There are a number of solid sections in today’s reading of Luke, and each is worth commenting on (briefly). Most scholars believe that this was a different sermon than the “Sermon on the Mount”. This section is often called the “Sermon on the Plain”. Here’s a quick study note on the three theories about Matthew & Luke’s recorded sermons and their similarities (I’ll let the cat out of the bag and tell you that I ascribe to view #2):
(1) they record the same sermon but Matthew and Luke give summaries that report different sections and emphases; (2) they record two different sermons, given on different occasions but repeating much of the same content, as itinerant preachers often do; and (3) either Matthew or Luke, or both, have collected sayings that Jesus gave on different occasions and put them together in a sermon format. View (3) seems to make Matthew’s presentation of this as a single historical event untruthful (cf. Matt. 5:1–2 with 7:28–29; 8:1; and Luke 6:17, 20 with Luke 7:1), and evangelical commentators have not generally adopted it. Views (1) and (2) are both possible, and it is difficult to decide between them. (ESV STUDY BIBLE)
1) The Beatitudes. Since this was expounded upon in a previous post, we won’t go into great detail on it. The beatitudes are some of the strongest (and simplest) teachings of our Savior, yet they are also very puzzling. They have to be understood with Heaven in mind. Any persecution we face must be endured with a heart that genuinely believes in Revelation 21:1-7. Verse 21 is fantastic: we hunger now for real righteousness and peace on this earth. We hunger to see the end of sin. But we will be fully satisfied in Christ when we are united with Him in heaven.
2) Woes. You never want to be on Jesus’ naughty list. That’s what this is. If your object of worship is ANYTHING other than God Himself, and you never repent and place your faith in His Son Jesus, you will deal with horrible, eternal consequences. Great cross reference for this: Isaiah 65:13-14.
3) Loving Your Enemies. Other than our own sinfulness, this is probably the toughest thing we’ll face on this earth. The only real standard we have in this is Jesus Himself. We were all His enemies. He endured death at our hands, and through that death, He offers us life. Not all will accept this life, yet it is offered to all. The way we as Christians handle rejection and persecution is different than the world’s ethic of retaliation. We are to espouse compassion and generosity.
4) Judging Others. Let’s remember what this doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean that we don’t judge. It does mean that we’d better take a good look under the hood before we judge. It does mean that we call out sin not merely for the sake of judgment but for reconciliation and repentance. If you are going to dish out judgment, be prepared to have the magnifying glass on your own life.
5) Trees & Fruit. If you are in Christ, you should bear fruit. You were once a withered, dead tree, but now you are alive. Galatians 5:16-26 explains this great truth for us. If you are in the Spirit and you yield to the Spirit, you will produce fruit.
6) Home Foundation. The final section in this passage is vital for every follower of Jesus. We build our spiritual house on Jesus. He is the firm foundation that weathers storms. He is the rock that is strong when our flesh feels weak. Here’s the tough reality: even after coming into a relationship with Jesus, we find ourselves prone to the old life. We start putting down a shallow foundation of hay, and when storms arise, we are blindsided and crushed, left in ruin. Let’s resolve as a church to trade in those weak foundations and build on Jesus.
So, which section jumped out to you? How can you apply the various teachings of the passage? Anything specific that the Lord impressed upon your heart that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments section.
By: Todd Thomas — Worship & College Pastor