Jesus said in Luke 6:40, "The disciple is not above his master: but everyone that is perfect shall be as his master." Our master is Christ. We follow Him. We listen to His teachings. We desire to be more like Him. We know that He is the greatest teacher ever. We know that His teachings are the greatest teachings that have ever been given to mankind, but the reason we follow Him as Master is because first of all He became our Savior. You will not be able to follow Jesus as Master unless you know Him as the Savior from your sins.
Everyone has a Master. Everyone serves someone or something. Some people serve money. Some people serve religion. Some people serve their own pride. But only a few people in the world have the great privilege of serving Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Master of the Universe. In this part of Luke Chapter 6 Jesus is speaking to His disciples on the subject of loving our enemies. He told us to turn the other cheek, to pray for those who use us, to bless those who curse us, and to give expecting nothing in return.
He told us to be merciful, to judge not, to condemn not, and to forgive. This is one of the wonderful things about the Christian life. We have been given a tremendous challenge, a very high and noble standard. Jesus told us very clearly in Luke 6:40 that we should aspire to be the way that He was. Jesus showed us what the human life should be. He also taught us these things in order to help us.
If you understand human beings, then you know how easily human nature can be critical and condemning. We were already told in Luke 6:37 to judge not and to condemn not. Now in Luke 6:41-42 Jesus is telling us in more detail how to avoid being critical and condemning towards others. He said, "And why do you behold the mote that is in thy brotherís eye, but perceive not the beam that is in thine own eye? Either how can you say to your brother, Let me pull out the mote that is in your eye, when you yourself behold not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then you shall see clearly to pull out the mote that is in your brotherís eye."
Itís easy to understand why Jesus would think that judging or condemning others would be such a serious offense committed by someone who claims to be a believer in Him. Jesus died for the sins of the world. He knows what is in man. He knows that all have sinned, and He knows that a Christian is simply a sinner saved by grace. Knowing this to be true, no one should have a judgmental or condemning attitude. When you condemn others, youíre condemning yourself because you have committed the same sins or other sins that are just as bad.
Jesus used a very strong word to describe those who condemn or judge others. He called them "hypocrites." In all of His ministry He used this word only one other time: hypocrite. When you judge or condemn others, Jesus says that you are a hypocrite. Have you forgotten that you also are a sinner? Have you forgotten so easily that you also make mistakes?
Jesus made it clear how to avoid becoming such a hypocrite. Instead of focusing on other peopleís faults and what they should do to correct them, focus on your own. You havenít arrived. You are not yet everything that you ought to be. Your priority should be how you can make your own life better. When you start looking too closely at the faults and failures of others, in addition to your other faults you are well on the way to becoming someone that Jesus looks at and calls a "hypocrite."
Of course there is a difference between judging and evaluating. There may be a fine line between judging and evaluating, but a reasonable evaluation of someone is sometimes appropriate. You have to determine if someone is a false teacher or not. There are many false teachers that have gone out into the world as wolves in sheepís clothing. "Try the spirits to see of they are of God." Jesus said in Luke 6:43-44, "For a good tree brings not forth corrupt fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush do they gather grapes."
Like Jesus so often did, He pointed to an example in nature in order to teach a spiritual lesson. That which is spiritual came before that which is physical and material. If you really understand the physical, then you understand the spiritual lesson that it symbolizes. A fruit tree symbolizes something very important. Each fruit tree has itís own specific fruit that it produces. Once you see the fruit, then you know everything that you need to know about the tree. People also bear fruit. If you want to know what kind of a tree that someone is, then examine the fruit. Donít examine their speech. Examine the fruit. Many people have followed false teachers because of fair words and crafty phrases pronounced by those teachers. They could have avoided such a mistake if they had simply examined the fruit. Some people have learned to stand before a crowd to control, to manipulate, and to entertain. Some people have taught themselves how to stand up in public, but they could not make improvements to their private lives. Jesus is saying that you will see the truth about them by examining their lives and examining their actions.
How can you make sure that your life bears good fruit? Jesus gave us the answer in Luke 6:45-46. He said, "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil: out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. And why call you me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" It all starts with the heart. The heart is the innermost being of a person where existsí their thoughts, their emotions, and their will. Unless your heart is changed, you have no hope of seeing your life changed in a way that will please God.
What you say and do is simply a reflection of the things that you think about. If you want to improve the words that you say, then start by improving the things you think about. If you want to say better things about other people, then start by thinking better thoughts about them. Maybe you are saying bad things about people because you are looking at their bad side. Everyone has something good about them. Start looking at their good side, and then when you speak about them you will say good things.
This teaching that Jesus gave to us goes to the core of one of the important explanations for human behavior. Why do human beings do what they do? One reason is that actions are a result of thoughts. Find out what someone thinks about, and you will have a clear indication of what their actions will be. "Guard your heart with all diligence for out of it proceed the issues of life." Be careful what you feed your mind. Sow a thought, and you reap an action. Sow an action, and you reap a habit. Sow a habit, and you reap a destiny. It all starts with the heart. Of course, Jesus was right. "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good."
Even though we are saved by grace through faith and not by works, the will of God is that once we are saved that we will learn to bring forth good works to glorify Him. Something is terribly wrong if you name the name of Christ, but your life does not show it. Thatí why Jesus said in Luke 6:46, "And why call you me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" If someone claims to be a Christian, but the actions of their life does not back it up, there are several possible explanations for it. One explanation is that he is not a real Christian. Itís possible that maybe he was baptized but never really repented of his sins and gave his whole heart and life to Christ. "If any man be in Christ He is a new creation. Old things are passed away. Behold, all things are become new."
Another explanation has to do with the principle given here by Jesus that actions come from thoughts. For a Christian to increase in having more and more of the right kind of actions, there must first of all be more and more of the right kind of thoughts. From this perspective the Christian life involves the training of the mind. Are you training your mind to think properly? If not, then you are not growing as a Christian. The Bible says in Romans 12:2, "Be you transformed by the renewing of your mind." Phil. 2:5 says, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:8 says, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
In Luke Chapter 6 we have some of the great teachings of Jesus: the beatitudes, His teaching about loving your enemies and not judging others, and His teaching about the heart and the mind being the source of good works. Jesus is our Savior and He is also our teacher. Everyone has a teacher. Everyone has someone they have listened to and from whom they have obtained certain principles and ideas that they aspire to live by. At the end of Luke chapter six Jesus tells us the importance of His teachings. He warns us what will happen to those who hear His teachings, but do not live by them. He said in Luke 6:47-49, "Whosoever comes to me, and hears my sayings, and does them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built a 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. But he that hears, and does not, is like a man that without a foundation built a house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great."
Everyone knows that a house without a foundation will not stand very long. The first storm will knock it down. Jesus is telling that the life of a human being is like a house. You must start with a foundation, and then you build on the foundation. If you do not have a good foundation, you are ruined. The foundation is Christ and the teachings of Christ. Paul wrote in I Cor. 3:9-11, "For we are labourers together with God. You are Godís husbandry, you are Godís building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another builds thereon. But let every man take heed how he builds thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
In life there will be storms. There will be disappointments. There will be trials and temptations. Jesus said, "In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world." When the storms of life come against you, you will need the right foundation in order to still be standing, strong and secure, when the storm is over. Many people have had a good start, but they did not finish well because they had the wrong foundation. Jesus loves us. He wants us to have life and to have it more abundantly. He wants us to be able to go through the storms of life, and come out on the other side still standing and even being better for it. Some people falsely think that the commandments of the Bible are restrictions on their enjoyment. But thatís not true. Jesus gave us His teachings in order to show us the way and to help us become all that we can be in heart and mind and soul.
When Jesus described the fall of the person who had the wrong foundation for life because they did not put into practice the teachings of Jesus, Jesus said in Luke 6:49 that "the ruin of that house was great." The ruin of a life and the loss of a soul is described by Jesus as being a great tragedy. Thatís because of how much God loves the soul of every person on the earth. Jesus described Himself and said, "The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." There is nothing on the earth more precious than one soul. God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Every day in the world a great spiritual battle is raging for the souls of mankind. The heart of God has reached out and offered to the world a Savior. "As many as believe on Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God." We have a Savior and we also have a teacher. The mind of God has sent through Jesus the greatest teachings ever given to the human race. For those who fail to come to Jesus as Savior, their soul will be lost forever. For those who fail to hear and to put into practice the teachings of Jesus, their life on earth will be like a house built on shifting sand. It will fall when the storms of life come its way.
Jesus said in Luke 6:47, "Whosoever comes to me." Have you come to Jesus to find the Savior of your soul, and have you come to Him to find the Master and teacher of your life with the purpose of putting into practice His teachings? If not, you can come to Jesus today.
Copyright; 2000 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved