Scripture: Luke 6:27-38
Key verse: (27) “But I say to you that listen…”
Reflection: This week’s gospel reading continues in Jesus’ “Sermon on the Plain” in Luke. The whole sermon is found in Luke 6:17-49. Though it is similar to the “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew, there are some notable differences. Most notable is the length. The Sermon on the Mount is Matthew 5-7—three full chapters. The Sermon on the Plain is only thirty-two verses, but those verses pack quite a punch. The Sermon on the Plain is incredibly plain spoken. Today’s portion illustrates this fact. “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” Matthew’s Jesus takes a few paragraphs to lay all that out. In Luke, Jesus takes just one verse, making it plain and simple…and incredibly hard.
What are we to do with these commands of our Lord? One option is to ignore them. Many do. Though by so doing, we would have to ask if Jesus really is our Lord. Another is to read them but not practice them in any meaningful way. That may be worse than simply ignoring them. Or we could listen to them. Jesus said, “But I say to you that listen…” What would it mean to be counted among the listeners?
Prayer: Open my soul, O Lord, to listen to what you say. May your words become my actions. When I fall short of your commands, may your grace sustain me in your love. Amen.
Author: Joe Clifford
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].