by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: Luke 6:20-36
I. How should you act? How should you react?
A. We live in a “me first” age. People demand their rights. They seek to get even when wronged.
B. But let me tell you about a radical view of life
II. Actions - Luke 6:27-28
A. Love your enemies
1. The root difference in being a Christian is our attitude. We love even those who think they are our enemies.
2. This doesn’t mean we love a person in their hatred and sins. Rather it is a desire for the best for people and a concern for their well-being.
3. There is an interesting story in the Old Testament
a. Israel and Judah long had been enemies of each other since the split of the kingdom.
b. Israel took an opportunity to attack their enemy - II Chronicles 28:8-11
c. While God did use Israel to punish Judah - II Chronicles 28:1-5
d. They went too far in their hatred.
e. Fortunately, they listened - II Chronicles 28:12-15
4. It is the attitude God showed toward us - Romans 5:8
B. Do good to those who hate you
1. That attitude then can be observed in how we behave.
2. Romans 12:18 -21 - It is the opposite of how the world behaves. They seek to even the score, as if someone was keeping a record.
3. It is the goodness of God which leads toward our change - Romans 2:4
a. God treats the good and bad alike with His gifts - Matthew 5:45
C. Bless those who curse you
1. This same attitude is seen in how we talk about others
2. Romans 12:14
a. “Bless” is to speak well of another
b. “Curse” is to wish a catastrophe on another
3. It is being courteous - I Peter 3:8-9
4. Christ left us an example - I Peter 2:18-23
5. The example of Paul - I Corinthians 4:12-13
6. Jeremiah’s example - Jeremiah 18:20
D. Pray for those who mistreat you
1. David’s example
2. How his enemies treated him - Psalms 35:11-12
3. How David treated them - Psalms 35:13-14
4. How they responded - Psalms 35:15-16
5. It might seem unfair - Psalms 109:2-5
a. We forget how miserable life can be when you mistreat others - Psalms 109:16-20, 26-31
6. Seen in Stephen’s prayer as he was being stoned - Acts 7:60
III. Reactions - Luke 6:29-30
A. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other
1. Don’t recompense evil - Proverbs 20:22; 24:29
2. A strike on the cheek is an insult, but it doesn’t put your life in jeopardy
3. The example of Jesus was to offer a mild reproof when wrongly struck - John 18:22-23
4. It fulfilled the prophecy - Isaiah 50:6
B. Whoever takes away your coat, offer him your shirt
1. Why not accept the wrong - I Corinthians 6:7
C. Whoever asks of you, give to him
1. Proverbs 21:26 - Be generous
2. Deuteronomy 15:8 - Lend according to need
D. Whoever takes what is yours, don’t demand it back
1. Loan without expecting return - Luke 6:34
E. All are stated in shocking extremes to make a point
1. Jesus is not talking about going against evil, but against the gut reaction to take personal vengeance by deciding for ourselves what should be done.
2. When someone does us wrong, we are too close to the matter to decide what the response ought to be.
F. Never return evil for evil, instead do what is good for everyone - I Thessalonians 5:15
IV. Treat others as you want to be treated - Luke 6:31
A. Too often our gut reaction comes from wounded egos, selfish motives, and a lack of concern for others
B. The reaction doesn’t have to be of the same type
C. The radical idea is that we always do what is best for others, looking out for their good, no matter how they might have treated us.