Luke Fills in Some of the Sermon
Today we are reminded again why there are four gospels. Along the way, you have noticed that I put the parallel passages in each gospel at the top of the page. This is so you may read each gospel to get the complete picture. In this case, however, Luke adds some material that Matthew omits.
We covered yesterday, “Judge not.” Luke adds, “Condemn not.” I think this further illustrates what I said about judging yesterday. Jesus is not saying that we cannot make sound judgments, exercise discernment, lovingly correct a brother or sister in Christ, or even tell someone that we believe what the Bible says when it addresses a particular sin. This must be done. But what we must not do is judge in such a way as to condemn someone else. It is God who will make those kinds of judgments, and we gladly leave that to Him. Furthermore, we are called to forgive – another reason why we must never judge harshly. For all we know, this person may repent of their sin and turn to Christ. What they need from us is to speak the truth in love in hopes that they will repent (Ephesians 4:15). But we live in a time in which people will call you “hateful” no matter how hard you try to convey that truth lovingly. They do this because they feel condemned already as God has created them in His image; in other words, their guilty conscience gives them away (Romans 2:12-16).
Luke then expresses the truth of God’s economics: those who give, receive. What they receive in return is even described in “good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, … put into your lap.” I’ve heard preachers do terrible things with verses like these, as if to say that if you give $50, you may expect $100 in return. This is not why we give. God’s return to you will be His care, His provision, His blessing. More money? Maybe, but don’t count on it. People who think like this, who refuse to forgive, who condemn others without examining their own lives, who give in order to receive something in return, are like blind people leading the blind: both fall into a pit. The best we can hope for is to become like our Master by imitating his behavior, and we shall always be a far cry from that.
I did not comment on the following verse from yesterday because I ran out of space: “Do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.” Yep, Jesus said that. Be discerning about whom you talk to about the Lord. Some simply do not want to hear it, and you will only make matters worse by arguing. Be still and let the Lord take care of it.