Today, in Luke Chapter 6,
this is what I noticed.
After dealing with the religious men,
Jesus got away by climbing a mountain
so that he could be alone and pray.
But wait -
his disciples must have been with him,
on the mountain too,
because this is what it says in verse 17,
written by Luke,
“When they came down from the mountain,
the disciples stood with Jesus
on a large, level area,
surrounded by many of his followers
and by the crowds."
Anyway, back to verse 12 -
this is what happens to my brain,
when I get ahead of myself.
When Jesus on the mountain,
he prayed all night to God,
then at daybreak,
He called all of his disciples
to gather around.
In the circle,
he gave them the scoop,
12 would be apostles,
and they would be sent
to spread the Good News.
This is when he announced their names,
the following students would trained
to be sent:
and his brother Andrew,
The sons of Zebedee,
James and John -
and they were brothers too.
Philip and Bartholomew,
also known as Matthew.
known for doubting Jesus,
also known as a Zealot.
the son of Alphaeus,
the son of James.
And the last one to be named,
is Judas Iscariot.
Apparently, he was sent
to betray Jesus,
and bring forward his death.
It amazes me -
that nothing happens
outside of God's will.
Even Judas was sent
to do God's will.
When they came off the mountain,
there were so many people following them,
it’s no wonder Jesus needed
some quiet time with God!
People came from all of Judea,
and as far north as the seacoast of Sidon and Tyre.
Everyone came to hear his teaching,
and they all wanted to receive healing.
The news had spread
that healing power came out of Jesus!
Can you even imagine?
It’s amazing how powerful the Holy Spirit is!
It was on this plateau,
that Jesus blessed his disciples -
This Sermon on the Mount
also known as the Beatitudes.
And as I read Luke,
verses 20 to 26,
I noticed that Jesus's blessings
were different than what is typically preached.
The blessings of Jesus
seems to be the opposite
to the modern-day, prosperity gospel.
“God bless you who are the poor,
for the kingdom of heaven is yours,”
but the prosperity gospel says,
“you are wealthy, because Jesus is.”
“God bless you who are hungry now
for you will be satisfied,”
but the modern-day gospel says,
"It is time to feast, for you are prosperous!”
“God bless you who weep now,
for in due time you will laugh,”
but the American gospel says,
“Have everlasting joy, for Jesus has the victory!”
“What blessings await you
when people hate you
and exclude you,
and mock you
and curse you as evil
because you follow the Son of Man.”
He told them that when this happens,
to be happy and leap for joy -
for a great reward awaits us in Heaven.
Then he reminds the disciples
that is what happened
when their ancestors
treated the ancient prophets like this!
He tells his followers
to live enduringly,
because much of what they will experience
will be overwhelming!
Jesus shared all of the sorrows
that await people who are impatient,
and have to have it all "now."
He said that the rich and powerful
of this world
will have nothing
but mourning and sorrow
to endure in the underworld.
He then tells them
to love their enemies,
He teaches them the golden rule.
“Do unto others, as you would like them to do unto you.”
"Love your enemies, and do good to those who hate you."
Bless those who curse you,
and pray for those who hurt you.
If that was not difficult enough,
Luke 6, verses 27 to 42
are really difficult too.
"Children of the Most High are kind
to those who are wicked and unthankful.
How many times
have I walked away
who are self-centered and ungrateful?
What do you do,
when people are ungrateful
despite your constant latitude?
I am thankful
that it’s easy to love those who are kind,
but sometimes I really struggle
with showing compassion
for those who manipulate and constantly lie!
I do not have a problem with giving,
as Jesus tells us to.
I think it’s because other people gave to me,
and were there to help me through.
But as you can see,
I interpret the meaning
from the limited perspective of “me.”
Jesus said we would receive our reward in heaven
when we treat our enemies kind.
For me it’s not about the reward,
it’s about wanting to honor the Lord.
I’m still a work in progress,
probably as are you.
In the next section,
Jesus said "Do not judge, and you won’t be judged!"
This characteristic is truly an aspect of his love -
because in our flesh,
we usually think we are above -
and point our finger and judge!
Not one of us is perfect yet,
at least not as long
as we live in this flesh!
If we have a log in our own eye,
then how can we condemn another and feel justified?
We spend a great deal of time pointing our finger,
when really we should be sit with the Lord, and linger.
We truly are
the blind leading the blind,
where no one sees the fullness of God,
no matter how hard we try!
But there is one thing,
that I do know,
the Holy Spirit has shown me
that I will know Him by His fruit!
When the heart of a person
is rooted in God’s love,
they will bear good fruit
that rises above.
Goodness will show more than evil,
and peace will pass all understanding.
Joy comes with repentance,
will show through proper planning.
Faithfulness ties with unfailing love,
and patience comes when enduring
something that is hard.
Gentleness is a characteristic of humility,
and kindness stems from showing empathy.
When the heart is good,
we are firmly established in God's love,
but when the heart is bad,
it has not roots, and sits on sand.
Luke Chapter 6 ends like this -
We must follow Jesus!
He asked his disciples,
“Why do you keep calling me Lord, Lord
when you don’t do what I say?
I will show you what it’s like
when someone comes to me,
listens to my teaching and then follows it.
It is like a person building a house
who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock.
When the floodwaters rise
and break against the house
it stands firm because it is well-built.
But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey,
is like a person who builds a house right on sand
- without a foundation.
When the floods sweep down against the house
it will collapse into a heap of ruins."
It's obvious to see,
from this reading,
that Jesus understands
the inner heart of a man.
The tree represents
the mind and the heart,
and the roots represent
being set apart.
So after reading all of Luke, Chapter 6
this is what I’d like to say -
there is nothing more important
than sacred rest with God,
and discipleship through Christ Jesus.
If you feel you have gone astray,
and you don't know how to get back.
Call upon the name of the Lord,
and turn your face back to him.
it's nothing more than saying sorry,
and asking him to bring you home.
We are all prodigal children,
and we all are in need of our Father's love.
He is waiting with open arms,
for you to find him,
and come back home.