#931. The mirror of God’s Word (6/11/23)
This week, as we continue in our series in Luke, we will be reflecting on Jesus’ teaching from Luke 6:27-42. Today, I simply want us to see that God’s words in the Bible - like these - are to act like a mirror for us.
‘“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you…”’ (Luke 6:27)
Lesson: Jesus’ words are a mirror that reveals our failure, our freedom and our new portrait.
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This section of Luke, often entitled 'The Sermon on the Plain,' has much in common with 'The Sermon on the Mount' that we read about in Matthew chapters 5-7. In both accounts, Jesus is likened to Moses, who taught God's people at Mount Sinai as described in Exodus 20. Like Moses, Jesus teaches us how to live as citizens of God's Kingdom.
This section begins with the phrase 'But to you who are listening, I say...' Christians are 'students' of Jesus (see 6:40). The word 'student' can also be translated as 'disciple' (mathētḗs), which means to be a student, follower, and committed learner. If we are Christians, we are those 'who are listening.' Jesus wants to teach us how to live as His followers.
This idea of listening to Jesus' words is compared to using a mirror by James. He writes:
‘Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.’ (James 1:22-25)
This week, as we reflect on Luke 6:27-42, it serves as a mirror for us. As we gaze into this mirror, we can learn at least three things:
i. Jesus' words are a mirror that reveal our failures.
Firstly, all of us have failed to live up to the standards of love that Jesus sets out in this passage. Who among us can honestly claim to have loved our enemies or consistently followed the Golden Rule of treating others as we would want them to treat us?
ii. Jesus' words are a mirror that reveal our freedom.
Secondly, Jesus has upheld these standards and bestowed His righteousness upon us through faith in Him, justifying us. Before we even attempt to apply any of the words in this text, we have already attained them in Christ. If we have faith in Christ, God regards us as having fulfilled all the words in this text because Jesus' righteousness is graciously imputed to us.
iii. Jesus’ words are a mirror that reveal our new portrait
Thirdly, the mirror teaches us how we are to actually seek to live. Yes we are justified by faith, but the Holy Spirit wants us to bear the fruit of love as outlined in this week’s text.
Jesus’ words are a mirror that reveal our failure, our freedom and our new portrait.
Are we looking into the mirror? Are we ’sat on the plain’ listening to Jesus? Are we students of His Word? Do we see that we have failed to keep these words? Have we come to Jesus for the freedom of forgiveness for our failure? Are we celebrating and living in the joy of forgiveness? Finally, are we looking into the mirror of God’s Word and prayerfully seeking to put it into practice?
Perhaps you’d like to pray this:
“Father, I’m sorry for my sin. I’m sorry that I’ve failed to show the beauty of Jesus’ and His love in my life. Thank you Jesus for dying for my failure and that I’m justified through your blood. Holy Spirit, help me to learn and to bear the fruit of love more and more in my life. Amen.”
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
2. Icebreaker How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you?
3. Study and pray together
This week, as we continue in our series in Luke, we will be reflecting on Jesus’ teaching from Luke 6:27-42 where, in essence, Jesus is teaching us about how we are to love others in a Christ-like fashion.
Please read Luke 6:27-42
Which aspect of this text do you find most challenging and why?
V.31 is often called The Golden Rule. In what ways can you practically apply this in the various relationships in your life?
Specifically, this section says a lot about being generous. What does it teach about how we are to use our wealth?
SIV - How will the application of this text, and The Golden Rule, help others to 'see Jesus' through us?
SIV - In v.37, we are commanded not to judge. This is about condemning people as beyond God's grace. How will obedience to this teaching help us to bring people to Jesus?
SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ this week?
SIV - What does V.28 teach us about the importance of prayer in mission and how are we doing in this regard?
SIV - Let's now pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to SIV.