Devotional Readings, John Bunyan

Luke 6 – Words of Challege

I’m reading Luke 6 again and in the majority of the text we see Luke’s version of the Beatitudes and the sermon on the mount. Having now been to Israel, I can picture the possible settings which might include the beautiful hills above the Sea of Galilee. I wish I had my picture handy to show you….found it!….

Anyway let me preface the text with this passage.

Mat 28:16  Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.

Mat 28:17  And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

Mat 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Mat 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Mat 28:20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.


If you have read my blog, you know that over the past few years I’ve come to both understand and appreciate the tremendous gift we have in the KJV of the Bible. It,s amazing how far we have departed from this in the past 150 or so years. But that is a story for another time.


For now, just know that one of the special gifts of the KJV is it speaks directly. And in reading it it goes far along the way in helping us to do what the underlined verse above commands.


I will just let these words speak for themselves.



In this chapter we see things that we should pay attention to, and I hear echoes of those in the church that focus on these points, because they think that this just the message we need.


And yes we do need these messages and we do need to do them, as the Spirit gifts and leads us.

Words that ring true: Poor, hungry, rich, love, judging, fruit, Rock and do…..how many times have I heard sermons on these teachings. 


But after this passage, I pulled a few other verses, just to illustrate what it means to observe all.


Are we willing to listen and understand these other teachings as well?


Luk 6:20  And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.

Luk 6:21  Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.

Luk 6:22  Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.

Luk 6:23  Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

Jesus Pronounces Woes

Luk 6:24  But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.

Luk 6:25  Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.

Luk 6:26  Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

Love Your Enemies

Luk 6:27  But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

Luk 6:28  Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

Luk 6:29  And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.

Luk 6:30  Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.

Luk 6:31  And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

Luk 6:32  For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.

Luk 6:33  And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.

Luk 6:34  And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.

Luk 6:35  But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

Luk 6:36  Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

Judging Others

Luk 6:37  Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

Luk 6:38  Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Luk 6:39  And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?

Luk 6:40  The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

Luk 6:41  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Luk 6:42  Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.

A Tree and Its Fruit

Luk 6:43  For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Luk 6:44  For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

Luk 6:45  A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

Build Your House on the Rock

Luk 6:46  And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

Luk 6:47  Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:

Luk 6:48  He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.

Luk 6:49  But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

Having read and internalized the above, perhaps just read these and see if you also accept what they teach?

Mat 5:10  Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 5:11  Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Mat 5:12  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Salt and Light

Mat 5:13  Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Mat 5:14  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Mat 5:15  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Mat 5:16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Not Peace, but Division

Luk 12:49  I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?

Luk 12:50  But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!

Luk 12:51  Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:

Luk 12:52  For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.

Luk 12:53  The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

The Narrow Door

Luk 13:22  And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.

Luk 13:23  Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,

Luk 13:24  Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

Luk 13:25  When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:

Luk 13:26  Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.

Luk 13:27  But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.

Luk 13:28  There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

Luk 13:29  And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.

Luk 13:30  And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.

Old John Gill writes on this…

Luke 13:25

When once the master of the house is risen up,…. From table, or off of his couch, the entertainment being over: and so here, the Gospel feast, or dispensation, being at an end, and all the guests come in, who were effectually called, and long patience and forbearance being used towards others; or has entered in, as the Vulgate Latin version reads, and so Beza’s ancient copy, and one of Stephens’s; is come from the wedding; see Luk 12:36 Christ having espoused all his elect to himself, by the ministry of the word: for by “the master of the house” is meant, the bridegroom of the church, the head of the body, the King of saints, who is Son over his own house, and high priest there; of whom the whole family in heaven and earth, is named:

and hath shut to the door; the door of mercy and of hope; the door of faith; the preaching of the word, and the administration of ordinances, when these shall be no more:

and ye begin to stand without; or “do stand without”; without the holy city, where dogs are; having no admittance to the nuptial chamber, to the marriage supper of the Lamb, and the joys of heaven:

and to knock at the door; which shows how near some persons may come to heaven, and yet not enter there, even to the very door; and what an expectation, yea, an assurance they may have, of admission into it, not at all doubting of it; and therefore knock as if they were some of the family, and had a right to enter; but not finding the door opened to them, so soon as they imagined, they begin to call as well as knock:

saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; they acknowledge Christ to be Lord, as all will at the last day, to the glory of God the Father, even professors and profane; they repeat the word, to show the vehemency and earnestness of their entreaty; and according to the Syriac and, Persic versions, they claim an interest in Christ, which read, “our Lord, our Lord”; and on account of which they doubted not, but the door would be opened: but alas! he was only their Lord in a professional way; they had only called him Lord, Lord, but had never truly and heartily yielded obedience to him; their hearts had never been opened to him, and he had never had a place there, nor his Gospel; wherefore though they knock, he will not open;

and he shall answer and say unto you. The Persic version adds, “nay, but be ye gone hence”, for the following reason,

I know you not, whence you are: not but that Christ being the omniscient God, will know who they are, from whence they come, of what country and place they be, and to whom they belong; but the sense is, that he will not own them, and express any approbation of them, as his; but will treat them as strangers, that come, it is not known, from whence; he will reject them, as not being born from above, as not being the sheep of his fold, or members of his true church: they did not come from heaven, they were not heaven born souls, or partakers of the heavenly calling, and therefore shall not be received there; they belonged to the men of the world, and were of their father the devil, and shall be sent to him: so the foolish virgins, or formal professors of religion, and such as have been preachers of the Gospel, will entreat Christ at the last day, and shall have such an answer as this returned to them, which will be very awful and startling; See Gill on Mat 7:23Mat 25:12.

Matthew says it this way….

Mat 25:11  Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

Mat 25:12  But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

Mat 25:13  Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.


Luke had earlier written…

Luk 12:35   Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;

Luk 12:36   And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.

Luk 12:37  Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.


Or back to Matthew..just to add clarity…


The Golden Rule

Mat 7:12  Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.


But then note…


Mat 7:13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

Mat 7:14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

A Tree and Its Fruit

Mat 7:15  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Mat 7:16  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Mat 7:17  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

Mat 7:18  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Mat 7:19  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Mat 7:20  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

I Never Knew You

Mat 7:21  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Mat 7:22  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

Mat 7:23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

John gives some insight into listening and not following.

Joh 6:26  Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

Joh 6:27  Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

Joh 6:28  Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

Joh 6:29  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

Joh 6:34  Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.

Joh 6:35  And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

Joh 6:36  But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.

Joh 6:37  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

Joh 6:38  For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

Joh 6:39  And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

Joh 6:40  And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Joh 6:60  Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?

Joh 6:61  When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?

Joh 6:62  What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?

Joh 6:63  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Joh 6:64  But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.

Joh 6:65    And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

Joh 6:66  From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

Joh 6:67  Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

Joh 6:68  Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

Joh 6:69  And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

Joh 6:70  Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?

Joh 6:71  He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

One might also read John Bunyan’s book, which in a sense follows the theme of contrasting Professing vs Possessing the Faith.

 

The Strait Gate

or, Great difficulty of going to heaven.

John Bunyan

48

Published twelve years before John Bunyan died in 1688.
“The Lord awaken poor sinners by my little book.” – Excerpt

1676

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