Luke 6:31-38

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

October 18, 2000


We are in the middle of a sermon from Jesus, a sermon similar to the Sermon on the Mount, but given at another time and another place.

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

wouldthelo – to will, have in mind, intend; to be resolved or determined, to purpose; to desire, to wish; to love; to like to do a thing, be fond of doing; to take delight in, have pleasure

likewisehomoios – likewise, equally, in the same way

We call this the “golden rule”.

A similar command is found in the apocrypha, written before Jesus’ time:

Tobit 4:15  Do that to no man which thou hatest …
Many of the ancient teachers, like Hillel, Philo, and Confucius said similar things, but they also put it in the negative.

Jesus puts it in the positive.

It’s not just about what you don’t do to others that counts, but learning to do things for others.

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

loveagapao – of persons; to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly.  This is God’s kind of love, based on the will, unconditional, putting value on the person you love.

thankcharis – grace; that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech; good will, loving-kindness, favour; thanks, (for benefits, services, favours), recompense, reward

Don’t think you’re ringing up treasures in heaven for loving people that love you back.

When I think about agape love, I have to confess, I often think about people who are pretty easy to love.

Yet even those that are easy to love are sometimes a challenge!

But Jesus wants us to learn to have agape for those who aren’t going to give us agape back.

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

do goodagathopoieo – to do good, do something which profits others; to be a good help to someone; to do someone a favour; to benefit; to do well, do right

: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.

lenddaneizo – to lend money; to have money lent to one’s self; to take a loan, borrow; to lend on interest, as a business transaction

receiveapolambano – to receive; of what is due or promised; to take again or back, to recover

These verses don’t mean that you shouldn’t be loving, doing good, or lending to those who love you.  It’s just that there’s nothing out of the ordinary about doing those things.

:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great,

enemiesechthros – hated, odious, hateful; hostile, hating, and opposing another; a man that is hostile; a certain enemy

hopingapelpizo – nothing despairing; despairing of no one; causing no one to despair

rewardmisthos – dues paid for work; wages, hire; reward: used of the fruit naturally resulting from toils and endeavours

greatpolus – many, much, large

This is a definition of grace.

:35  and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

childrenhuios – a son

Highesthupsistos – highest, most high; of rank: the most high God

kindchrestos – fit, fit for use, useful; virtuous, good; of things: more pleasant, of people, kind, benevolent

unthankfulacharistos – ungracious; unpleasing; unthankful

evilponeros – full of labours, annoyances, hardships; bad, of a bad nature or condition; in an ethical sense: evil wicked, bad


God is gracious

He loves His enemies. 
He does good to those who don’t deserve it.
(Mat 5:44-45 KJV)  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; {45} That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
He lends to those who don’t deserve it.
All that we have is lent to us from the Lord, including money, property, possessions, and even family.
When we act like Him, we demonstrate that we’re His children.

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

mercifuloiktirmon – merciful; from oikteiro – to pity, have compassion on

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

judgekrino – to separate, put asunder; to approve; to judge; to pronounce an opinion concerning right and wrong; to pronounce judgment, to subject to censure; of those who act the part of judges or arbiters in matters of common life, or pass judgment on the deeds and words of others

Robertson: “the present active imperative,  forbidding the habit of criticism. The common verb krinw,  to separate,  we have in our English words critic, criticism,  criticize,  discriminate. Jesus does not mean that we are not to form opinions,  but not to form them rashly,  unfairly, like our prejudice.”

The problem with this comes when something seems obviously wrong with a person or a situation.  Should I be “critical”?

Jesus wants us to be “fruit inspectors” or “sheep inspectors” –
(Mat 7:15-20 KJV)  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. {16} Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? {17} Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. {18} A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. {19} Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. {20} Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

To “know them by their fruits” requires a measure of “judgment”.

But we need to be careful that we aren’t quick or rash to make judgments.

We need to be asking ourselves, how would I want to be treated?

I think that sometimes if the answers to our questions aren’t so obvious, that we ought to be willing to “err on the side of grace”.


Criticism comes back at you.

Some people are critical about everything.

Maranatha Magazine carried the following humorous story about criticism:

“The wife of a hard-to-please husband was determined to try her best to satisfy him for just one day.  ‘Darling,’ she asked, ‘what would you like for breakfast this morning?’  He growled, ‘Coffee and toast, grits and sausage, and two eggs—one scramble and one fried.’ She soon had the food on the table and waited for a word of praise. After a quick glance, he exclaimed, ‘Well, if you didn’t scramble the wrong egg!”


This elderly couple was having trouble with forgetfulness, so they went to their doctor. He said, “Why don’t you try writing down everything so you’ll remember.” So one evening, Grandma asked Grandpa if he’d like some ice cream. “Sure, that’s sounds good, but you’d better write it down.” “No,” Grandma said. “I can remember that. Would you like chocolate syrup on top?” “Yes, but you’d better write it down.” “I can remember that. How about some nuts on top, too?” “OK, but I think you’d really better write it all down.” “No, I can remember.” So she went into the kitchen and she was in there a long time. Finally, Grandpa went in and asked her what was taking so long. “I made you bacon and eggs,” Grandma said. “I told you to write it down!” Grandpa said. “I wanted toast, too!”

I can find myself at times becoming critical about everything.  I think that at times I probably have about the worst critical spirit there ever was.  I can listen to a musician perform perfectly, but still find something wrong.  The problem is that as I go through life being critical of others, it comes back to haunt me.  Others become critical of me.  The opposite is true.  If I go “easy” on others, I find they tend to go “easy” on me as well.

condemnkatadikazo (“against” + “judicial decision”) – to give judgment against (one), to pronounce guilty; to condemn

Also a present imperative, meaning to “cease from doing” or to “stop the habit of doing” these things.

forgiveapoluo (“from” + “to loose”) – to set free; to let go, dismiss, (to detain no longer); a petitioner to whom liberty to depart is given by a decisive answer; a captive i.e. to loose his bonds and bid him depart, to give him liberty to depart; to acquit one accused of a crime and set him at liberty; indulgently to grant a prisoner leave to depart; to release a debtor, i.e. not to press one’s claim against him, to remit his debt


Unforgiveness is dangerous

This can apply to my relationship with God.  If I forgive others, God will forgive me.
(Mat 6:12-15 KJV)  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. {13} And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. {14} For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: {15} But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Does this mean that if I’m not forgiving other people, that God doesn’t forgive me?  It looks like it to me.

: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.

givedidomi – to give; to give something to someone

goodkalos – beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable

measuremetron – measure, an instrument for measuring; a vessel for receiving and determining the quantity of things, whether dry or liquid; determined extent, portion measured off, measure or limit

The following are descriptions of a “good measure”, ways of making sure you gave your customer a good deal.

pressed downpiezo – to press, press together

Like at Baskin Robbins when they hand “pack” the ice cream, pressing it down with the scoop to fill the entire container.

shaken togethersaleuo – a motion produced by winds, storms, waves, etc; to agitate or shake; to shake thoroughly, of a measure filled by shaking its contents together

When you open a new box of cereal and you see all the air at the top of the box, that’s because the contents have been “shaken together” and settled.  It’s the idea of shaking the contents down, making room for more, then filling it up to the top.

running overhuperekchuno (“over” + “pour out”) – to pour out beyond measure; to overflow, run over

This is messy.  If your waitress refills your ice tea till it’s “running over”, she’s going to make a mess, but you get the picture.

When it comes to the filling of the Holy Spirit, I’d like it to be “running over”.

David wrote,
(Psa 23:5 KJV)  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
I think that a person with a giving spirit will experience the Lord’s presence in a greater way.

bosomkolpos – the front of the body between the arms; the bosom of a garment, i.e. the hollow formed by the upper forepart of a rather loose garment bound by a girdle or sash, used for keeping and carrying things (the fold or pocket)

:38 For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

measuredmetreo – to measure, to measure out or off; to measure out, mete out to, i.e. to give by measure

measured to you againantimetreo – to measure back, to measure in return, repay


Warning about desire for money

Some people take this teaching and twist it around to make it a principle for becoming wealthy.
(1 Tim 6:5-10 NLT)  These people always cause trouble. Their minds are corrupt, and they don't tell the truth. To them religion is just a way to get rich. {6} Yet true religion with contentment is great wealth. {7} After all, we didn't bring anything with us when we came into the world, and we certainly cannot carry anything with us when we die. {8} So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. {9} But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. {10} For the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.
When the love for money attaches itself to your soul, it can twist your heart to do just about anything.  Apparently, one of Paul’s earlier companions, Demas, fell into this trap:

(2 Tim 4:10 NLT)  Demas has deserted me because he loves the things of this life and has gone to Thessalonica.

Be careful as we study this that this doesn’t become some sort of formula for you to become wealthy.  You’re going down the wrong road.


You receive in proportion to your giving

Even though the issue is not about becoming wealthy, money is a part of what applies here.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians regarding an offering he was collecting for the poor in Jerusalem.  He encouraged them to give generously:

(2 Cor 9:6-8 KJV)  But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. {7} Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. {8} And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

Paul promises these people that if they are giving correctly, being led by the Lord, that God will make sure that they always have enough and will be able to keep doing good things, like giving to the poor.

Sometimes God will put the need to give in a certain area on your heart.  And you can begin to question it saying, “But I’m not sure I can afford this!”  If God is the one leading you, then He will provide for you.

I think that even more than money, the issue in the context is mercy.
Do you want people to be merciful to you?  Then be merciful to them.