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THE SUPERIOR WAY

Read­ing Time: 2 minutes

Introduction

After the beatitudes and the woes, this Sunday Gos­pel presents a con­tinu­ation of last week read­ing. It is the con­tinu­ation of Jesus’ teach­ing on the Plain. Unlike Mat­thew, where the beatitude is addressed to the dis­ciples and to the crowds, in Luke, it is strictly addressed to the dis­ciples only. This Sunday Gos­pel read­ing is the applic­a­tion of the beatitude. We are not unfa­mil­i­ar with these teach­ings. They are the cli­max and also the chal­lenge of what it means to be a dis­ciple and a believ­er too. The love of enemies; turn­ing the oth­er cheek; giv­ing to those who ask; doing to oth­ers what and how you would want done unto you; lend­ing without interest and without expect­ing to be paid back; and not judging oth­ers so as not to be judged are all marks of a true dis­ciple. Jesus teaches the super­i­or way.

The superior way

But I say to you that listen, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 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” (Luke 6:27–29). Hav­ing addressed the beatitudes to his dis­ciples, Jesus now turns and addresses those listen­ing (Greek: tois akouous­in). Those who are listen­ing refers to the imme­di­ate and remote listen­ers. That is, those who were there present listen­ing to him while he delivered his teach­ing and those who will later listen to him by read­ing the doc­u­mented ver­sion of his teach­ings. The “but I say to you that listen” should be under­stood in line with Luke 6:22. To the teach­ing on hatred and mal­treat­ment which his dis­ciples will suf­fer, Jesus wants those listen­ing to him to sub­sti­tute hate with love and kind­ness. To the inferi­or and dis­crim­in­at­ory way of the Jew­ish teach­ing, Jesus sub­sti­tutes the super­i­or and accom­mod­at­ing way, the way of divine wis­dom as opposed to human wisdom. 

Conclusion

In both Mat­thew and Luke, Jesus’ teach­ings on the Ser­mon of the Mount (Mat­thew) and Plain (Luke) chal­lenge his would be dis­ciples to be more like God. God loves us bey­ond human expect­a­tions and bey­ond any­thing we can pos­sibly ima­gine. In response to God’s love, we are to love as God loves, bey­ond expect­a­tions and with a depth bey­ond ima­gin­ing. In the words of Jesus, believ­ers must love their enemies, do good to all and lend without expect­ing any­thing in return. If they do this, their reward will be great both in this life and in heav­en, and they will be chil­dren of the Most High. Anoth­er reas­on Chris­ti­ans should go bey­ond the way of sin­ners is because God is kind to the ungrate­ful and the wicked (Luke 6:35). Since God does not dis­crim­in­ate, Chris­ti­ans should also not dis­crim­in­ate. How­ever, this does not mean they should not be care­ful. They should be wise as ser­pent and humble as the dove (cf. Matt 10:16). Chris­ti­ans should be mer­ci­ful just as God Him­self is mer­ci­ful (cf. Luke 6:36).

FOR DETAILS, GET YOUR OWN COPIES OF THE BOOKTHE WORD OF LIFE: SUNDAY REFLECTIONS” (vols. I‑II-III)!! The reflec­tion for the 7th Sunday of the year © is found in vol. III pages 132–141. Happy reading!

For details on how to get it, con­tact the author on this link: https://m.me/uchennabiblia?fbclid=IwAR2yeg4a6sDGBp9QGkIvKj6FSADumMokN6lshdE0zuo-JHs6qOmlhA7jyHo or email me at: postmaster@uchennabiblia.com or simply send an SMS on 08116100926, and I will get back to you.

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