You want Me to love (agape) Who? Jesus developed love (agape) and infects his disciples with this kind of love. The difference between all other types of love and agape love is it’s not based of emotions, warm feelings, or even wanting to do it. We make the decision to agape. We decide to love someone no matter if they deserve it or expect it. It’s not self-serving. We do it because it’s the God-like thing to do, not because it feels good. Agape or agapao love is a decision, not a feeling. It’s the love of God and the love God is.

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE CHAPTER 6

by Delbert Young

You want Me to Love Who part 2? (Luke 6:27-36)

You want Me to Love (Agape) Who? part 2 video audio (Luke 6:27-36)

Sermon video

audio

You want Me to Love (Agape) Who? part 2 (Luke 6:27-36)

Scriptures: Luke 6:27-36; 1 John 4:16; 1 John 4:20; Luke 18:25; Matthew 5:29-30

Let’s read our text and then I’ll catch us up.

Luke 6:27-36 “but I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. THEN your reward will be great, and YOU WILL BE SONS OF THE MOST HIGH, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, JUST AS YOUR FATHER is merciful.

Jesus has this radical insane upside down notion that people who follow him will love their enemies. We began studying this sermon by Jesus a few weeks ago, and studying this specific passage last week, but I was only able to get us through verse 28. One of the most difficult things for me to do is pick up a teaching half way through the passage so it ministers. But, I can’t recap all we said. There are CD’s, DVD’s, and notes if you need them.

The bottom line of what we are seeing is Jesus lays out in this sermon the difference between a true child of God living like God – godly – and someone deceived into thinking they are a child of God. Jesus said in this sermon,

Luke 6:32 “If you love those who love you, WHAT CREDIT is that to you? EVEN ‘SINNERS’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, WHAT CREDIT is that to you? EVEN ‘SINNERS’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, WHAT CREDIT is that to you? EVEN ‘SINNERS’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full.

His questions are rhetorical. The answer is obvious. There is no credit – it accomplished nothing eternally. God’s not impressed. We are but lost sinners far from God and deceived concerning salvation. We are playing the church game.

Luke 6:27 “But I tell you who hear me: LOVE YOUR ENEMIES, do good to those who hate you

The problem we have is in understanding this kind of love. It’s not natural. It’s supernatural love. The Greek language has several words translated love: eros, erotic love; thelo {thel’o}, desire to do something; phileo {fil-eh’-o}, family and brotherly love; and stergos, natural affection. The word Jesus used is agapao {ag-ap-ah’-o}. Agape is a different category of love of which the world is not familiar. Prior to Jesus the word was seldom used. Jesus developed agapao and infects his disciples with this kind of love (agape). The difference between all other types of love and agapae is it’s not based of emotions, warm feelings, or even wanting to do it. We make the decision to agape. We decide to love (agape)someone no matter if they deserve it or expect it. It’s not self-serving. We do it because it’s the God-like thing to do, not because it feels good. Agape or agapao love is a decision, not a feeling. It’s the love of God and the love God is.

1 John 4:16 And so we know and rely on the love {agape} God has for us. God is love {agape}WHOEVER LIVES IN LOVE {agape} LIVES IN GOD, AND GOD IN HIM.

We must love (agape) like God if we’re going to live like God, live in God, and God in us – be children of God – godly. As God makes the decision to love us even when we were enemies to God, we make the decision to love our enemies.

1 John 4:20 If anyone says, “I love {agape} God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love {agape} his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love {agape} God, whom he has not seen.

If we allow hate, we are simply liars when we say we love God. We deceive others and ourselves, but not God. We’re playing the church game and deceived about salvation. We can’t tolerate hate.

Luke 6:27 “But I tell you who hear me: love your ENEMIES, do good to THOSE WHO HATE YOU

I need to ask you once more, is your enemy someone you hate or someone who hates you? It’s “those who hate you.” A true child of God hates no one. We forgive. Some may have a forgiveness problem, not an enemy problem. Let’s attempt to put a face on the scripture. Maybe it’s a former spouse or current spouse. A parent? A son or daughter? A co-worker? An employer? Someone you betrayed? Who are your enemies? If you are a child of God, you don’t play like it’s not there, or as if it’s not important. It’s important to Father. He loves you and you are in jeopardy. Fix it. How? Jesus laid out steps #1, #2, #3.

Luke 6:27 …DO GOOD to those who hate you

Step #1 is do good. God will provide a way when the time is right for you to do something good for your worst enemy. Your agapao part is to make yourself do it, but not to shame them. Agapao love! Make the decision. Do what God does. Live like God. Make sure we get it. Jesus did not say try to make them your best friend. He did not say develop a deep relationship with a toxic person. He’s not talking about being buddies. He’s talking about destroying hate.

Luke 6:28 BLESS those who curse you…

Step #2 is bless. When someone is saying god-awful things about you, cussing you, slandering you, you suck it up and say something good about them. Agapao love! Do what God does. Live like God.

Luke 6:28 …PRAY FOR those who mistreat you.

Step #3 is pray for. The emphasis is on for, not against. Don’t do an imprecatory prayer asking God to knock out their teeth, kill them, or bring all they’ve said about you back on their head. Ask the Lord to help them forgive you and heal their hurt. Ask God to bless their health and family and occupation. Eventually, instead of revulsion you will feel the beginnings of compassion. Allow God to infect your heart with agapao love. Isn’t that the way God lives? “Father forgive them…”

We’ve got to see people the way God does. People are to love, not hate. People are to die for, not kill.

After giving the “3 steps” of agapao – life of love, Jesus amplified using hyperboles. I taught about his use of hyperboles a few weeks back in the lesson titled Sermon on the Plain Living like God. I realize I’ve got to explain a little, but I can’t talk about it much. You’re familiar with the term “hype,” right? We “hype” something up. Or, perhaps your child is “hyper.” That’s hyperbolic. A hyperbole (hy-pur-ba-lee) is an intentional obvious exaggeration to create emphasis or effect. It’s used to evoke strong feelings helping the hearer remember, but not meant to be taken literally. Delbert, are you saying Jesus exaggerated and hyped things up? Yes, all the time. We all use hyperboles. “I’ve done that a million times.” “My back is killing me.” I died laughing.” You were intentionally “hyping” and obviously exaggerating to make a point. Jesus used hyperboles in nearly every sermon and teaching he gave. Here are only two.

Luke 18:25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

It’s impossible for a camel to go through the eye of a needle and that’s the point.

Matthew 5:29-30 If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

So, let’s get out the eyeball gougers and saws and line up. His point is cut off anything in your life taking you to hell – sins, relationship, addictions, way of thinking, etc.

You can’t take everything literal Jesus said. It sounds blasphemous to say, but unless you realize his use of hyperboles by Jesus, you will never hear what he is actually saying.

Here’s the first hyperbole Jesus used to amplify (hype) this teaching.

Luke 6:29 If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also…

It’s better interpreted “if someone were to punch you on the jaw bone.” Jesus wasn’t teaching pacifism concerning violence and crime and allowing someone to beat you with their fist. Jesus obviously exaggerated. Jesus is teaching us how to come out like God – blessed – when it comes to people who are enemies. His point is keeping yourself under control by not retaliating.

Life will throw you some knock out punches through people. You will get the wind knocked out of you. Jesus said the way to handle it is not retaliate. Retaliation is the natural human reaction, not the reaction of a child of God. Instead, don’t retaliate by #1 doing good to people who hate you. #2 bless those who curse you. #3 pray for those who mistreat you. “Turn” it around. Decide to agapao. It’s not who can hit the hardest. It’s who can love like God. “Father forgive them…”

We may think that’s “wimpish.” No, it’s god-like and the God life. Which requires the most control and power: to not retaliate, or to retaliate? It’s not “wimpish.” It’s controlled power.

Luke 6:29 …If someone takes your cloak, DO NOT STOP HIM FROM TAKING YOUR TUNIC.

The cloak and tunic hyperbole is an obvious hyperbole. Basically, the cloak was the outer garment – shirt, pants, blouse, dress, etc. The tunic was the undergarment, or we say underwear. Jesus is saying if someone takes your shirt; give them your underwear too! Was Jesus teaching public nudity telling us to allow people to undress us and to strip down naked? No. It’s hyperbolic. Please don’t take this literal.

To me, the principle is you simply must let things go, even if it uncovers your shortcomings and smallness. If someone mistreats me, curses me, makes me angry, hates me, etc, I have a difficult time letting it go. I’ve gone to bed lying for hours rehearsing the event in my mind, getting angry again and again. I lose sleep. I stress. My blood pressure goes up. Jesus said let it go – take it off. Don’t let that thing take years off your life. When I hold on to the thing and justify myself above my enemy, the thing never ends. Let it go. “How do you do that, Delbert?” Jesus told us. #1 do good for those who hate you. #2 bless those who curse you. #3 pray for those who mistreat you. It’s not easy, but it is agapao. It’s living like God.

Luke 6:30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.

Does Jesus expect us to give to every beggar or con who walks up? No. It’s hyperbolic. Jesus is hyping. He expects us to use wisdom and be good stewards of what God has given us. The point is agapao love. Love them like God.

One Sunday Kevin and I were the last to leave. As we locked the building, a woman walked up asking for more money for food. The church had already given her money, but she wanted more. Initially, my carnal nature said, “What! How brazen of you!” I didn’t say that, but wanted to. I walked to my truck to write and give her Don’s number to call for benevolence. I did give her Don’s number, but heard that voice inside I hear when God’s doing something with me say, “Give her some money.” I didn’t want to. “Lord, she’s riding around with some guy who’s making her go beg for money and our church already gave her money.” I heard, “You can buy her and him a hamburger. That won’t hurt you. You’ve got money in your pocket.” I gave her money out of my pocket. Sometimes those situations are so difficult for me. I see bums to avoid. God sees people to love (agape). The truth is its agapao. (I do need to let you know our church gives thousands and thousands of dollars to people every year.) How about you? Do you give in agapao?

 Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

We all know this as the “Golden Rule.” It’s actually the definition of the agapao life of love and most of us are in agapao kindergarten. We usually treat people the way they deserve instead of how we would want to be treated. What if God treated us the way we deserved? Instead, God loves us with agapao love.

Jesus gave us several High Def illustrations of the life of love.

Luke 6:32 “If you love those who love you, WHAT CREDIT is that to you? EVEN ‘SINNERS’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, WHAT CREDIT is that to you? EVEN ‘SINNERS’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, WHAT CREDIT is that to you? EVEN ‘SINNERS’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full.

The rhetorical answer to the rhetorical question is, “none.” There is no eternal benefit to only loving people who love me. I’m no different than a good sinner far from God. If we refuse to do for people as we want others to do for us, we are no different from sinners. We are not children of the Most High God. We are but deceived sinners playing the religion church game. Those who follow Jesus, the children of the Most High are radically different.

Luke 6:35, 36 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. THEN your reward will be great, AND YOU WILL BE SONS OF THE MOST HIGH, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, JUST AS YOUR FATHER is merciful.

After doing steps #1, #2, and #3 then the reward comes which is you will be sons of the most high. Jesus hasn’t stopped talking about enemies and how we are to love (agape) them. We must love (agape), give, and be merciful when it’s not useful. The principle is if you can love (agape) your enemies just as your Father loves, you will love (agape) everyone else. Anyone can love friends, do good to friends, and give to friends. The test is can you do those things for an enemy. If you do THEN you will be sons of the Most High. You actually hear Jesus. You are a disciple being transformed and translated to heaven. If we are real this is what we do. It’s not a suggestion. It’s an uncompromising command. You love in agapao and in God.

Agapao is the essence of Christianity – loving without the need for emotions, loving people who hate you, loving without retaliation, loving without expecting reimbursement, realizing people are to love (agape), not hate, and die for, not kill.

Most of us are familiar with the travesty happening at Penn State University. A once defensive coordinator and thought replacement for Joe Paterno, Jerry Sandusky, has been indicted for sexually abusing young teenage boys for around 15 years. Joe Paterno, along with others were fired and investigated for covering up the horrific thing for the sake of the football program worth billions of dollars.

I was lying in bed last night watching Fox News when once again they went into the story showing Sandusky. I said out loud something very derogatory and changed the station. As soon as I said it, I felt conviction from the Lord. When I turned the TV off laying there in the quietness of the darkness, I asked the Lord, “Why did you convict me about that? How can you love (agape) someone that wicked and evil? I heard back in question form, “You don’t?” As I meditated about that I heard, “What if he was your family member, or someone in the church you pastor? Would you want me to love him then? Would you tell him I love him when you attempted to minister to him? Delbert, I died for the Jerry’s of the world.”

Luke 6:36 THEN your reward will be great, AND YOU WILL BE SONS OF THE MOST HIGH, because he is kind to the UNGRATEFUL AND WICKED. Be merciful, JUST AS YOUR FATHER is merciful.

How do we love the unlovable? Answer: Agapeao. Our world is not familiar with agapao type love. This love is way larger than our enemies. It’s the love God is and the love God has for all of us, even the unlovable.

YOU WANT ME TO LOVE WHO?

Other Related Sermons:

Easter Blood Sacrifice – sermon video audio notes

The Resurrection Proofed – Easter sermon video audio notes

Easter Nonsense – sermon video audio notes

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Life Gate Church sermons by Delbert Young

 

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