Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Luke 6:38 (NIV)
Read: Luke 6:27-38
Consider: When reading today’s passage from Luke 6 it would be easy to concentrate upon the early section of the passage which focuses on the theme ‘Love your enemies’. As the section where this theme is overtly dealt with runs from 6:27-36 it is clearly important, particularly as it is Jesus himself who is the teacher.
On first reading 6:37-38 seem disjointed from the earlier section and this could lead us to think that Luke is recording separate instances when Jesus was teaching. However, this would cause us to miss the richness of what is being said in these two verses:
‘Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.’
Within the context of ‘Love your enemies’ the message of these verses is very powerful. When Jesus says ‘Do not judge’, ‘Do not condemn’, ‘Forgive’ and ‘Give’ we tend to think of those whom we like or love, yet Jesus is saying this within the context of ‘enemies’; those we probably don’t like or love. How much harder it is to do these things for those we would not necessarily want to do them for.
Looking at verse 38 that speaks of giving, the language used is one of exceptional generosity. Notice that the generosity is two-way – it flows out from the person being generous and flows back to them. Of course our motivation for generous giving should not be a return on our giving, as if we expect the person to pay us back. As Jesus says earlier in the passage ‘… love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back’ (6:35).
Paul takes up this theme of generous giving in his letters to the church at Corinth. He encourages them to be generous in their giving for those who are suffering in Jerusalem. It is worth reading about this in 1 Corinthians 16:1-3 and 2 Corinthians 8 and 9.
Pray: Father, forgive us for often choosing to apply the words of Jesus only to those with whom we feel an affinity. Help us to apply Jesus’ words also to those we might not at first consider. Amen