End of Self

We’ve heard of ‘coming to the end of your rope.’  Have you ever felt like you were coming to the end of self?  People are taking every bit of you; your childrenask a little of you; your spouse asks a little of you; your friends…, neighbors…, work…, etc.  Well, in the passage we will look at on Sunday, February 27, Jesus seems to press these boundries.  If you are frazzled or have ever been ‘at the end of self,’ meditate on this passage and I hope you find your “self” in worship.

Luke 6:27-31    “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29If 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. 30Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

One thought on “End of Self

  1. What would a community of selfless individuals look like? Where friends look after friends no matter what it took. Where a husband looks after his wife’s needs, or encouraged her in her accomplishments, without thought of self. Where a wife offers the same to her husband, with confidence that her husband will look after her. Where family members seek not to get what they think is rightfully theirs, nor do they battle for recognition, but strive for one anothers betterment and lifes goals. Where communities are filled with people who don’t care who gets the credit, but does what’s right for all ages and for every generation. That is how I believe we will relate to one another in the kingdom of God. Jesus preached good news for the “Kingdom of God is near.”
    But what would it take to produce such a kingdom? We humans have a knack for wanting such a selfless community, but when it might begin with our actions we fall short. I mean, I like doing a task here or there, but if such a “giving of myself” is going to demand my life-style or “what’s mine,” I might start looking for others to give of themselves and absolve myself. Such is the human condition of sin… we know what it takes to love but when we try we cannot accomplish it.
    Jesus, just before He would give his innocent life on the cross said “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” (John 12:24-26)
    That is why our passage is so difficult. It’s in the middle of the great sermon on the plain message (Luke 6:12-49). Jesus proclaimed the benefits of the kingdom (v20-23) and we say, “oh I like that.” He proclaims the woes on those who are seeking their own stuff now and we say with the crowd “You tell ’em Jesus.” But then he tells us what we must do in vs 27-31: “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.” Tough words in order to bring an awesome kingdom.
    The good news is that Jesus did it first, without committing a sin. We cannot even point at Him and say “that wrong He did finally caught up to Him.” He was undeserving and still silently He fulfilled even these words He spoke.
    If we believe in Christ we must follow, trusting in God’s provision:”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.” (Luke 6:35-36, NIV)

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