Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 5 Study # 23
March 30, 2008
Lincolnton, N.C.

<424> Thesis: Stop trying to use "law" to get your own way. Introduction: As we return this morning to our studies in the Gospel of Luke, I want to remind us of the fact that Jesus was laying out the nature of the Kingdom of God for those who would be His disciples. To do that, He set forth a series of contrasts in the form of statements of "blessings" and "woes" that form a kind of "absolute context" for the proper understanding of that Kingdom. That this context focused upon poverty, hunger, tears, and rejection in this present time, and participation in the Kingdom, physical fullness, laughter, and greatness of reward in the future is no accident, but it does require us to move beyond the narrow boundaries of those categories to understand what the Kingdom is like. Because words can be easily misunderstood, Jesus went on to deal with the real cause of the contrast between participation in the Kingdom now and participation in it later: relational conflict; i.e., the existence of "enemies". He spent a significant number of words attempting to get His disciples to address this "conflict" reality with "love", "doing good", and "being liberal in giving to meet real needs". But, those instructions tend in the direction of being "activity" issues. For them to be an actual practice of the Kingdom's essence in this present, fallen world, they have to have a more basic root than simply "apparently good activities". They have to have legitimate "internal" motives. Thus, in the paragraph before us this morning (6:36-38) we run into "compassion", "judgment", "condemnation", and "liberality" in a context of the possibility of terrible blindness [the parable(s) of 6:39-49]. In our last study together in this text, we looked into Jesus' insistence that those who would be His disciples permit their compassionate Father to develop His compassion in them. This is, after all, a most fundamental root for dealing with relational conflicts: a compassion that reaches beyond the superficial evil of men to the bedrock of what is going to happen to them if they continue in their wicked ways. This morning we are going to look into an issue that has, perhaps, the greatest potential for disallowing God to produce His compassion in us: the misuse of the Law. If there is one primary barrier to the development of true compassion, it is this: the self-satisfied sense that a person is simply "getting what he deserves" when the hammer falls. So, let us consider the words of Jesus: "Do not judge, and you will not be judged."