Summary: 2nd in a 4 part series on the Blessings and Woes of Luke 6
The Blessed List: Cravings of the Heart
Luke 6 17-20a; 21a; 25a
Dr. Michael Snow
August 17, 2008
I want to begin this morning with a little quiz. I want to see if all of our contemporary advertising really works. See if you can identify the following products by their advertising slogans.
"Just do it." Nike
"It’s the real thing." Coke
"When you care enough to send the very best." Hallmark
"Where’s the beef?" Wendy’s
"The next best thing to being there." AT&T
“It keeps going and going” - Duracell
“Can You Hear Me Now?” - Verison
“What’s In Your Wallet?” – Capital One
"I can’t believe I ate the whole thing." Alka-Seltzer
“Sometimes you fee like a nut” – Almond Joy
“MMM, MMM Good – Campbell’s Soup
"They’re Great!" Kellogg’s Corn Flakes
"A Little Dab’lI Do Yah." Brylcream
“Builds Strong Bodies 12 Ways” – Wonder Bread
“We Bring Good Things to Life” – GE
“The Quality Goes in Before the Name Goes On” – Maytag
“The Dog Kids Love to Bite” – Armor Hot Dogs
“Gotta Have my Pops” – Sugar Pops
“Obey Your Thirst” – Sprite
“Live in Your World, Play In Ours” – Play Station
“You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers” – Radio Shack
“So Easy a Caveman can Do it” – Geico.com
“Nothing Runs Like A Deer” – John Deer
Unless we work in the field advertising or we have a product that we are trying sell, few of us have any idea the billions of dollars that are spent each year to promote products. But the fact is advertising is not so much a matter of promoting a product as it is creating a need. Advertising is not so much a matter of satisfying a hunger or quenching a thirst as it is creating a hunger and thirst.
When Jesus began teach the crowd of first century seekers about the Kingdom of Heaven. It wasn’t necessary to look very far to discover the needs of their lives. The crowds that followed Jesus didn’t have to imagine what it was like to be poor. And to hunger and thirst were very present realities.
They knew the difference between needs and wants, between necessities and luxuries. At any time in any day food and water are necessities of life. This was especially true in first century Palestine. Both food and water were used carefully and where never wasted. To own a well and to cultivate a field were
matters of survival. So, when Jesus linked together hunger and thirst with righteousness, He was telling the people that righteousness is not a luxury, it is a necessity. In the same way that our physical life depends upon food and water; our spiritual life depends upon righteousness.
For years doctors have told us that we are what we eat. And today in America it’s clear that we are eating a lot. There is certainly plenty of empirical evidence that a growing number of Americans are overfed. When compared to the rest of the world, we are consuming more than our share. We would certainly fit Jesus description of being “well fed” which Jesus warns of in verse 25. When we consider the health consequences such as heart disease and diabetes, the point is well taken.
But the scriptures tell us that what is true of our body is also true of our soul. There is a spiritual hunger within us, we each have a spiritual appetite which must be satisfied. So, just as our physical health depends upon food and water, Jesus says that our spiritual health depends upon righteousness.
How can we get the spiritual nourishment that we so desperately need? Just as we have our various physical senses of sight, hearing, taste, touch to aid us in caring for our bodies. We also must develop our spiritual senses to aid us in our spiritual growth.
We must have a spiritual sense of sight.
Paul prayed for the Ephesians…
"May the eyes of your heart be enlightened" (Ephesians 1: 18). Jesus lamented that His disciples…
“had eyes, but they failed to see (Mark 8: 18).”
Jesus’ counsel to the church at Laodicea was that they
“anoint their eyes with salve so that they could see” (Revelation 3:18 NKJV).
We also need a spiritual sense of hearing.
Do you have…ears but fail to hear? Mark 8:18 (NIV)
And in John chapter 10 He said,
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27 (NIV)
But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice."
John 10:5 (NIV)
The Bible also speaks of a spiritual sense of taste.
Psalm 34:8 says, "0 taste and see that the Lord is good!"