The Command to Forgive . . .

8 Jan

Luke 6:38, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

This verse is quoted a lot to teach us that, in Christ, we have a principle that we will be blessed back in the same measure that we are generous . . . 

We know that not all of the gospel accounts of Christ’s life are chronological.  We know that because Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the synoptic writers, don’t always put events in the same order.  For example, Matthew 12, a parallel passage to this one, reorders some of the events.

However, thematically, God the Holy Spirit inspired these exact words (in the original language) in the order they are written.  So there is always a need to check context when we study to see what the Holy Spirit may be saying there.

This verse comes immediately after the admonition to not judge and to be full of forgiveness.

It comes a few verses before the famous cry, “Why do you call me Lord and not do the things I say?”  And the story of the man who builds a foundation-less house that falls.

So, in the midst of wanting to be generous and receive generosity in return, there is that troublesome matter of also needing to heed the warnings to not judge others (the Bible defines sin for us and we are told to speak against sin, but judging the motives of another’s heart is just plain presumptuous) and to forgive others when they wrong us.  These are commands which the believer cannot “magic” out of the Bible.  They are Christ’s very words.

Forgive others when they wrong us.  This will happen.  We live in a fallen world.  The only question is whether we will spend our lives accumulating grudges or forgive, as we have been forgiven from on high!  

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