Summary: Luke 6:31 Recognized as one of the most significant ideas, not only in all Scripture but in moral philosophy as well – termed the “golden rule.” See how the golden rule has changed today.
Why should we be good?
2. Sincere belief
4. Moral Values
Why Should we be Good?
Ravi Zacharias notes that “religion that is based on truth, when reduced merely to sociological function, will disintegrate through abuse. Time has proven, in an even stronger voice, the pragmatism, which by definition is to do whatever works, in the long run does not work because it is captive to the moment (what feels right). The foundation of moral action must go deeper and further than utilitarianism.”
Utilitarianism -- the ethical doctrine that the greatest happiness of the greatest number should be the criterion of the virtue of action ... what makes people happy!
– Luke tells us that after Jesus “spent the night praying to God” (6:12) Jesus calls his 12 disciples and then addresses a larger crowd (v. 17).
Crowd had gathered “to hear [Jesus] and to be healed of their diseases.” (v. 18)
Jesus sermon here – Gospel equivalent of Paul’s chap. on love (1 Cor. 13)
v. 31 Recognized as one of the most significant ideas, not only in all Scripture but in moral philosophy as well – termed the “golden rule.”
READ: Luke 6:27-36
[v. 27] on first hearing what is your reaction to Jesus’ words? If you could interject and ask him a question, what might you say (or ask)?
1. Main command – Love your enemies
2. Do good to those what hate you
3. Bless those who curse you
4. Pray to those who ill-treat you
Loving God’s way
Love the unlovely, love not deserved or earned
But love by choice – the lover chooses to be a loving person
OT hesed “loving kindness” expresses God’s favour and faithfulness toward his [covenant] people.
Love therefore viewed as a verb --
Jesus statements reveal that agape is best understood as a verb—a quality that moves a person to act for the benefit of another without expecting to gain advantage
[v. 37] Jesus us calls us to higher standard of love – attacks the cultural version of love – in his day and ours
Unique concept of love
Understanding the love of God and how God wishes us to love
This differs to the cultural expression of the day found in hedonism
Hedonism – a philosophical doctrine that holds that pleasure is the highest good or the source of moral values
Doing what makes us feel good
What necessarily do what is actually right
Might mean we would have to set aside what makes us feel good to love someone else in the way Jesus insists
The golden rule is, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
How has this been turned into something it isn’t?
Emphasis is on the, “as you would have them do to you” not “Do to others.”
If it doesn’t make us feel happy – it doesn’t meet the criteria as being a worthy endeavour or pursuit of us
So we do the absolute minimum or even nothing at all
Jesus calls us to love regardless of how others will respond
Our society chooses its morals based on what is right for the benefit of most people (utilitarianism) – what will do the most good for the many
Problem is we fall into a pattern where we no longer do what is right and just, because it is simply the right and Godly thing to do.
We do not go the extra mile
What does Jesus say is the extra mile?
1. Do good to those what hate you
2. Bless those who curse you
3. Pray to those who ill-treat you
[vv. 29-30] “If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.”
Then ... [vv. 32-35] “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he [God] is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.”
Finally in [v. 36] “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”