Summary: Working through the Gospel of Luke using consecutive expository preaching.

“Let Haters Hate”

Luke 6:17-26

A sermon for 5/9/21

Pastor John Bright

Luke 6 “22 Blessed are you when men hate you,

And when they exclude you,

And revile you, and cast out your name as evil,

For the Son of Man’s sake.

23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!

For indeed your reward is great in heaven,

For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.”

There’s no telling how many of us have thought it, but never said it.

Sometimes kids get so mad at Mom or Dad that those three words actually cross their lip – “I hate you.”

It probably happens the most with teens during their most rebellious years. Almost always, those words lead to regret and the bond of love is later restored. Jesus is talking about a whole other kind of hate.

We find these verses in the midst of a much larger teaching in Luke 6. There are similarities between this part of Luke and the three chapters in Matthew we call the Sermon on the Mount. Last week, we looked at the prayer of Jesus- how He listened to the Father in choosing the 12 Apostles – choosing who would suffer and die for Him. In the next verse we read – “17 And He came down with them and stood on a level place…” This is why Luke’s section of teaching is called the Sermon on the Plain.

This is also another place in Luke that we see Jesus healing those who come to Him. “17…a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, 18 as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. 19 And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.” I often have discussions with folks in the church who are not comfortable with a Healing Ministry for today. They often tell me, “We can’t heal anyone, only Jesus could do that.” Actually, according to the verse I just read, it was not Jesus healing them. It was the POWER OF GOD coming out of Him that was doing the healing. There is a long history in the Church of anointing with oil and laying on of hands. When we do that, we just want that same POWER OF GOD flowing to the one who needs healing. Just remember what I have told you before – all those folks that got a healing on that day – they all died. Not one of them is still around today. Our praying for healing will never keep death away forever, but we can pray for healing that makes living easier to handle. Amen?

Luke condenses the “blessed are those” that we often associate with the Beatitudes from Matthew 5. It is usually accepted that Luke wrote for Gentile Christians and Matthew wrote for Jewish Christians. We can always be sure that God meant for them to write EXACTLY what He told them to write. God also wanted you and me to have the totality of His Holy Word for today. It was important then and important for today that Believers trust that God is always with them – even in times of struggle. He is with the poor – those who lack for the basic needs of life we take for granted (until a pandemic hits). He is with the hungry – think about all those folks who rely on God’s Storehouse and how they need the food we collect. God is with the ones who cry – could these be the many parents today losing kids to addiction, overdose and suicide? God is with all these and we should be also!

Let’s spend some time today talking about folks hating you. How do you feel when I say that? We want to be loved. (Today is Mother’s Day - a day when we celebrate love for the special ladies in our lives and they all want to be loved). We want to be liked – especially on Social Media. If folks on there click “like” on my post or my tweet when I show off my best dance moves on Tiktok – does that mean they like me?

We have gotten caught in a loop of wanting to be liked and basing how I feel about myself – my self-acceptance – on how much other people give me praise.

Do we care more about what God thinks or other people?

We hear the same message throughout the Bible.

Listen to the wisdom from Proverbs -

Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare,

But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.

26 Many seek the ruler’s favor,

But justice for man comes from the Lord.”

In Acts, the Apostles are arrested a second time in Jerusalem – Acts 5 “And the high priest asked them, 28 saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!”

29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”

And Paul put it this way when he wrote to the Believers in Galatia -

Galatians 1:10 “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”

So, if I am doing what God wants me to do – does it really matter what people think? This is an important idea to grasp since we live in a world/culture that is increasingly hostile to the Word of God. There are folks today – even in our own denomination – that want to tell me the Bible is full of errors. It had been altered and added to over time. Here is one I hear all the time – “We can’t trust the Bible because it is a translation of a translation of translation. It has been translated so many times we lost count and everybody knows that when a book is translated there is always something that gets lost in translation.” Now, you can think that if you want, but I think it’s dumb! I try to tune all that out and concentrate on the plain truth of God’s Word for today – for you and me.

What can I look forward to if I stand up for Jesus?

Luke 6 “22 Blessed are you when men hate you,

And when they exclude you,

And revile you, and cast out your name as evil,

For the Son of Man’s sake.

Let me stop right here and say, with no doubt, that what we face in our part of the world – in the US – is miniscule when compared to the persecution and martyrdom faced by thousands and thousands of Believers around the world today. If you are not familiar with the current struggles faced by Believers in other countries, I would suggest to get more information from Voice of the Martyrs ( or Open Doors USA ( They can always use our prayers!

Now, back to the cancel culture that we live in today in the US. As Christians, can we see ourselves as “blessed” when we are hated, reviled, called evil names? What about suffering all of these for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior?

In the Gospel of John, Jesus heals a man born blind. When the man’s parents are asked to testify how it happened, they would not – John 9 “20 His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21 but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue.” Later, in John 16, Jesus is speaking to those Apostles He had chosen and makes clear what is coming – “v. 2 They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.”

We know that in the Early Church there were Gentile Christians who faced the loss of their way to make a living if they did not worship the Roman Emperor. If they were found out to be Believers in the decades that follow after the Apostles have died, they would face death – unless they reject Christ. Some did. Most did not.

Let’s say you are wearing something at work or at school that is Christian (a tie or a shirt) – it has a Bible verse or just a simple message like “Jesus Saves” – and you are told it violates a new policy. In some places today, displaying any Bible verse is considered hate speech. It happens to you – what will you do? Not wear it anymore? Isn’t your job more important than standing up for your Christian Beliefs? If you are considered to have used hate speech – you will be labeled “a hater.” Once you get a label, everyone is free to hate you! You won’t be killed or tortured, but does that make your decision easier or harder?

I am looking at this scenario in my own denomination. They have embraced practices that I believe violate God’s Word and my ordination vows. I will have to stand up and be counted sooner or later. My denominational leaders have also embraced strong ideas on social justice that I believe constitute “another gospel.” In the True Gospel, my righteousness is bought with the precious blood of Jesus. If we try to base our worth or righteousness on any other criteria – then I will let the words of the Bible speak for me: Galatians 1 “6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”

If it is our turn, how should we respond?

Luke 6 “23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!

For indeed your reward is great in heaven,

For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.”

Rejoice? Really?

That word, “rejoice”, occurs 282 times in the Bible ( We are commanded to rejoice over and over again. Why? You see, if I am doing what God wants and people don’t like it that, should be a source of joy for me. There is a great cloud of witnesses that Paul describes in Hebrews 12 and their stories encourage me to be glad and rejoice when it’s my turn. Listen to how David described it in Psalm 30:8-11

8 I cried out to You, O Lord;

And to the Lord I made supplication:

9 “What profit is there in my blood,

When I go down to the pit?

Will the dust praise You?

Will it declare Your truth?

10 Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me;

Lord, be my helper!”

11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;

You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,

If we suffer in this life for Christ – we are like the Early Church that received this word or encouragement in 1 Peter 4: “12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.” Just another practical result of rejoicing – I get my eyes off the problem and raise my eyes to the Problem Solver – God Almighty!

I know that in other parts of the world, if you are in the Church, you are part of a Body. We give that lip service here in the US Church, but are we really united? Does anybody have my back? Every once in a while, I have to mention the two guys in my Discipleship Band. Over the months we have been meeting weekly on Zoom – I really feel like those guys would go to bat for me. They have got my back. Lieutenant General (Ret.) William “Jerry” Boykin has written a book, “Man to Man: Rediscovering Masculinity in a Challenging World”, in which describes the roles of manhood. One of these is “Battle Buddy.” In the Army, your battle buddy is there to assist you both in and out of a battle.

If we are entering a time of greater hatred, reviling and labeling as evil for being a Believer in Jesus Christ, we better learn to stick together. There is an old saying – “The Church is the only army that shoots its own wounded.” Not true – in the world today you can be a part of any group one day and the next you are thrown under the bus and cancelled. It’s my prayer that the Local Church today here in the US can become more and more like those places where they suffer terribly for Christ and rejoice. Why would I want that? Those are the places where there is explosive growth and souls are being snatched from the fires of hell. You can hate me for saying that – it’s ok. Really! Amen.