6:20 Then he looked up at his disciples and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
6:21 “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
6:22 “Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man.
6:23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.
6:24 “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.
6:25 “Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. “Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep.
6:26 “Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.
6:27 “But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
6:28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.
6:29 If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt.
6:30 Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again.
6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
This passage strikes at the heart of what the Christian life is all about. These instructions that Christ laid out for us are the ones that allow for us to truly reflect Christ and furthermore to stand out in a world that does not honor or love the word of God. These things do not come naturally for us and it is easy to give into our natural instincts then it is to obey and follow after God.
The key to living out these things is not so much that we just follow a set of “rules” and think that we are doing okay. It is allowing for our hearts to truly be shaped and transformed by Jesus and we should naturally want to live out these things.
There is a main reason as to why Christ instructs us to live this way; that reason is because our life on earth is temporary and as Christians we are called to lead a godly example and be shining light to those who have not yet been exposed to the Gospel. If our mouths are claiming to be followers of Christ, then our hearts and our actions should be a major reflection of Christ living in us.
These things do not come easy but they are worth pursuing. Choose to ask for Christ’s strength to live out His example of what it means to live peaceably, love genuinely, and be a shinning light to the world around us.
Jesus is the source for the classic “golden rule” example. He not only lived it but He instructed us to live it as well. While some might take His words to be hyperbolic in nature, I think it would be a great sin to simply cast His instructions aside or water them down. The most interesting thing about the instructions on how to treat others is that there is no conditional clause.
Jesus never said, treat others as you wish to be treated but only if they are nice to you. He did not say to give to everyone who begs from you but only if you believe they deserve it. Notice that the instruction at the end of this teaching block all go against the materialism of the world. Jesus Himself was without a home or possessions. If we are to truly behave in a way that is true to Jesus’ instructions we have to lay down our pride and our desire for materials and treat others as Jesus would treat them, not as we think they deserve.
Truly, if God had treated us in the way that we deserve I would not be here now to write this blog.
[Featured image from raykliu.wordpress.com]