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Luke 6:12-49: Radical Lifestyle

For more context before you begin studying, read this introduction to the book of Luke.

Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi was India's revered leader in the fight for national independence from British colonialism. As a child in India, a student in England and a lawyer in South Africa, he was exposed to Christianity—and racism. He admired the teachings of Jesus, especially the Sermon on the Mount. He admired the life of Jesus, and indeed was inspired to follow his example. But after years of observing Christians, he sadly concluded, "For me to believe in their Redeemer, their lives must show they are redeemed." He never became a Christian.

A Christian's lifestyle matters—not only correct words. The total teaching and example of Jesus demands a lifestyle that is noticeably different from the average person's.

Warming Up to God

Describe someone you know who has a truly Christlike lifestyle.

Read Luke 6:12-49

Discovering the Word

  • In verses 17-19 Luke has carefully given us the setting for the "Sermon on the Plain." What kinds of people are in Jesus' audience?
  • Jesus begins with kingdom attitudes that shape one's lifestyle. What contrasts does he draw between his way of personal fulfillment and the world's way (vv. 20-26)?
  • Jesus knows that loving one's enemies is impossible without strong motivation. How does he argue that his disciples can have that motivation (vv. 31-36)?
  • In verse 37 Jesus is probably being facetious, for he knows it is impossible not to judge others. Rather we are to judge with good sense. What guidelines does he give to judge in this way (vv. 37b-42)?
  • Jesus concludes by warning his listeners of the long-term results of their present choice of lifestyle (vv. 43-49). How do his logic and illustrations sharpen his argument?

Applying the Word

  • In what ways have you found Jesus' road to happiness the right one? Or an unsatisfactory one?
  • Loving one's enemies is another aspect of a radical Christian lifestyle. In what ways does your enemy make it hard for you to love him/her?
  • What in this study gives you hope that you can maintain the kind of radical lifestyle Jesus expects of his followers?

Responding in Prayer

Pray for the strength and wisdom you need to love your enemies.

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