Who do you follow? Not on social media, but in life. It’s an important decision to make.
The religious example these disciples had prior to Jesus’ teaching was that of the Pharisees who were keen on judging and condemning everyone who didn’t quite meet their man-made standards. The Pharisees were not only hypocritical in their judgment of sin, they were entirely graceless in their condemnation of sinners.
Jesus speaks to the importance of following teachers who lead with a godly character.
The Golden Rule is ultimately about imitating the generous and gracious example of our Master.
Read Luke 6:37-42
A Generous Measurement (37-38)
Jesus isn’t simply saying “What goes around comes around.” This isn’t karma, but another application of the Golden Rule.
- What Not to Do:
- Judge – Not the same as criticizing a lifestyle of sin, practicing church discipline, or correcting false doctrine.
- Condemn – Rejecting the person rather than rebuking them for their sin.
- What to Do:
- Forgive – Be prepared to forgive anyone at all times.
- Give Generously – Like grain, God’s blessing will overflow.
JD Greear “Judge not” is one of the most popular Bible verses in our society, especially among non-Christians. It seems to fit in with two of our society’s most basic assumptions—that (1) religion is private and (2) morality is relative.
The context disallows either of these assumptions. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Religion is public and morality is objective. Following Jesus Christ is not a private matter, nor does it lead to moral ambiguity.
However, Jesus is commending a gracious approach to discipleship. Christianity is attractive for the forgiveness it offers and the blessings it provides.
Unfortunately, modern Evangelicalism has adopted the Pharisaical method of discipleship. We condemn sinners like David, overlooking personal failures and utterly damning everyone else (2 Sam. 12:1-7).
Truth should be communicated with passion, but never absent of compassion. We must make the distinction between rebuking the sin and loving the sinner.
Next, Jesus provides…
A Parable on Discipleship (39-42)
R.C. Sproul references a scene in Alice in Wonderland. It’s where Alice asks the Cheshire Cat for help deciding which direction she should go.
Alice: I don’t know which turn I should follow. I don’t know whether to go to the left or to the right. Can you help me?’
Cat: That depends on where you are going.
Alice: I don’t know.
Cat: And the cat grinned and said. ‘Then it doesn’t matter.’
The blind can’t lead the blind. Disciples become like their teachers (for good Acts 4:13, or bad – Pharisees). Therefore, the hypocritical religious leader’s planked eye blinds him. He’ll never be able to properly remove the speck from his brother’s eye.
However, if the teacher is able to remove the plank (repent of his own sin), then he IS able to properly diagnose and remove the speck from his brother’s eye.
Unfortunately, many fumble about like Alice, unsure of where they are and where they are going. The average person begins following whoever catches their interest. The charismatic leader, regardless of his doctrine, gains the most followers.
It was the same in Jesus’ day. The Pharisees were loud, obnoxious, and clueless about God’s will.
On the other hand, Jesus Christ, always did the will of his Father. So we can confidently follow his example.
The Golden Rule is about reflecting the generous and gracious example of our Lord.
- Jesus used A Generous Measurement in showing love and mercy.
- His Parable on Discipleship reminds us of the need for repentance before diagnosing the sins of others.
We are to take heed, lest we ourselves fall. That theme is repeated with shameful consistency in every age.
But, with remarkable consistency, Jesus shows us God’s grace and generosity, whose Spirit enables us to bless others.
Bock The deeper our understanding and appreciation of what God has done, the better prepared we will be to reflect his character to others.