is no obligation on Godís part to satisfy us with more of what He
has to offer. Jesus is saying that we need to see our daily need of Him.
Even though we have entered the present reality of the Kingdom of God, we
are deeply depended on Jesus on a daily basis. We have nothing within us
that can keep us going. We need to be constantly hungering after what God
has for us.
The next thing Jesus says is "blessed are you who weep now, for
you will laugh". Both the weeping and hungering refer to our inward
state of being. As we hunger for more of Jesus, we weep because of our
sinful state of being, needing more from Jesus. This is more than a figure
of speech. Jesus is saying for those who really do weep inside concerning
where they find themselves, they will laugh once they receive from Jesus
what they need. Once again, being poor, being hungry, being sorrowful with
tears is fundamental in receiving what we so desperately need from the
Lord. The beggar with leprosy in the last chapter is a prime example of
The next thing Jesus says is, "blessed are you when men hate
you, when they exclude you and insult you, and reject your name as evil
because of the Son of Man". With this fourth statement Jesus moves
from the spiritual to the physical. He is telling his disciples that men
will hate them, reject them, and exclude them because of their allegiance
to Him. By now the disciples were seeing the division that was apparent
between Jesus and the Pharisees. They saw the conflict beginning to rage.
Jesus was telling them that they would be hated by some just as He is
hated, but consider yourself very blessed when this happens. I strongly
believe that this was the attitude of the early Christians. You can see
this in the lives of such men as Paul and Peter. I donít think these men
liked going through all of the hardships, all of the hatred and
persecution, but in a way they were happy, feeling it a privilege to be
hated by men because of their alliance with Jesus.
In verse 23 Jesus tells His disciples when the time comes when they
will be mistreated by others because of His name, "to rejoice and
leap for joy because great is your reward in Heaven". Someday we will
all be rewarded for what we have done, what we have gone through. Those
who have experienced much sorrow for the sake of Jesus will receive more
rewards than those who havenít. This puts our daily stresses in an
If it makes any consolation, Jesus tells His disciples that the
prophets of old were treated in this very fashion. It is thus clear that
anyone who visibly lives for Jesus could find themselves being persecuted
in one way or another.
In the rest of this section Jesus switches from "blessed are
you", to "woe to you". The word "woe" implies Godís
judgement on those the "woe" refers to.
The first "woe" is directed to those "who are
rich". Once again, are these riches material or spiritual? If we
claim that the poor above are spiritual, then we should claim that these
riches are spiritual as well.
It is also clear that Jesus is directing these "woes" to
the Pharisees and teachers of the Law. You might ask, "how can these
men be considered rich by Jesus when He feels they are just as depraved as
any other person"? You might consider these men rich in the sense
that they have the Law, have the ability to understand the Law, and have
access to all that was important in Old Testament time concerning things
pertaining to the Law. It is similar to those of us who live in North
America. We have all sorts of things available at our finger tips to be
rich spiritually, but are very poor because we donít access these
Jesusí "woe" to these so-called rich people was based on
the fact that they had already received their "comfort". Riches
produce comfort, both in a spiritual sense and a material sense. These
Pharisees were comfortable with their spirituality. They claimed to obey
the Law, giving them a sense of comfort and security before God. Yet we
know that this security was a false security.
Verse 25 tells us the next "woe" is, "woe to you who
are well fed now, for you will go hungry". These Pharisees are full
spiritually, but their fullness is a product of junk food. We know that we
can fill our stomachs with junk food. We feel full as a result, but the
food that makes us full does nothing for us, and in many cases harms us.
The same with these men in a spiritual sense. Yet the time will come that
these so-called full men will be very hungry as they spend eternity in
Jesus goes on. "Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn
and weep". The Pharisees claim to security with God makes them feel
quite happy resulting in their laughter, but because they reject Godís
New Covenant that He is presenting them in Jesus, they will mourn and
weep, once again in hellís fire.
Verse 26 says, "woe to you when all men speak well of you, for
that is how their fathers treated the false prophets". As in the
"blessed" part of what Jesus is saying, He speaks of the
prophets of the O.T., both true and false prophets. The Pharisees fathers
hated the true prophets and loved the false prophets. So Jesus says that
"all men speak well" of the Pharisees as they did the false
prophets of old. This is always the case, and still is today. Men like to
hear certain things from their spiritual leaders. If the leaders donít
speak the things they like to hear, they get rid of them and hire a new
leader. Yet if someone speaks the truth that does not suit the ears of
people, they say the words come from a false prophet. This indeed is a
sign of the end. People gather leaders around them that say things that
are nice to the ear
Love For Enemies (ch. 6:27 - 36)
In verse 27 Jesus addresses his words to anyone who "will hear
Him", either disciple of opponent. He says to love, bless and pray
for your enemies and those who may hate you. Jesus has already told His
disciples that there will be some that will hate them because of their
association with Him. Now He tells them to love those people.
Jesus continues by saying that if someone asks you for something,
give it to them. If they take a cloak from you, offer them your tunic as
well. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn the other and let them slap
you on that cheek as well.
The bottom line to what Jesus is saying is found in verse 31. It
says, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Weíve
called this "the golden rule".
This passage, and others like it, have been well debated over the
centuries. Pacifists and non-resistant groups use these verses in their
teaching of non violence. Many groups donít believe in going to war
because of these words of Jesus. Many will not defend themselves in a
court of law because of these verses. What is Jesus saying here
It is interesting to note in John 18:22 and 23 that Jesus gets
struck in the face. Does He turn the other cheek to get hit again? It
doesnít appear that He does. Though He doesnít turn the other cheek,
He does not retaliate in anger. This is the point of Jesusí words.
Sometimes Jesus uses dramatic words to get His point across, or so I
Concerning the words cloak and tunic. Cloak is an outer garment,
while a tunic is an inner garment, under the cloak.
In verse 32 Jesus says that "if you love those who love you,
what credit is that to you"? He continues by giving some examples. He
says that if you only do good, or lend to people who love you, sinners do
that. You would be no different than a sinner. His point is that we must
go beyond what a sinner can do. Therefore we must love and do good to
those who donít like us. This is what turning the other cheek is all
about. Let me suggest that if a person hits you on one cheek, you might
inquire, if you donít already know, why he is hitting you. Once you
know, then you do whatever is necessary to help that person.
So, should one use these verses to prove that we should not fight in
war? And what if a robber comes into your house and starts beating up your
wife, do you let him beat up your wife? Do you suggest that he beats you
up as well as your wife? Well, this may sound strange, but there have been
some in history who would say yes to these questions.
I donít believe Jesus is suggesting that you let a robber beat up
your wife. What He is saying, if at all possible, help the person who is
robbing you. This may mean by giving him what he is demanding.
Now Jesus is saying this on a personal level to His disciples. There
is Scripture, Rom.13:1 Ė 6 is one, that tells us to submit to the
government. The reason why Paul tells us to submit to the government is
because they are there to punish the evil doer. Does that mean a Christian
canít be a policeman because he would be involved in punishing an evil
doer? No. The government system is one way in which God brings punishment
to evil doers and Christians are well within their rights to implement
this punishment. Yet on a personal level, the same person is not to repay
evil with evil. Besides, when government punishes evil doers, this is
justice, not repaying evil for evil. The instituting of justice is
Does this mean we should never stand up for our own personal rights?
Should we be a door mat and always take what we are given? No. Paul
himself used his Roman civil rights in his defense, and his appeal to
Rome. If we are not able to use our civil rights at time and defend
ourselves, then Paul was wrong in his appeal to Rome.
What about Jesus before His accusers Ė should we submit as He did?
First of all Jesus did submit without retaliating, and with little
defense, although He did defend Himself to a degree as He spoke words of
truth. Secondly, using Jesusí experience is a little tricky. His arrest
and death was fore-ordained by God. It was something He had to go through.
So in that sense He could not defend Himself in order to be released. He
was destined to the cross.
Another point that is important when speaking of
Jesus before Pilate and that is he was silent on all the secondary charges
against Him because they were meaning compared to the main charge of being
the King of the Jews. On this charge He was not silent since silence would
be seen as denial of the truth of who He was, and He could not deny who He
This is the bottom line. We should guard our hearts from anger,
resentment, and other such things, even when people do bad things against
us. Responding the best way we can in love will free us from these harmful
emotions. Watching your wife get beat up by a robber without trying to
help her is not a way to show love to your wife either. Is there a time
and place for a Christian to use force? I think so. But it is clearly in
self defense, or the defense of others, and done without anger.
In verse 35 Jesus tells his listeners that if they do these things,
they will be rewarded. God Himself will reward us for our love towards
others. This could take place in this life, and if not in this life, in
There is also the matter of justice since God is Just. Since
He is just we must be just as well. If someone commits a crime
against us, it is a matter of justice to bring him to justice. It is
not a matter of repaying evil with evil. We must not let the
offender off the hook.
Jesus closes by saying, "be merciful, just as your Father (God)
is merciful". Yet even when saying this, we all know that God is both
loving and just. He shows mercy to everyone, but there will come a day
when He will show justice to all men as well. At that time He will punish
the evil doer. It is also for this reason that we, on a personal level,
should not repay evil for evil, because we know God will do a much better
job in the end.
The important thing to understand here is the difference between
"repaying evil with evil" and "carrying out justice".
Being just, and carrying out justice is a godly endeavor because God is
Judging (ch. 6:37 - 43)
The first phrase that Jesus speaks in this section is "do not
judgeÖ" What does this mean? Many feel that this means that we are
not to judge anyone at any time. We have often heard people say, "who
am I to judge", meaning, the person doesnít feel qualified to make
a particular judgement.
Some people donít believe in judging because they think that Jesus
tells them not to judge according to this verse. But this is not so. Read
the rest of the sentence. Jesus says, "do not judge, and you will not
be judged". In verse 38 He also says, "for with the measure you
use, it will be measured to you". Matthew, in Mat. 7:2 sheds a little
more light on this idea of judging. Matthew quotes Jesus to say, "for
in the same way you judge others, you will be judged". This is
simple. Jesus is simply saying, that if you judge someone, that personís
first reaction will be to judge you in return. This is human instinct, a
law of nature. If you are nice to someone, he will be nice to you. If you
are nasty to someone, he will be nasty to you.
Jesus is not saying not to judge. As a matter of fact in John 7:24
Jesus said to stop judging by appearance but judge righteously. Jesus does
not tell us not to judge. He tells us how to judge, and that is
righteously. Therefore this passage in Luke is all about how we judge. If
we judge someone by appearance only, they will judge us in return by the
same criteria. We therefore must be willing to receive the same type of
judging in return. If we are not willing, then we should not judge. Yet if
we truly judge righteously then people will judge us in like fashion, and
if we are living right, there will be no grounds for any judgement.
By the same way of thinking Jesus goes on to say, "do not
condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and it will be given to you". You might call this, "the Law
of just returns". What you do to others, others will do to you in
return, because just as you treat others, they will treat you.
In verse 41 Jesus asks, "why do you look at the speck of
sawdust in your brotherís eye and pay no attention to the plank in your
own eye. It makes no sense for a person to judge another person when he is
doing the same thing and even worse. Why should a man committing adultery
point out the sin of lust to another person? Both are sin. Both are in one
sense adultery, still the carrying out of lustfull thoughts into full
fledged adultery has more far reaching consequences. It is a greater sin.
Some sins are worse than others. Adultery is worse that lust. Murder is
worse than anger. Yet all are still sin.
Jesus calls the person with the plank in their eye a
"hypocrite", and that before he starts working on the person
with the sawdust in his eye, he needs to get rid of the plank in his own
eye. This too makes complete sense.
Jesus is not telling us to never help someone try to get out of
their sin. He is simply saying, donít be a hypocrite about it. Make sure
you are clean in the particular issue at hand first, then the person in
sin will receive you much easier, and will be helped by your concern.
Sandwiched between the question of the plank and the idea of what
you measure out you will get in return, Jesus tells a little parable. In
verses 39 and 40 He asks, "can a blind man lead another blind
man"? The answer is clear. No. Jesus says that both men will fall
into a pit.
Then Jesus tells His audience "that a student is not above his
teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher".
(ch. 6:40) What is the meaning of this little parable, and why does Jesus
say this in the present context?
Jesus has just given some truth to live by. That is, be careful how
you judge, forgive, donít condemn, and give to others. Those who are
listening to these words need to hear them. They are like blind people,
and they cannot be helped by other blind people. They need a sighted
person to guide them and help them work our these issues. They in fact
need a teacher to teach them. Once they have fully learned what they need
to learn, they in fact become like their teacher. Then what they have
learned they can pass along to others. They can be teachers themselves,
because they have become like their teacher.
Jesus is the Great Teacher. He asks us to become like Him. Of course
we cannot become like Him in who He is. We will never be Godís Son. But
we can become like Him in the things He teaches us, although not to the
Although the word "discipleship" is not used in this
verse, this is what Jesus is speaking about. As new followers of Jesus we
need to be discipled in the way of the Lord. Once we learn, we then can
disciple others. There should come a day when we learn what our teacher or
discipler teaches us. We should not have to be discipled for life. At this
point, we disciple others. I believe this is what Jesus is saying.
A Tree And Its Fruit (ch. 6:43 - 45)
In these verses Jesus speaks of a tree. He says that a good tree
does not bear bad fruit, neither does a bad tree bear good fruit. He also
says that you donít get figs from a thorn bush. It is a simple analogy.
You recognize a fruit tree by the fruit you see on the tree.
Then Jesus says in this same context that a good man brings forth
good things, while a bad man brings forth bad things. You can tell who a
person really is by the things he does. For the most part, you will know
people by the fruit of their lives. One who claims to be a close follower
of Jesus, yet does many things that Jesus wouldnít do is not really a
follower of Jesus. It is not really a matter of judging one another, but
merely observing the fruit of a personís life.
Concerning the bad man. These bad things, Jesus says, comes from
"the evil stored up in his heart". (ch. 6:45) In fact all things
we do, whether good or bad originate from our hearts. Jesus says,
"out of the overflow of his heart, the mouth speaks".
You can tell what is in a personís heart by what they talk about.
Usually the love of a personís life is based in that personís heart.
And if a person loves something, or someone enough, others will hear of
this love from this personís lips. There is a natural law of life.
The question could be asked, "what do others hear coming from
At this point, I'd like to insert an article I wrote on
Jesus said; "For out
of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks (Luke 6:45 NIV)."
In other words, if you're an avid, heart felt, fan of football,
you'll talk football. If
you're an avid, heart felt, fan of the Bible, you'll talk Bible. Your
words mirror what's in your heart. What
consumes your conversation consumes your heart.
As Christians living in the western world, we need to take some
time to think through what Jesus is telling us.
Our western world culture
is heavily influenced by what some call a Post Modern philosophy that
rejects a serious, well thought out, approach to reasoning issues through
to their logical conclusion. "Just
give me a sound bite, and please, don't bother me with the details,"
is the Post Modern motto. Unfortunately,
this mentality is robbing us of heart felt beliefs and convictions by
which we once lived. It's also
devaluating the meaning, and even the spelling, of the words we speak.
Words, except for those words we pay lawyers to write, are losing
their meaning, significance, and impact.
We complain that
politicians have little respect for words when they say one thing and do
another, but the general population differs little from politicians.
It has been said that talk is cheap.
I certainly concur with that. Talk
radio, 24 hour news channels, and social media, overflow with meaningless
words spewed out of Post Modern irrational mouths.
Facebook is a prime example. Without
thinking, people type all sorts of nonsensical words that breeze through
their unfiltered brains. They
support a cause or a movement they no little about by merely clicking a
link. They share videos,
pictures, and maybe a few words, from the comfort and convenience of their
computer chairs with little to no actions to support what they share.
It's one thing to support a cause with words or by clicking a link
in cyber space. It's quite a
different thing to support a cause with your feet, your hands, and your
bank account. The 1960's pop
group known as Paul Revere and the Raiders were right when they sang,
"There's too much talk and not enough action".
If you take Jesus'
statement seriously, which you should, words are important.
They reveal what's in your heart.
We should know, however, that words don't just appear out of thin
air and parashoot their way into your heart.
Words are connected to knowledge that enters your head.
Once in your head, the hope is that this knowledge will somehow
find its way into your heart where it can be transformed into
understanding that forms the foundation for the convictions by which you
live. If the words you speak
proceed from heart felt understanding, they are meaningful and productive.
Just think about it.
In a time of severe sorrow, would you rather talk with someone who
has a heart of understanding, or, would you rather talk with someone who
tells you not to worry, everything will be okay, and then pats you on the
back as he walks away. Words
that proceed from a heart where knowledge has not been transformed into
heart felt understanding, although accurate in their content, have little
impact. They demonstrate that
there might well be knowledge in one's head but nothing in one's heart.
Let me explain it this
way. If you tell me that you
were lucky not to have been hurt in that accident, I'll tell you that as a
Christian you believe luck is an influencing factor in your life.
If you tell me that Jesus prevented you from being hurt in that
accident, I'll tell you that you believe Jesus is the influencing factor
in your life. How you phrase
your words say more about you than what you realize.
If you speak luck, there's something within you that still believes
You might say, "I'm
going to church." I might
say, as I often do, "You can't go to church because church is not a
place where you can go. You,
along with other believers, constitute church.
There's no inherent logic in believing you can go to a place when
you are that place." You
might respond by saying, as I often hear, "You know what I mean.
I believe church is people. They're
just words. You're being too
technical. Don't take me so
literally." I might
suggest to you, as I have been known to do, "If Jesus was right, your
words tell me what you believe in your heart.
If you say you're going to church, there is something in your heart
that believes church is a place where you go.
The Bible's concept of church, although known in your head, has not
been sufficiently transformed into heart felt understanding that changes
the way you speak and the way you live."
If we claim to have heart
felt understanding of Biblical issues our words will prove that to be
true. In part, that's what
Jesus was getting at in Luke 6:45. I'm
convinced that our Post Modern, "just give me the sound bite
mentality," has infiltrated the world of church and Christians.
It has dumbed us down to a sad state of Biblical illiteracy.
We may have some head knowledge, but that doesn't mean we have
heart felt understanding that forms the foundation for the convictions by
which we must live. As a
matter of fact, I seldom hear the word "conviction" as
understood in this light as I once did while growing up in Evangelical
"For out of the
overflow of his heart his mouth speaks (Luke 6:45 NIV)."
Words are important.
The Wise And Foolish Builders (ch.
6:46 - 49)
In verse 46 Jesus asks, "why do you call me Lord Lord, and do
not the things that I say"? Obviously there were people in the crowds
that came to Jesus and acted as if they were great followers of Him. They
even called Him Lord. Jesus uses the word Lord twice, suggesting that
these people really claim Him as Lord.
The mere speaking the words "Lord Lord", or claiming Him to be Lord is
not the proof of His Lordship in your life. If Jesus is truly Lord, that
means you are His servant, and if you are His servant, then you will do as
He says. Not all of those listening to Jesus were doing as He said. This
might have even included His disciples at this stage in their lives. Once
again, when using the word "Lord", the words "servant"
is automatically suggested. If one is a lord or master, that means he has
Jesus proceeds to give a parable to explain what He wants those
listening to know. He is speaking about people hearing what He has to say.
There are 2 groups of people. One group hears and does, the other group
hears and does nothing. Those who respond favourably to what Jesus says is
like a man who builds a house on a firm foundation. When a flood comes,
the house survives. Yet those who do not do as Jesus says are like a man
who builds a house without a foundation. When the flood strikes this
house, it collapses under the pressure.
Jesus is speaking here to the importance of us building a firm
foundation with Him. How we become a Christian, and how we grow as a
Christian in those initial days of being a Christian is very important.
Many fall away when the pressures of life comes because they have not
become a Christian appropriately, or else, they have not grounded
themselves in the faith right away.
An example of this would be someone becoming a Christian under false
pretense. If a person is told, "become a Christian and live happily
ever after", then he encounters trouble in his life, which he will,
he will fall away.