Gracefully Truthful


Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

Luke 6:27-36

27 “But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer the other also. And if anyone takes away your coat, don’t hold back your shirt either. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and from someone who takes your things, don’t ask for them back.

31 Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them. 32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do what is 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 to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High. For he is gracious to the ungrateful and evil. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

The Original Intent

1) Who is the speaker and the listener in this passage? (verse 27)

Throughout this passage we see the pronoun “he”, which signals the necessity of going back earlier in the chapter to find the initial reference to “he” and properly identify him.

We need to search backwards to Luke 6:9 where Jesus’ name is used. Luke, as the writer of this book, is providing a written record of Jesus’ teaching. The audience’s identity can be found a few verses later in Luke 6:17, where Luke records, “After coming down with them, He (Jesus) stood on a level place with a large crowd of His disciples and a great number of people from all of Judea and Jerusalem and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon.” (emphasis mine)

The crowds traveled the countryside from city and farmland and all walks of life to hear Jesus teach, see His miracles, and be healed by Him. (Luke 6:18-19

The Everyday Application

1) Who is the speaker and the listener in this passage? (verse 27)

Luke records for us this interaction between Jesus and a large group of followers that included His disciples. This group had gathered specifically to hear Jesus’ teaching but also to receive healing. Luke 6:19 tells us “power was coming out from Him and healing them all.

Throughout Jesus’ ministry, which is recorded in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the New Testament, Jesus leads, teaches, loves, heals, disciples, and rebukes. People flocked to hear Him because His message of love and freedom was radically different from the self-righteous burden the Pharisees placed on them. (Matthew 23:1-5)

Over two thousand years later, people still flock to know the identity of this Jesus. Why are you drawn to Him? Are you seeking something from Him like many in the crowd, or are you seeking Him?  

The Original Intent

2) What six commands are given by Jesus in this passage? (verses 27-29)

The first two commands are given by Jesus in verse 27, “love your enemies” and “do what is good to those who hate you”. Jesus continues teaching with two more commands in verse 28,bless those who curse you” and “pray for those who mistreat you”. The last two commands come in verse 29, “if anyone hits you, offer the other cheek” and “if anyone takes away your coat, don’t hold back your shirt.”

In these particular teachings, Jesus focuses on what it looks like in real life for His followers to show true love to the people who are hard to love. Jesus pointedly calls out the ones in our lives who are ungrateful, the easily offended, those who have taken advantage of offered kindness, and even more blunt, those who hate us and could be categorized as enemies.

Jesus’ command to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves has no fine print exclusions (Matthew 22:37-39), rather He provides clarity on how to obey such a command.

The Everyday Application

2) What six commands are given by Jesus in this passage? (verses 27-29)
On a deeper level, Jesus commands those listening to go beyond just doing the checklist of right and wrong. He pushes His hearers deeper, further into self-evaluation of not simply the action but the heart behind the action.

It’s one thing to be kind to a stranger, but an entire heart shift and empowerment by the Holy Spirit within you is required to love your enemy and do kind acts to those who hate you.

In Matthew 5:43-45, we see a similar teaching moment by Jesus where He instructs His audience to go beyond loving their neighbor to loving their enemy. He calls His followers to take radical action by praying for those who harm and persecute them. Jesus desires us as His children to follow in His footsteps and extend love and prayer to those who are different from us and walk a different life path.

The Original Intent

3) Why does Jesus use the comparative analogy phrase, “even sinners do that” three times in this passage? (verses 32-34)

In this context Jesus’ teaching moves beyond the simple outward appearance of righteousness, cutting to the heart of our motives and laying all “pseudo love” appearances out in the open. 

The religious leaders of the day, the Pharisees, had taken the Law of God and added many man-made laws for the people to follow. They taught that following their law was the only way to God. Following the law as a checklist of do’s and don’ts, simply the doing of right and wrong, became their center of worship rather than adoring the one true God with hearts and lives of true worship. (Matthew 23)

Jesus wants His listeners to realize that following God is an issue of the heart as much as it is the actions flowing from a heart of love. Actions can give the appearance of righteousness, but when there is no heart transformation by the Holy Spirit, these actions are empty, and the person is missing the mark and far from God. (Matthew 15:8-20) Jesus wants His listeners to understand that following Him requires going beyond just loving the loveable; following Him means loving the unlovable, giving without desire for return, and doing good even to those who are not necessarily good. 

The Everyday Application

3) Why does Jesus use the comparative analogy phrase, “even sinners do that” three times in this passage? (verses 32-34)

Being a good person who does good things does not mean you have a relationship with Jesus. There are a lot of people who give to charity, provide resources to help others, and will even loan out money without interest, but they do not know Jesus. Actions can give an appearance of a heart transformation, but Jesus is asking for more.

He calls us to live as those under the law of freedom and show mercy because mercy was shown to you. (James 2:8-12) We have freedom in Christ to love well and He has equipped us to be able to love well by placing the Holy Spirit inside of all persons who choose to trust Christ as their Savior and repent of their sins.

Although our old sin-nature may desire to only love those who are loveable, Christ transforms us into a new people who bear the fruit of His Spirit through love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control to all of God’s creation. (Galatians 5:22-26)

The Original Intent

4) What model does Jesus give us to follow and what is its reward? (verses 35-36)

The model Jesus provided His audience was evidenced in His own presence as God incarnate. The holy, righteous God came to earth and humbly put on flesh in order to show us what kind of God He is. In this, He demonstrated lavish mercy and graciousness, even to those who are ungrateful and spiteful in return.

In the same way, Christ calls us to follow His example by being gracious and merciful in the midst of the ungrateful and evil persons in our lives. In verse 35, Jesus says to love and do good without expecting anything in return. In verse 36, Jesus tells His listeners to be merciful just as your Father is merciful.

The reward is being children of the Most High and honoring God with everything you do. We confidently know we belong to Him as His daughters when we regularly love others genuinely and authentically through the power of His Spirit working inside of us. There is no greater reward than being called His own!

The Everyday Application

4) What model does Jesus give us to follow and what is its reward? (verses 35-36)

Jesus is our model of how to love those who are hard to love, even those who hate us, and as His followers, we are to be imitators of Him in everything we do. (Philippians 2:5-11) Jesus gives us very specific examples throughout His ministry of how we should love.

In Mark 2:13-17, He called a tax collector to follow Him and then He ate at his house with other tax collectors and sinners. (Mark 2:15) This doesn’t seem odd for us, but in Jesus’ day tax collectors were hated by the Jewish people because they worked for Rome and charged more than required in order to pad their own pockets. Jesus, being a Jewish man, culturally speaking should have hated tax collectors, yet He shared a meal and fellowshipped with not just one tax collector but a host of tax collectors and other “sinners”. The Pharisees of the day thought themselves too religious and questioned Jesus’ and His actions. (Mark 2:16) Why would Jesus do this? Jesus answered the Pharisees in verse 17, “I didn’t come to call the righteous but the sinner.”

Have dinner with your atheist neighbor. Invite your friend to coffee who has been vocal on Facebook about her political beliefs that are different from yours. Have a conversation with that family member who is hard to love. Pray diligently for that one who frustrates or hurts you. Our model was Christ laying down His life for all people, and our reward when following Him is the power to love as He loved, and an eternity spent with Him. (John 3:14-20)

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