Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 5 Study # 21
March 2, 2008
Lincolnton, N.C.

<420> Thesis: The provision of what is needed is presented by Jesus as the greatest exercise of power possible. Introduction: This morning we come to the end of a major part of Jesus' instruction to His disciples. That "part" has to do with Jesus' characterization of the Kingdom of God as a Kingdom wherein a certain kind of "love" dominates absolutely. That "love" is, at a most fundamental level, committed to the production of "joy" in the souls of others as the mechanism for the production of "joy" in one's own soul. The degree of commitment to that production of joy is seen most clearly when it is seen as the objective of God for Himself. Men best understand the issues of what is important when they are pressed to answer one question above all else: What is most important to you? Because of this, the answer to the question, "What is most important to God?" is the most revealing statement regarding the character of the Kingdom of that God. When we see that God, Himself, pursues "Joy" at the expense of everyone and everything else, we understand the nature of His Kingdom. There is a brief parable in Matthew 13:44 that actually tells us this: the Kingdom of Heaven is like ... and the driving issue is the "joy" that the treasure produces. Last week we attempted to show how the production of joy for oneself by means of the production of joy for others is not "evil". Whether we accomplished that goal is for you to decide, but this morning we are going to be assuming that we did, so that we can understand that the pursuit of a great reward in the Kingdom of God is a great good. No one, from God on down, pursues "nothing" on purpose. Everyone, from God on down, has objectives in mind and Jesus told His disciples at the beginning (6:23) and at the end (6:35) of this segment of His teaching about the Kingdom of God that being rewarded by God was an objective that they should pursue with all that is in them. It, therefore, stands to reason that if Jesus actually intended for His disciples to seek a great reward from God, He would tell them the most effective way to do that. And, indeed, that is precisely what we find in Luke 6:35: Love your enemies, do good, and lend without expectation of return. But, in order for men to be motivated to pursue such a difficult course, they must be able to see that it will, in the end, actually accomplish what they seek. So, in our study this morning we are going to see that Jesus put as much "punch" into His instruction as He possibly could to get His disciples to commit to the pursuit of "joy" by the production of "joy" for others.