Greetings fellow servants,
This week's reading is still part of the "sermon on the mount", and is a part of the "law of the Kingdom" for living in true loving community - brother to brother in God's family (41-42). It is hard to read this passage without taking a look at your own life. If you read this and immediately think of someone else's issues, you miss the whole point of what Jesus is saying.
V. 37 - Do we judge each other? Even worse, do we pronounce what the punishment should be (condemn). Remember, there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Can we forgive people?
V.38 - Basically, the rule is: whatever you give will be given back to you (THIS IS NOT ABOUT MONEY!!!). If you judge, you will be judged; if you pass sentence on someone, the same will happen to you; if you forgive, you will be forgiven; It's called the law of "reciprocity" - what goes around comes around. Let's be careful of hanging around with people who are always looking at the faults of others - like pharisees and hypocrites (v.39-40).
V. 41-42 - Before we try to fix someone else, let's fix ourselves first.
Read Luke 6:37-42 (Matthew 7:1-6)
Eugene Peterson captures the heart of what Jesus is really saying:
37-38 “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.”
39-40 He quoted a proverb: “‘Can a blind man guide a blind man?’ Wouldn’t they both end up in the ditch? An apprentice doesn’t lecture the master. The point is to be careful who you follow as your teacher.
41-42 “It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this I-know-better-than-you mentality again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your own part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.
May God bless your week with His presence and power!
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