Summary: Love must be expressed in the flesh in order for it to be real.
September 7, 2008
Text: Luke 10:25-35
Subject: The Fruit of the Spirit
Title: The Limit of Love
Turn to Luke 10. What kind of love do you have in you? As I shared with you last week from Galatians 5:22-23, if you are born again you have certain attributes that now are alive inside of you – in your spirit man. Love is one of those attributes. So let me ask you again, what kind of love do you have inside of you? For most of us love is something we show to our families and closet friends, and maybe even once and a while to a stranger in need. Luke 10:25, 25On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27He answered: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
28“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” 29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
The “expert” in the law wasn’t satisfied with what he heard from Jesus so he asked further.
In verse 27 the word love is used two times – Love the Lord your God… and Love your neighbor. The word that is translated “Love” is the Greek word that refers to the same kind of love God has for us – unconditional love; Love without reason. He asks us to love Him the same way He loves us and then to love our neighbors the same way. That’s not something that is easy to do sometimes for some of our neighbors seem to be unlovable.
It was the 1930’s in northern Canadian prairie. The height of the Great Depression. Jansen family was share-cropping but then lost their farm. A friend told them of a farm across from Jud Brewster. Few lasted there because Jud was so mean. Mr. Jansen said, "I’ll just kill him."
They moved to the new farm. One week later, Brewster appeared at their door in a rage. Their chickens were bothering him, and he threatened to kill them. The family locked them up in the henhouse.
Peace for a time, then he showed up again. "Jansen, your pigs have been in my garden. They’ll never get in my garden again!" There, in Brewster’s wagon, was their herd of young pigs, all dead. He had shot each of them. Without saying a word, Mr. Jansen buried the pigs.
A few weeks later one of the Jansen boys came rushing into the house. "Daddy, go get a gun quick. Jud Brewster’s pigs are in our garden!" The kids could already taste revenge. The father replied, "We won’t need a gun. Round up the pigs."
After a lot of trouble getting them in the wagon, they headed over to Brewster’s farm. "Good evening, Mr. Brewster. Your pigs have been in my garden. I’ve brought them back." The color drained from Brewster’s face. "My pigs, my pigs in your garden?" "That’s right. Where do you want us to put them?" Brewster’s body sagged against the door and he said, "Just dump them over behind the barn."
Jansen replied with a slight grin, "OK, but they’ll just get out again." When it had sunk in the Jansen had not killed the pigs, Brewster clutched his hand like a dying man. They talked for a long time. Brewster gave him half the pigs to keep, and on Sunday he came to church. From that point on, he was a changed man.