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God’s Word for You

Luke 6:26 Gandhi and other false prophets

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Tuesday, January 16, 2018

26 Woe to you when all people speak well of you,
because that is how their fathers constantly treated the false prophets.

This fourth woe is the reverse of the earlier promise: “The fact is, their fathers constantly did the same things to the prophets” (Luke 6:23b). In fact, all of the woe pronouncements directly reverse the four Beatitudes recorded by Luke:

(20) Blessed at the poor / (24) Woe to you rich
(21a) Blessed are you who hunger / (25a) Woe to you well-fed
(21b) Blessed are you who weep / (25b) Woe to you who laugh
(22) Blessed are you when hated / (26) Woe when spoken well of

And both groups are completed in the same way:

(23) That is how they treated the prophets / (27) … false prophets

It is not God’s will that we get along with everyone at any cost. We cannot throw away the Bible’s truth for the sake of unity. Jesus’ woe condemnation forces us to ask the question: If everyone speaks well of us, what have we compromised? If no one can say anything bad about you—and other people are sinful, with their own agendas—are you committing sins of omission?

For example, the whole world seems to speak well of Gandhi. But his statements, such as “My wisdom flows from the Highest Source,” are not about Christ. A Christian can try to read Christ into Gandhi’s sayings, but that was not Gandhi’s meaning, nor did he look to Jesus as his Savior. He said, “Religions are different roads converging to the same point. What does it matter that we take different roads, so long as we reach the same goal?” But there is only one road to eternal life, and that is Christ, who said: “I am the way… No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). We know that the world will either hate Jesus for saying that or deny that he said it. That’s because the world would rather love Gandhi than Christ. The world wants to be told about a pointless, nameless love that says nothing about the forgiveness of sins. What the world is saying more and more loudly today is, “I demand that you listen to me, and I refuse to listen to you.” So the world closes its ears to the gospel. That’s how Israel treated the prophets. Elijah was called a “troubler” (1 Kings 18:17). Jesus was called a “blasphemer” (Mathew 26:65). What do we think we’ll be called?

Let the world be angry that we preach Christ crucified for our sins. Let the world laugh at us because of our stand on abortion as the murder of a human being, or the sin of homosexuality, or Christ as the only way to heaven. Once, as a boy, I was hiking with a dozen other boys with my dad leading us. After a while, he stopped us and asked, “Which way back to camp?” The first boy in line pointed up the trail, the way we were heading, and everybody else did the same, except me. I pointed back and to the right, about 200 degree from where we stood, and all my friends laughed at me. But Dad asked, “Why are you laughing at the only one who’s right?”

Our heavenly Father asks the same thing of the world. Just keep pointing the way.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.

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