Luke 6:31-36 2023/10/15 Osaka Church
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit
Christ asked his disciples.
“If you love those who love you, what thanks do you have? Even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks do you have? Even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what thanks do you have? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive back as much.”
This is not a simple “question”. The Lord is asking. How have you lived, and how will you live from now on?
“Love those who love you,” “be kind to those who are good to you,” and “lend money with the intention of getting it back.” are all things that people think about and do normally. These are the normal thoughts and actions of normal people. Christ is asking his disciples, and us, whether you will continue to be normal people and live normal lives, or… It encourages us to make decisions about how to live our lives.
Many people will ask, “Why? Isn’t ordinary good enough?”
But is it such a big deal to be normal?
The “normality” of “loving those who love you” is one with the “normality” of hating those who don’t love you.
The “normality” of “being good to those who are good to you” is one with the “normality” of not being good to those who do not treat you well.
The “normality” of “lending money with the intention of getting it back” is the same as the “normality” of not lending money “to someone who is unlikely to get it back.”
Ordinary love, kindness, and mutual help are one with hatred, hostility, ruthlessness, and indifference.
This is the “normal” that we accept as normal human beings.
And because we live our lives in the “normal way” and “normality” of human beings, many tragic conflicts occur in this world, and many people, especially innocent children, become victims.
In fact, we know from all around us how much suffering this ordinary anger, desire, and jealousy brings to this world. As a human being, whether you believe in God or not, no one actually thinks that this “ordinariness” is the true nature of a person. That’s why people always cry over this “normal” thing.
God is also crying. That is why He sent His only begotten Son to us as a human being and showed us the true nature of humanity as living a life of love that even loves our enemies.
Jesus prayed from the top of the cross. He prayed for those who were trying to kill Him. “Father, forgive them.” And He has risen from the dead.
Humans are the only beings whose ”normal” state as it is, is not the natural way they should be. This is God’s call to us. “Escape from this form in which you live to the true form of the person I have given you to be; and continually become more like the true nature of humanity that I have endlessly given.”
Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection on the cross have opened the way for us to once again become people who live out that unusual love.
And in order to support people as they walk that path, God bestows an abundance of His grace. In His grace, man is “converted into the likeness of the Lord from glory to glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18). This is the confidence of those of us who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, as we confess, “I believe in… one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages.” (Nicea Constantinople Creed).