Love Your Enemies (Luke 6:27-36)

This past Sunday we reentered the gospel of Luke midway through chapter 6 where Jesus Christ is in the midst of giving one his most famous discourses—the Sermon on the Mount. This week and next week we will discuss in some detail the counter-cultural instruction from Luke 6:27-36 and ask honest questions of our life and community.

Before we look at the passage proper, let’s lay some groundwork for reading the Sermon of the Mount.

  • First, the Sermon on the Mount is to be read communally, not individualistically. These instructions are given to shape the Christian community. How would thinking communally about Jesus instructions change how you understand and apply the text before us?
  • Second, the Sermon on the Mount is to be understood as good news instruction, not good advice instruction. Said differently, the instruction of the Sermon on the Mount flows from of a heart changed by grace, it is not a formula for earning favor of God. If that’s true, how are the commands of Luke 6:27-36 powered by and patterned after the gospel?

In verses 27-29a, the teaching on gospel love is first focused on enemies.

  • Why is it necessary for Christ to focus on enemies as opposed to family or friends as an expression of Christian love?
  • Who are your/our enemies? What would it mean for you/us to love them? Be specific and practical in your suggestions.

In verses 29b-31, the teaching on gospel love shifts to those in need.

  • When Jesus says, “Give to everyone who begs from you,” does he really mean everyone?
  • Consider a scenario where you are leery or even resistant to give to someone. You may even have good or wise reasons in your mind for not giving to them. How does Jesus instruction apply to that situation? Discuss this openly with your HFG or family.

In verses 32-36, Jesus distinguishes Christian love from the love of sinners.

  • According to Jesus, how is Christian love different from the love of sinners?
  • What’s the relationship between gospel obedience and the “great reward” of verse 35?

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