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A Meaningful Life is No Accident!

Posted on October 2, 2017

God Saves Gentiles! Luke has Good News!

A study of the NT book of Luke

by Pastor Frank Rice

Luke 6:37-49

How often have we heard the heart-wrenching plea, “I don’t know what happened” when the life of a friend or relative turns out to be a disaster? The fact is, most folks know what happened but either don’t want to risk hurting somebody’s feelings or taking a beating! Have you heard this statement? “Life is not determined by the dreams that you dream, but by the decisions you make.” You either decide to take Jesus seriously or you don’t!


I. Jesus Cautions His Disciples Concerning Reciprocity (Vv. 37-38)!

  • Avoid judgmentalism; practice graciousness (v. 37)! Jesus is dealing with the kind of attitude that is critical, therefore invites criticism.

  1. Stop judging and condemning others, unless you yourself would like others to judge and condemn you!

  2. This “does not mean that Jesus expects us to suspend the faculty of judgment and never find fault with others… The fault is judging others without first judging oneself using the same measuring stick.” (Garland)

  3. Jesus is addressing the touchy subject of interpersonal horizontal relationships, not necessarily eschatological judgment!

  4. Jesus is not saying that if we overlook the sins of others, God will overlook ours!

  5. Neither is He advising us to never correct someone when they have a problem! That’s absurd! Read the whole passage!

  6. Be forgiving toward others and they’ll be forgiving toward you. (For popular and perverted understandings of Jesus’ words check “google images!”)


Without justice and fairness, grace degenerates into permissiveness, just as justice without grace hardens into cruelty.” (Craddock)


  • Develop the habit of being magnanimous toward others (v. 38).

  1. Notice the context! It has little to do with giving money and more to do with “cutting people some slack” or “giving them a break!

  2. This verse has nothing to do with receiving fabulous economic benefits on earth for being generous.” (Garland)

  3. It captures the idea of stop judging, stop condemning, stop being hard on people, and stop being critical; start being forgiving!

  4. Magnanimity means giving someone the benefit of the doubt, being kind & thoughtful, as opposed to censorious & demeaning (1 Peter 4:8; Eph 4:32).

  5. Others tend to treat you the way you’ve treated them. They’ll give to you with the same measure you used to stick it to them!


II. Jesus Cautions His Disciples Concerning Instruction (Vv. 39-42)!

  • Exercise caution when choosing a personal life-guide (v. 39). Make sure the one you choose to follow knows where he’s going! Be sure that’s where you want to go! (This is not rocket science!)

  1. The emphasis is following Jesus and watching to whom you entrust yourself.” (Bock)

  2. The error of spiritual blindness is often that it thinks it sees.” (Bock)


  • Exercise caution when selecting a teacher to mentor you (v. 40). Be sure you want to be like that person; that’s who you’ll become!


  • Exercise caution when seeking to develop mutuallymeaningful,edifying spiritual relationships (vv. 41-42). (The way I see it…)

    1. Mr. Plank-in-the-eye notices that Mr. Sliver-in-the-eye is guilty of defective thinking; he doesn’t see things quite right! So Mr. Plank takes it upon himself to correct Mr. Sliver’s view of things.

    2. Before Mr. Plank tries to correct the way Mr. Sliver sees things, he’d better examine his own way of seeing things and be sure there is nothing distorting his perspective.

    3. This seems to better fit the context of Jesus’ message than the standard, but reasonable, “sin” line; “before you confront another about her sin, take a look at your own life.”


III. Jesus Cautions His Disciples Concerning Inner Health (Vv. 43-45)!

  • Jesus paints a picture for his listeners which would be familiar and to which they’d all nod in agreement (vv. 43-44)! (Everyone knows that!)

  1. Healthy trees do not produce unhealthy (diseased) fruit and diseased trees do not produce healthy fruit! (Got it!)

  2. Healthy trees produce after their kind; figs come from fig trees and grapes from grapevines. (Tell me something I don’t know!)

  3. Actually, “The primary intent is self-examination, not examination of others.” (Bock)

  4. Although, we are much more prone to and comfortable with the latter!


  • Jesus applies the truth to which they had all concurred (v. 45)!

  1. A spiritually healthy man produces healthy things from a healthy heart, his inner life.

  2. A heart (inner life) and mouth that produces evil is evidence of an evil heart! To argue the contrary is to refute what they had already consented to be true!


IV. Jesus Cautions His Disciples Concerning Foundations (Vv. 46-49)!

  • Jesus confronts His listeners with an unpleasant reality (v. 46)! They are giving Him the honorable title of “Lord” but they’re not honoring Him by doing what He tells them to do. That’s contradictory! They speak of allegiance but do not grant it!


  • Jesus paints another all-too-familiar picture, describing the effects of choosing or refusing to allow Him to mentor them (vv. 47-49)!

    1. Those who choose to come to Him, hear His word, and do what He says; they’re like the guy who works hard and builds his house on a solid foundation (vv. 47-48). When storms hit, he stands!

    2. Those who refuse to follow Him and His word set themselves up for disaster; when the storms of life hit, they collapse (v. 49). The one has invested time and resources to build a foundation; the other has not.

    3. Jesus’ discourse has unveiled that his audience is made up especially of persons who might be described as followers only in a rather loose sense.” (Green) Time and trials tend to expose the true followers!


Perhaps the two most significant takeaways:

Verse 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.


Verse 46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”