We are revisiting Luke 6:27-36 to explore Christ’s teaching on the nature and practice of gospel love, while adding verses 37-42 which addresses judging of others. As you prepare to consider the questions below, take time with your family or HFG to ask the Lord to lead you into deeper understanding and practice of love.
Last week and again today we are considering what it means to love our enemies.
- At its most basic level, the word enemy means those who oppose you. You can see in that word “oppose,” the makings of the word “opposite.” With that in mind, identify organizations, groups, religions, or alliances in the world that are “opposite” the church?
- Take time right now to survey your heart toward these organizations, groups, religions, etc. Discuss with one another your personal feelings toward them, even responses or actions/inactions you’ve taken toward them. Be as honest as possible. As a group, explore the various reasons behind your feelings and actions/inactions toward them.
In verse 27-29, love is spelled out in three ways—doing good, blessing, and prayer without retaliation (v. 29, “turn the other cheek”).
- In order to clarify what Jesus means by love, take time to distinguish between doing good, blessing, and praying as three dimensions of love.
- Taking into consideration the organizations, groups, religions, and alliances above; what would it mean for the church to love them in these three ways?
- What is the relationship between Jesus instruction on love and the call to not judge in verse 37?
Jesus says the love of Christians must surpass the love of the world in this sense—that we love “expecting nothing in return.” (v.35). When we love this way, we imitate the “mercy” (v.36) of the Heavenly Father who loves the “ungrateful and evil” (v.35).
- Jesus indicates that loving as the Father loves brings about its own great reward (v.35). Is saying this, is Jesus undermining the “expecting nothing in return” premise just stated? If not, discuss the dynamic between the “great reward” and sacrificial love that expects nothing in return?
How has the Lord spoken to you personally? What must you do this week to embody the teaching of Luke 6:26-42? Take time to invite a friend to pray for you now as you seek to love as you’ve been loved.