Luke 6 is parallel to the passage of Matthew 5 (The Sermon on the Mount) but this passage in Luke is also known as “The Sermon on the Plain.” The passage talks about our attitudes toward enemies and the blessings that flow from the Holy Spirit in connection to obeying the Ten Commandments. After spending a night of prayer on the mountain, we see what Jesus says about those who have pursued the path of calling him Lord, but not obeying the Commandments.
This passage is a scripted manual on learning to walk in the ways of Christ, Jesus teaches us the simple truth of the Christian message. Jesus talks about all these amazing things that he wants us to do to each other, for each other, and for the glory of God. As Jesus is talking, we are getting all pumped up and excited saying, “Yeah! You’ve got this Jesus; We believe in you!” Until he turns to us and says, “Oh yes! I want you to do it! High five kid, I am excited to see the amazing things you will do by letting me in and my spirit flow through you.”
Here is where the doubt sets in and we say, “Jesus, me? Are you sure you did not make a mistake like me? Because I am telling you, if that person insults me or yells at me one more time, then I am going to do the same and show them not to mess with me again.” I can relate to this because I have grown from someone who used to react easily, to someone who just stares and smiles right back. My feelings do get hurt easily and it is even worse when it comes to family and friends. I am reading this passage saying to myself, “Jesus, you want me to do what? Stay silent and let myself be pushed around? To let go? I cannot let go and I cannot do this, you have the wrong person.”
I have come to discover that Jesus has asked us to do his work in his stead, with his power. God wants to use you to do His work, through His holy spirit, through His word, through the church, through the gospel that is the good news, and this is how God changes lives. The only way that this works is through love, sacrifice, and self-denial.