Lord, this is not easy (Luke 6; Job 20; I Corinthians 7)

“Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man.” Luke 6:22

This morning I found myself still wrestling with the words of Jesus.  Yes, it is true, pastors struggle with the Word of God.

Here is the deal:  “Jesus has called those he wanted to be Apostles (Luke 6:12-16).  It is the beginning days of their training.  Jesus takes them aside from the overflowing crowds who are with him, (Luke 6:17-19) and he begins to teach them.

The message is one that is well-known (the Sermon on the Mount).  We see the complete sermon outline in Matthew 5-7.

Here is what I struggled with:  “How can we possible live without wanting revenge concerning the wrongs done to us?”

Think it through:

Jesus knew his followers would be mistreated, Luke 6:22.

Jesus also knew his followers would (in the old nature) seek to get even, Luke 6:27-36.

However, for the sake of the gospel, a new way would be forged.  It is the way of mercy!  Here is what Jesus said: “Be merciful, even as your father is merciful.”

In this moment I find myself understanding why I struggle with issues if revenge:

  • The Old Nature can only think in terms of judging others as they have judged us.
  • The Old Nature lies to us in prompting us to think that making others suffer will make us feel better.”

And old Chinese proverb says this:  “When you are seeking revenge, you need to dig two graves, one for you and one for the other person, because this is where you both will end up.”

Our response:

This day, I understand the following:

  • if taking a stand for Jesus causes me to face suffering, then I am in good company, Luke 6:23
  • If taking a stand for Jesus causes others to see Jesus, then it is more than worth being mistreated, Luke 6:36

Please take the high road of forgiveness, it pays in the end.  Check out Luke 6:46-49!

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