In the fall of 2001, I was a senior in college. Because of where my college was located, I was an hour and a half away from my hometown in upstate NY, and an hour and a half outside of NYC. I still vividly remember coming back from an 8:00am class to the news that the World Trade Center in NYC had been hit by two planes. We were all stunned, gathered around TVs, watching the news roll in as people tried to figure out what was going on.
As a Christian college we had chapel at 10:00am and a Bible professor was slated to speak. What would you say? What would you preach on? This person chose Romans 12, specifically dealing with not taking vengeance (12:19-21).
Of all texts, why that? Perhaps because he knew the hearts especially of angry young people that day and wanted to convey to them the way of Jesus. Perhaps he sensed this could be a defining moment in our culture, where stereotypes and distrust and prejudice and lack of love would begin to reign.
This is one example of many in how we are constantly being called back to the main thing of Christianity, namely, to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves. This is especially true in a time where persecution of Christians around the world continues with vehemence (see: persecution.org).
In Luke 6:27-36 the focus is on the latter, and what a reminder of the need we have for God to work in our lives that we might love as he calls us to. We ought to love others with extraordinary, genuine, God-given love, knowing God first loved you.
This text is in the midst of Luke’s depiction of Jesus and his mission on earth (Luke 1-9). From Luke 6:20-49 Jesus is teaching a great multitude about a host of issues that pertain to living faithfully as a disciple of ...
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