Summary: Have you ever wondered if you could meet God - would you like Him? We learn from Luke 6 that many of God’s characteristics run counter to our natural way of thinking. Learn how freeing it is to live life like God lives life!
What is God like? Mankind has asked that question for millennia. God is powerful - He created the universe and can send down lightning bolts. God is angry - He likes to judge and punish people. God is distant - if you see Him you die and he lives far away in heaven where we can never touch Him. God says He is love but He must also be hate because He sends people to hell if they don’t like him.
Here are some excerpts about what kids say God is like:
I bet it is very hard for you to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I can never do it. - Nan
We read Thomas Edison made light. But in Sunday school they said you did it. So I bet he stoled your idea. - Sincerely, Donna
In Sunday school they told us what you do. Who does it when you are on vacation? - Jane
Are you really invisible or is that just a trick? - Lucy
What does it mean you are a jealous God? I thought you had everything. - Jane
It rained for our whole vacation and is my father mad! He said some things about you that people are not supposed to say, but I hope you will not hurt him anyway. - Your friend, but I am not going to tell you who I am
What is God like to you? And how can we know what He is really like? I think we can. In fact, I think Jesus Christ went out of His way to show us what God is like - and here in the latter half of Luke 6 He actually tells us what God is like - by showing us what a person modeled after God’s heart is like.
Luke 6 is the short version of the Sermon on the Mount. I like it because Luke gets right down to the bottom line. Jesus has called attention to the fact that the religious leaders of His day had it all wrong when they put their power and their rules above God and above caring for others more than caring for silly rules.
Now He gets specific about how humans are supposed to be - and what I find most interesting is that pretty much everything Jesus says we should be we are not naturally. As we look at the list - think about how you would react in a situation naturally - often it is the opposite of how God would react - and it gives us hope too - that God, through the regeneration and renewal of His Holy Spirit - can give us that character too.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. ESV
Verses 20 - 26
Is Jesus saying that we should never laugh, eat, or have money and that we should go around miserable and crying all the time? No. I believe He is saying - there is more to life than what you find on earth, and there is a higher reality that can only be found by first forsaking our dependence on this age and on our own self sufficiency.
He’s also not saying that poor people or hungry people automatically get into heaven. In fact, in Matthew’s gospel there is a more complete list of what Jesus said here - He said: "blessed are the poor in spirit."
What’s happening is Jesus is wanting us to realize that life and the way we always thought things should be is all wrong. If you think you are secure you really aren’t. If you think you have it all you really have nothing. If you think you have happiness you really aren’t. Satan has counterfeited all those things that we need - made us think that we get security, peace, joy, intimacy, and purpose from things never designed to give us those things.
The human condition is terminal. It’s only by realizing that we are evil from the core and that nothing short of the fellowship with God that we really crave inside will do - that’s when you start down that path of being blessed.
Being poor means you realize you lack - that sin has tainted you, and that something vital is missing. Being hungry means you want to fill those missing pieces in your life - not satisfied with the false alternatives the world offers. Weeping means you mourn for your condition and your need - and then when you make that choice to find what is missing in Jesus Christ - you are cutting ties with the world - knowing that it means making a choice and perhaps being ostracized from those who have not made that choice.