Give, and it Will be Given to You {Luke 6}

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Give, and it Will be Given to You {Luke 6}

By Angie Benjamin

"Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you." ~Luke 6:38

It is very common in the churches I have visited here in Africa to hear numerous pastors, evangelists and church leaders use Luke 6:38 for anything related to sowing and reaping.Whenever they need to convince their congregation that God will bless them if they tithe or when they want more people to give into their latest growth project or their evangelistic outreach? Well, Luke 6:38 applies to all things related to sowing and reaping, right? After all, it's one of the Laws of Reciprocity! You get what you give! You reap what you sow! 

The problem with that type of relaxed view of Scripture is that not only is Jesus not talking about material giving in this passage, but we are cheapening the meaning and value of what Jesus is saying by taking it out of context.

Of course we are instructed in Scripture to give money to the church and to others in need. But that's a different conversation. 

I believe the best way to study the Scripture is by its context...taking a look to the verses that surround a particular passage, even the chapters surrounding it.

So if we read the verses surrounding vs. 38, we can get a better perspective of what this particular verse really means.

Luke 6:36-42:
"Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you."

He also told them a parable: "Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye."

Verse 38 in its proper context is very deep and powerful. If we were to delete verse 38 from this passage, there would be no question that Jesus is talking about forgiving others. He says, "be merciful… don't judge… don't condemn… forgive" which is basically like saying the same thing over and over again. Then he drops the verb "give." Is he, out of nowhere, suddenly talking about money or material things in this conversation?

No. Jesus is instructing those who follow Him to "give" forgiveness and an uncondemning attitude in the same amount we desire to be forgiven. We are to be as merciful as God is to us while judging, condemning and forgiving others in the same way we desire to be judged, condemned and forgiven by God.

It's sad how little of the style of charity which our Lord recommends is to be seen, either in the world or in the Church! How common is an angry, passionate spirit, a morbid sensitiveness about what is called honor, and a readiness to quarrel on the least occasion! How seldom we see men and women who love their enemies, and do good hoping for nothing again, and bless those that curse them, and are kind to the unthankful and evil! Truly we are reminded here of our Lord's words, "Narrow is the way which leads unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matt. 7:13.)

Isn't it freeing to know that God wants to give us more forgiveness than we can handle?
The easiest way to do this is by making it a priority. Yes… even a higher priority than money!

Consider these words of Jesus today:

But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. ~Matthew 5:22-24

As we study this chapter today, let us all take some time to think about giving in the sense that Jesus meant it in this passage. We are talking about the mercy of God and how He expects us, His people, be just as merciful to those around us.

To Ponder:
How can you and I focus on "giving" forgiveness to those around us in a way that is pleasing to Him?

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