Summary: A sermon about loving enemies and allowing God to maintain justice for wrongs done against us.
Turn your Bible to Luke chapter 6, Luke chapter 6. And we are just kind of walking our way through the Book of Luke. And this is a fascinating part of—in fact, Luke 6 is one of my favorite chapters of the whole book. And the reason is because this is when Jesus really begins to unpack some of his most spectacular teachings. I mean, this is when Jesus begins to say things that just wrecked people’s lives that challenged people’s lives. And in Luke chapter 6, this is the Sermon on the Mount or the Sermon on the Plain, depending on who you hear the description from. But He’s probably in front of a crowd, maybe this size or maybe bigger. And He’s probably backed up on the Sea of Galilee, or He’s up on the side of a hill, taking advantage of the natural terrain as an amphitheater. And He just stands there and begins to teach. He doesn’t have a podium. He doesn’t have notes in front of Him. He just begins to talk. And out of Him comes these unbelievable world-changing truths.
Now, I told you last week I’m skipping over the Beatitudes, which is Four Beatitudes in the Book of Luke in Luke chapter 6 because Pastor Glenn Packiam is going to cover that on April 3rd. He’s going to look at the Four Beatitudes that we found on Luke chapter 6. So I’m skipping over that on purpose. So we’re going to pick it up today in verse 27. And the title of this talk today is, The Best Thing Possible for the Worst Person Possible. The Best Thing Possible—In fact, I want you to write the title down because that’s the talk. That’s it right there in one sentence, in one phrase. This is what I want you to walk away with today.
Now, when I read Luke chapter 6, I want to be very candid with you and very honest. I actually asked the Lord if I could skip over this part of the Bible because what I’m about to read to you is so counter-intuitive to everything you feel, everything I feel. When someone wrongs you or someone opposes you, when you have an enemy in your life, everything about you wants to respond in the natural. And Jesus now is about to confront us and challenge us if we’re really, really serious about being Christ followers. A lot of what Jesus says in these next few chapters is going to be completely counter-intuitive. I mean it’s going to go against everything you want to believe. And so I said, “God, can I just skip over Luke chapter 6?” And He would not give me permission. So I’m going to just dive right into this. So I’m just going to tell you. I’m going to read this and everything inside of you is going to go, “No! No! No!” And God says, “Yes! Yes!” So are you prepared for this? Are you ready?
All right. Luke chapter 6 verse 27 — “But I tell you who hear me. Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who mistreat you.” You got a knot in your stomach getting out of your body. You got a knot there just kind of growing, the growing sensation inside of you that no, no, no, no. Then it goes into even more detail about it, though. Listen to this. He doesn’t take His foot off the accelerator at all. I mean He is about to drive this home into our hearts.
“If someone strikes you on the cheek—on one cheek, turn to him the other also.” Growing up, I used to tell my dad, “Daddy, it doesn’t really say what to do after the second punch, though. So can I hit him back after the second one?” Bad theology, though. “If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you. And if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.”
Then He summarizes what He just said, which I think is an awful name for this, the Golden Rule, the Great Commandment, the Golden Commandment. Listen to what He says, “Do to others before they do it to you.” I just want to make sure you read along with me here, right, because that’s what we want to say, right, do unto others before they have a chance to do it unto you. Be proactive. No, He says, “Do to others as you would have them do to you,” not as they do to you, not like they do to you. Treat others the way you want to be treated. That’s kindergarten, but it’s really—I’m telling you as adults, we have to be reminded of that all the time.