Jesus continues teaching in today’s reading. In Luke, this teaching is referred to as the “Sermon on the Plain.” Matthew’s gospel has a much longer version known as the “Sermon on the Mount.” They could very well be the same account. The teachings are certainly something everyone should hear, and Jesus would have likely taught it more than once.
Luke is also known as the “social Gospel” because of his focus on the poor and needy. While that is more the focus of Luke, you can compare it with Matthew who looks more at the spiritual side of things.
There are so many nuggets in today’s reading about how we should relate to others. Judging, forgiving, condemning, giving are all addressed. Were there any surprises there for you?
I’m sure we’ve all done those things Jesus is warning us against. Like judging, for instance. I’m not the only one who has looked at someone’s appearance and made a judgment about them. I hate to admit it really. Maybe it’s tattoos (which can be very beautiful) or funny hair color (that’s the rage these days) or tattered clothes.
How about our giving? Jesus tells us, “The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” That’s a little sobering. I don’t know about you, but when I give, there is a sense of joy that washes over me. That is a joy that lasts. I like receiving gifts, too, but sometimes those moments of joy are more fleeting. We can all do a better job at giving..and it doesn’t have to be related to money. Think about how you can give back with your time or possessions?
Probably my favorite part of this reading is the speck/log discussion. In high school, I was part of a group of people who performed Godspell at area churches. This was one of the Bible stories we enacted. I have such fond memories of watching my friends act it out, and the discussions we had about what it means.
It’s so easy to look at the faults of others and totally overlook that we have the same fault or one much bigger that needs to be dealt with. We should never try to help another without looking in the mirror first. We are all sinners.
Let’s pray. Thank you, Lord for this reminder today. Help me to be more accepting of others who are different than me. I thank you that you have given me the opportunity in our business to meet a lot of people from around the world with different backgrounds, cultures, beliefs, etc. I now have a whole new community to share with. Don’t let me waste this opportunity. It would be easy to be comfortable in my own little sphere, but you have something bigger for me. May I be a blessing every day to someone, or many someones. Direct my path today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.