Luke 6:37-49

Read it

“Do not judge and you will not be judged.” Ultimately the only way to avoid judgement is to recognise that I deserve it and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ to save us from it. Once I am in this position of realising that only by grace am I saved, how can I judge others? What measuring stick can I use? Judging them against myself is ridiculous as I know that I don’t deserve anything. Judging them against perfection is ridiculous because it’s so much higher than I can ever reach. God will judge. He will do it fairly and perfectly and rightly and I can’t get anywhere near that.

It’s true that a blind man wants a guide who can see. But to some we’re all blind, and so we all need to trust on Christ as a guide not other humans. I guess that also applies to preachers and teachers – if what they’re saying ever stops being Christ and starts being human wisdom, then I need to make sure that we follow the Bible over them. Which brings me back to the need to read the Bible every day so that I learn what God is for myself, rather than having to rely on what I’m being told from the lecturn.

Then Jesus says again that we should be becoming like him (our teacher) and gives another example of not judging others until we’re perfect. Or, never! In terms of the logic of the passage, verse 39 doesn’t seem to fit. It makes sense, but it doesn’t seem to gel with the teaching around it. I wonder if I’m missing something that it’s meant to mean so it would fit. From at least verse 27 all the way to 49 the basic message is act as Christ except verse 39. Perhaps it is just that the way to act more like Christ is to follow him.

The parable of the fruit trees is an explanation of how to act well to other people. The only way to bear good fruit is to be a good tree. Seems sensible enough. It’s impossible for me to do good works if I just try to do good works. I can’t do it by myself. But, if I let Jesus transform the type of tree that I am then good works will be entirely natural. Not because I feel I have to but because a good tree won’t bear bad fruit. It just doesn’t.

And the parable of the builders hammers home even more that we need to be based on Christ in order to do anything worthwhile. While the guy on the sand may have made a beautiful looking house, when the flood came it was all entirely useless. Entirely useless. Whatever good deeds we see someone do may make them look great today, but if they are not built on Christ they are entirely useless. It’s always a challenge to look at an 87 year old granny who’s always nice to the children on her street and never says anything bad about anyone and think that if she’s not a Christian that’s all useless and will be swept away and leave her with nothing.

I’ve been told that new ministers always have three points in their applications – read the Bible, pray and evangelise. Well, it’s easy to see how you could get all that out of here. If I don’t read the Bible prayerfully and discover what God has revealed about himself how do I know where I’m being led? If I don’t pray that God will transform me into his likeness, how will I produce fruit? If I don’t evangelise everyone – from the 87 year old granny to a hardened criminal – how are they going to avoid being swept away in the flood?

Heavenly Father, thankyou that your instructions in this passage are not things that you have made up but are a perfect description of you. Thankyou that you are merciful, you will not judge and condemn me and you will forgive. Thankyou that you are changing me to become more like you and please help me to keep praying for that and seeking what you are like through your word. Give me the ability to see that everyone who does not call on you can build all they want in this life and it’s to no avail, and then give me the heart to do something about it. Please make me more like you than I was yesterday. Amen.

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