Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Luke 6:37-38

Luke 6:37-38
And do not judge; and you should surely not be judged.  Do not pronounce condemnation and you should surely not be the object of condemnation.  Unbind, and you will be unbound.  Give, and it will be given to you.  They will give a good measure having been pressed together and thoroughly shaken and while being in an overflowing state into your bosom.  For by the measure you measure it will be measured back to you.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Whenever a passage like this comes up, I think that it is really important to understand the point.  When Jesus says, “Do not judge,” He literally means to not act like a judge.  What does a judge do?  A judge determines guilt and innocence.  From God’s perspective, guilt and innocence could be symbolized by eternal salvation and eternal condemnation.  Jesus is telling us that it is not up to us to determine who goes to eternal bliss and who goes to eternal torture.  Who am I to determine what truly lies in the hearts of other people?  Jesus is telling each of us that we cannot sit in the place of God.  I can judge what elements of life I will allow to influence me.  But I cannot judge another person with respect to their salvation.

When are you tempted to judge another person?  Do you ever judge appearances?  Do you judge actions?  Do you judge past and future?  What other things can we try and judge that might get us into trouble?

Second Thought:

Jesus tells us that if we unbind, then we will be unbound.  Many translations use the word “forgive” here.  In spirit, that’s not a bad translation.  However, this is the same word in the Greek that John the Baptizer uses to talk about not being worthy to untie the thong of Jesus’ sandal.  The word carries a sense of unfastening, unrestricting, and making something free.  I believe what Jesus is telling us is that if we free people from the sinfulness of their lives, then we will ourselves be free.  Yes, it is about forgiving.  But I think it is more than that.  This verse is about teaching people how to be free and live unbound from the sinful restrictions of a worldly life.

Has anyone taught you to live unbound?  Who has taught this to you?  What does it mean to you to live unbound?  How can you live a life that helps teach others to live unbound?

Third Thought:

Jesus then promises an amazing reward.  If we do not judge one another’s salvation, if we freely give, if we teach people to live an unbound life then we will receive an overflowing reward.  Have you ever packed brown sugar into a measuring cup to make sure that it is accurate?  That’s the idea behind Jesus talking about the reward being pressed together.  Have you ever poured screws or other weird shaped objects into a container and then jiggled it to get them compact so you can add more?  That’s the point behind Jesus telling us that the reward is shaken thoroughly.  Have you ever put a cup under a faucet to catch water only to not shut the water off and have the cup overflow?  That’s the point behind Jesus telling us that the reward is overflowing.  This is the reward we can look forward to if we follow Jesus’ teaching.

When you think of the reward promised to us here, what do you think about?  How do the images Jesus uses here inspire you?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 6:39-42
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