Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Kingdom in Luke

Luke 6:20-23 contain some similar teaching by Jesus to the beatitudes in Matthew 5:
--The poor will inherit the kingdom
--the hungry will be filled
--those who weep will laugh
--and those who get flack for following Christ will be rewarded.

Luke adds some punch by contrasting these positive attitudes with some 'anti-beatitudes':
--the rich will miss out on the kingdom
--the well-fed will be hungry
--the happy will cry
--and don't celebrate just because people like you.

Then he presents some kingdom paradoxes:
--love those who hate you
--bless those who curse you
--don't be satisfied with just a small sacrifice
--and set the example for generosity, don't wait for the other guy to do it first.

You will get what you give:

Some more nuggets:
--check yourself out before pointing out someone else's faults.
--whatever is on the inside is what is going to come out.
--words don't prove much—it's actions that demonstrate who you really follow.
--a solid foundation and secure building are a picture of a person who lives out the words of Christ. Mere words or statements of faith are like a house with a shaky foundation. The house may be OK, but without a solid foundation of action, it won't survive the storm. Are we putting into practice the things we have heard, or are we just talking about them? Note: Jesus own interpretation of this story is not that he is the foundation, but that obedience is the foundation.

Notice the similarities between the person who built on the rock, and the one who built on sand:
--both hear Christ's words
--both build the house
--both experience the flood.

Now note the differences:
--the house on the rock pictures the person who puts Christ's words into practice, thus building the foundation on the rock, and survives the storm.
--the house on the sand pictures the person who does not put Christ's words into practice, and thus has no foundation, and his house collapses in the storm.

“And why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?” Luke 6:46

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