Summary: An Expository Sermon On Luke 6:20-26 on The Kind Of People Who Receive God’s Blessings And The Kind Of People Who Receive His Disfavor.
Are You on God’s A-List or Blacklist? (Part 2)
Luke Sermon Series #20 April 29th, 2001
Text: Luke 6:20-26
Introduction: You have probably heard of Galileo and how about 400 hundred years ago he argued that Aristotle was wrong about gravity. If you took two objects with one heavier than the other, Aristotle had said if one was ten pounds and the other was one pound, the ten-pound object would fall ten times faster. Well Galileo said, ’No. They will fall at the same speed.’ But nobody paid any attention to him. They thought that he was a little crazy. They simply dismissed it, because obviously he was wrong. But then he climbed up the leaning tower of Pisa. He took with him two objects, one heavier than the other, and he dropped them over the edge. To the amazement of the crowd, the heavier one did not fall faster than the light one. The answer to this scientific question was not what everyone was so certain was obviously true.
The same can be said for certain spiritual questions also, such as the question: "What type of people does God favor?", or put another way, "Who would be on God’s A-list?" and "Who would be on God’s Blacklist? To people 2,000 years ago the answer to this question seemed obvious and certain. God’s A-list was comprised of the "good people" - upstanding citizens, popular and well-liked, religious people, those who had in a sense "arrived" and were satisfied. God’s Blacklist was comprised of those who were the rejects of society. Those who were failures, wicked, admitted sinners who were unpopular and rejected. Clearly such people would not be on God’s A-list! Jesus comes along and like Galelio reveals that the popular answer was the wrong answer. In fact the popular assumption about who God approved and disapproved of was totally erroneous.
Those people who were thought by themselves and others to be God’s favorites were actually on God’s blacklist and those whom were thought by themselves and others to especially offensive and rejected by God were actually the ones with the most potential to be on God’s A-list.
How about you and me? Are we on God’s A-list or His Blacklist? Are we in a position to receive God’s applause or His condemnation? Are we approved or disapproved? Blessed or cursed? This seems to me to be a very important question with considerable ramifications for this life and the one to come. On such an important question I’m glad that we are not left guess work. Jesus has answered the important question of who is on God’s A-list and Blacklist in Luke chapter 6. He has given us God’s criteria, which is the only criteria that really counts.
Read Luke 6:20-26
This is message #20 as we continue our weekly message series out of the book of Luke. In this passage Jesus Gives us four characteristics of those on God’s A-list and Blacklist. Last week we also looked at this same Bible passage and noted first of all that Jesus is using figurative language to express spiritual characteristics. We then covered the first characteristic of those on God’s A-list and Blacklist.
I. People on God’s A-list are spiritually humble, while people of God’s Blacklist are spiritually arrogant.
Jesus used the terms "poor" in vs. 20 and "rich" in vs. 24 to figuratively express this truth and to contrast those who came to God with two different attitudes. One was a poor, humble beggar while the other was a rich, arrogant, bragger. The humble come before God and men feeling poor, that is they consider themselves destitute of anything that would make them commendable before God. The arrogant come before God and men feeling "rich", that is self-confident in their righteousness - sure that they are pretty good people and hat overall God is pleased with them. Only those who have the attitude of the humble poor are on God’s A-list and therefore receive of His favor and blessing in this life and in eternity. This is a brief review of the first characteristic that we covered last week. Now it’s time to look a the second characteristic of those on God’s A-list and Blacklist.
II. People on God’s A-list are spiritually hungry, while people on God’s Blacklist are spiritually apathetic.
Read Luke 6:21a, 25a
Jesus said that those who are "blessed", those who are on God’s A-list are those who "hunger now." Jesus is referring to spiritual hunger as is made clear in the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus is quoted as saying "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness." Jesus is saying that God especially approves of those who have a holy hunger. God’s heart and attention are captured by those who have a burning desire for the things of God. The Greek word that Jesus used here could be translated into English as "famished" or "starving." A starving person has one consuming passion. The famished person has an one overwhelming desire that far exceeds all others. When a person is truly hungry, food is the one thing that captures their attraction and attention far more than anything else. The same can be said of those who are hungry with a spiritual hunger. The thing that has their greatest attention and the most attraction is God. Those who are on God’s A-list long with all their hearts to be closer to Him and more like Him. In a sense these are the fanatics. These are the Jesus freaks. These are those who are often accused of going overboard with this Christian stuff. These are not those who are ½ hearted. Those who are spiritually hungry are obsessed with God and His kingdom. They are obsessed, but they are also blessed by God.