There is a reason why the caption for this series says: UNDERSTANDING CHRIST: A Look through the Book of Luke. It is a look through the book of Luke for given the time frame we have we cannot fully exhaust the contents of the book of Luke in one month. So pardon me if my blog post tends to emphasize on a particular section of scripture in each of the chapters we have examined so far.
However even though we may not be able to fully exhaust the content of this book, still we would have been better off by the end of this month study than where we begin from.
There was a lot that went down in Luke 6. A careful division of Luke 6 into various headings revealed all that happened
- The Lord and the violation of the Sabbath law
- Jesus prayed and picked his disciples.
- The sermon on the mount. One of Jesus' most popular messages brimming with a lot of wisdom.
There could be many other divisions of this text but I am glad to stay with these three and quickly go over them!
THE LORD OF THE SABBATH(Luke 6:1-11)
Here was the tale of two separate events that happened on the Sabbath day and in both instances Christ seems to have broken the law. There is a law that was given under the mosaic covenant that stipulated what can or cannot be done on the Sabbath day. And on this particular day Jesus as it were broke the law and his reason for doing this were captured in verse 5, Christ said:
"The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” (Luke 6:5).
And with that statement, Christ put into a display or proverbially demonstrated to us what was to come! Here the Lord set aside the law of the sabbath but in essence, the Lord was demonstrating to us how he intends to set the whole law aside and usher in the era of freedom and grace!
David, our Lord reminded His critics, was able to violate the law which prohibited the eating of the sacred bread to anyone but the priests. The priests, because of who they were, could eat the sacred bread, and they could violate the Sabbath by offering sacrifices in the temple. Jesus, God incarnate, was free from the law, so to speak because He was the author of the law. You and I cannot take a book that has been written, copywritten, and published, and change its words, but its author can because it is his work. So, too, as God Jesus was not subject to the law, and thus not bound to keep the Sabbath. Christ voluntarily place Himself under the law, in the sinner’s place, so that He could bear the penalty of the law, and redeem men from the power of death through the law!
Jesus’ actions and words in our text are most significant, for they teach in principle at a minute scale what He will accomplish on a broad scale. Jesus was not merely claiming the authority to set aside the Sabbath, He was claiming the right to set aside the whole law. By meeting the demands of the law without any sin, and by dying to the law in the sinner’s place, Jesus has set the law aside. Having died to the law, the resurrected Christ was no longer under the law, to which He had subjected Himself. Our Lord’s Sabbath actions were but a prototype of His work on the cross.
On the cross the law was set aside, the victory of Christ was pronounced and the era of grace began!
John 1:17 captured this for us
"For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ"
So as Jesus said In Luke 6:5 that he is not a slave to the law, for that's how the message translation put it, we also are not a slave to the power of the law and of sin! Note here that it was not only Jesus that ate the grain that was forbidden by law to be eaten. The disciples also partook. They also ate the grain. Not only was David allowed to break the law and to eat the holy bread, so were his disciples. Not only was Jesus free from the law, so were His disciples. Our bondage or freedom is the by-product of our relationship to Christ or our lack of it. Those who are “in Christ” are privileged to share in all that He has accomplished for them, and that includes freedom from the law, sin and it's an attendant consequence, death. So we can sing that song, "am no longer a slave to Sin, I am a child of God".
When Christ left his father on Christmas day and came to us his major intent was to abolish the power of the law and enthrone the regime of grace. It's why most of Paul's letter always ends with this simple prayer, " May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the sweet fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you now and forevermore" Amen. Celebrate Jesus if you are a beneficiary of this grace!
JESUS PRAYED AND CHOOSE HIS DISCIPLES(Luke 6:12-21)
The second story on the Sabbath ended with Jesus healing the man with a crippled hand and as soon as he finished the Bible records that about the same time, immediately, the master went to the mountain to pray and he was there all night in prayers settling with God the agenda for the day.
The agenda for the next day was so clear
- the decision to pick the disciples that will be in his inner core
- prayer for the healing of the sick, the oppressed, the demon-possessed, the brokenhearted, the poor that always seek him from day to day
- prayer for the sermon on the mountain that he was about to give
And there are things to pick here from the life of the master.
1.As soon as he released he went to recharge.
As soon as he healed the cripple he went back to God's presence to recharge and stayed there all night in prayers. We all know that scripture in Isaiah tells us that those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. When we are drained and tired in every way, sleep is not the only form of renewal, prayer is also a form of total renewal. A time in his presence not only renew and recharge our spirit but also renew and recharge every fiber of our being!
2. People will only seek us to the extent to which we seek God!
The Bible tells us here that Jesus sought God and then the world sought him.
And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.
Luke 6:19 KJV
Touched by God, Jesus was able to touch his world.
Is there anyone who doesn't want the world seeking after them? Anyone who is a solution provider wants the world seeking after them, or at least after the solutions that they have. Yes, there is the place for marketing but there is also a place for supernatural announcements where our efforts are magnified to produce supernatural results!
The path to this level of results lies in seeking God. This is our covenant advantage as children of the covenants.
3. With prayers, it's easy to receive revelations, with revelations it is easy to make decisions!
As soon as Jesus prayed he received revelation, no doubt, for as soon as he came down from the mountain he was in no doubt as to whom he wanted to be on his team. He named the 12 that would be in his inner circle of disciples! Jesus by the revelation received through application got the names of the men that will follow him everywhere, including Judas! Or could Jesus have fulfilled his ministry without a certain Judas?
4. How much time you stayed in God's presence is a reflection of how much of the relationship you have built with him.
Presently we have a new wave of teachings on prayers that seems to say those who advocated for us to stay long hours in prayers are wrong and religious? I guess that also includes Jesus? For the Bible records that he stayed all night in prayers with God. And the thing about the master's all-night prayer was that there was no time for drama or special presentations, it was him all alone in prayers. His prayer meeting was prayer centric and focused and it was him alone with God!
Prayer is a relationship. It is the spiritual means by which we talk to our father and as such, I don't think anyone can specify or determined how much time I spent with my father. And if our relationship is growing with the father there is a tendency I will want to spend more time with Him. Jesus when he went to pray, came back and met his disciples sleeping and asked them one question, "Can you not watch with me one hour?". With that, the master set the minimum that is expected of us.
Sometimes when I go to see my brothers and I am in so much hurry, I always tell them I am leaving immediately, I just want to drop by to say this or do this. But most of the time I have discovered that the word "immediately" always end one hour or more after. It's the relationship. There is always what to talk about and deliberate on! If prayer is a relationship with the father then why the rush? If prayer is a relationship and communication with God then how much of the time we spend doing this with God is personal. However on the same breath a growing relationship with the Lord should be indicated by depths - deeper, intimate and possibly longer communication with the Lord!
THE PRINCIPLE OF TOUGH LOVE(Luke 6:27-38)
Of all the sermon on the mount, the one that which seems to challenge us is the part where the Lord admonishes us to love our enemies! Some believers will even tell you every other injunction of the Bible they can practice, but this one. It's a tough ask, it's tough love! It is on this part that I will concentrate on here. Some principles stand out that underline the principles of loving our enemies and some of them I will outline here.
The precepts about loving our enemies, which our Lord has given us in verses 27-30 are based upon principles. Beginning from the lowest level principle and ascending to the highest, Jesus gives us several governing principles in verses 31-38. Let us briefly consider these.
(1) Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
This golden rule is not bad—it is simply not good enough. Thus, our Lord presses on to other (higher)principles.
2) Do good unto others when they have done evil against you.
Jesus made it very clear that there is no virtue in living according to the same standard as others, even sinners (vv. 32-34). Then Christian is to surpass the world’s minimum standard in the matter of loving others. The world gladly responds in kind. Sinners love those who love them. But the saint must love those who hate him. This is by far the more difficult path. If others reciprocate in kind, we are to respond otherwise. We are not only to give love for love, and good for good, we are too lo
(3) Do unto others, without looking to men for your reward.
If we are to do good to those who have done evil against us, we are also to do good to men who will do evil against us. Men do good things for others, expecting them to do for them in return (reciprocation). The Christian not only is to disregard what their enemy has done against them, but is also to act kindly toward others, knowing that they may not reciprocate, and may do evil to us when we have done well to them
(4) Do unto others as God has done unto you.
While sinners deal with others in accordance with the way they have been treated by them, saints are to deal with others in accordance with the way God has treated us (and all men).
5) Do unto others in the same way you want God to do to you.
We have already seen that we are to deal with men as God has dealt with us. Now we must press this even further so that we deal with men in such a way that determines how God will deal with us in the future. This is not an easy principle to grasp, but the Lord Jesus taught that the way we treat others determines how God will treat us. In the “Lord’s Prayer” Jesus taught that we are to ask God:
“‘AND FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS, AS WE ALSO HAVE FORGIVEN OUR DEBTORS’” (Matt. 6:12).
Lest we fail to grasp what this means, our Lord explains,
“For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions” (Matt. 6:14-15).
God deals with us in the same way that we deal with others.
In summary, While ordinary men live ordinary lives, Christians are to live supernatural lives.