Radical Obedience

Jesus continued teaching his students, still emphasizing basic themes he had taught them on the mountain (65):

If you don’t judge other people, then God won’t have to judge you for judging them. If you don’t condemn other people, then God won’t have to condemn you for condemning them. Best of all, if you forgive other people, then God will forgive you.

Also, if you give to other people, then God will give to you. You will receive a full measure of his blessings, more than you could ever need. The measure of blessing, which you give to other people, is the same measure of blessing which God will give to you.

Jesus paused to illustrate the necessity of following a good teacher in order to get to know God: One blind person cannot lead another blind person; if he tries, both of them may fall into a ditch.  At the same time, Jesus added, no student is greater than his teacher; good students, as they complete their training, aim to become like their teacher.  (The big idea is simple: Follow the best teacher.)

Then Jesus returned to his main message: Don’t criticize a splinter in your friend’s eye, when you have a log in your own eye. That’s hypocritical! Instead, take the log out of your eye; judge yourself according to God’s standards. Then you’ll be able to help your friend deal with the splinter in his eye.

beam-in-eye

Jesus concluded by emphasizing that believing means obeying. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a sick tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree is known by its fruit. Thorn bushes don’t bear grapes, and briers don’t bear figs. In the same way, you can be sure that a person who says & does good things has a good heart, and a person who says & does bad things has a bad heart.

This is important!  Even if a person says good things, yet still does bad things, that person is not really living for God.  (Or, as we hear so often today, actions speak louder than words.)

Anyone who hears these words of mine, and obeys them, is like a man who dug deep & laid the foundation of his house on rock. The river flooded over and hit that house, but it wasn’t shaken because it was built on rock.

rock

But anyone who hears these words of mine, and does not obey them, is like a man who built his house without laying any foundation. When the flood hit that house, it fell right away with a terrible crash!  And then it was washed away . . .

 

(65) Luke 6:37-49