Luke 6:38 – An Explanation By Pastor Chris Onayinka

Character Of God:

Character of GodCharacter of God: The character of God in given can be better explained from the verse below.

“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.”

Luke 6:38

Explanation:

Jesus was the speaker here and a careful attention must be paid to the use of words and also to his audience in this scenario.

Note:

Firstly, the context of “given”, in this verse, was not referring to God. It is expedient to see how God gives. James in his epistle helps us in understanding God’s character in giving.

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

James 1:5

The word “liberal” was translated from the Greek word “haplos”. It was used only once in the New Testament books of the Bible. It was translated from the Greek word “haplotes” which refers to singleness, sincerity. Also it implies generosity, bountifulness.

Relating topic: Sound Doctrine

The word “upbraids not” was translated from the Greek word “oneidizo” which implies to defame, rail at or chide.

Hence, this clearly shows us the willingness of God to give and the fact that he gives without defamation; taunting; reviling or fault finding. Having seen this, we can conclude that his giving is irrespective of the recipient.

Character Of God More Scriptures:

Let us examine more scriptures on the character of God in giving.

“Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

James 1:16-17

The word “variableness” was translated from the Greek word “parallage”, which is a combination of two words “para” and “allasso”. And the word “Para” is a primary preposition which is used for “near” or from beside. The word “allasso” was used 6 times in the New Testament books of the Bible and it implies to “change” or “make different.”

It is used in the following verses:

“For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.” {Customs: or, rites}

Acts 6:14

“And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.”

Romans 1:23

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

1 Corinthians 15:51-52

“I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.”

Galatians 4:20

“And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.

Hebrews 1:12

Character Of God In Giving Doesn’t Change:

We can see clearly that God’s character in giving does not change. And it is also not conditioned or predicated on the recipients doing something to merit his gift.

Again,

Let us examine how Jesus taught God’s character in giving.

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Vs 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

Matthew 5:44

It is clear from Jesus’ words that we do not give to receive from God, neither does God give because we gave something to him.

That said,

Back to Luke 6

“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.

Luke 6:38

So, the one who recompenses the giving in the above texts could not have been God.

The context talks about “shall men give into your bossom”, hence, the one who recompenses the giving is “men”.

Considering Other Words Used In The Verse:

Let’s consider the words used:

Give

The word “give” was translated from the Greek word “didomi”. It was used 378 times in the New Testament books of the Bible. Also it implies to bestow, grant, give, deliver up or to commit. It deals more with the attitude of the giver than the gifts itself. However, we will see that the most appropriate in context will be the word “to commit”.

Good

The word “good” was translated from the Greek word “kalos”. It was used 91times in the New Testament books of the Bible. It implies the following; properly, beautiful, but chief. This is always used as an adjective that is; it qualifies, describes or modifies a noun. This differs from the Greek word “agathos” which is often used as a noun for an intrinsic quality.

Measure

The word “measure” was translated from the Greek word “metron”. It was used 11 times in the New Testament books of the Bible. It implies a portion.

Also it was used in the following texts:

“For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”

Matthew 7:2

“Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.”

Matthew 23:32

“And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.”

Mark 4:24

Observing Other Words In The Verse:

Again, this measure cannot be referring to God’s giving. Just as John expressly said in John 3:34.

“For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.”

John 3:34

Observe, the term “unto him” is in italics, meaning it was not in the original Greek. It was however inserted by the translators of the King James Version of the Bible. So, what John said was God does not give his Spirit by measure. Again, just like we have since seen about the character of God in giving. The giving of the Spirit gives a clue into how he gives his gifts.

Press down

The term “press down” was translated from the Greek word “piezo” used only once in the entire New testament books of the Bible, and it implies to pack or press down.

Running over

The term “running over” was translated from the Greek word “huperekchuno”. It was also used only once in the New Testament books of the Bible and it means an overflow. It was derived from two words;

“Huper”which means “over”, and “Ekcheo”: to pour forth

Mete withal

The term “mete withal” was translated from the Greek word “metreo” which also means to measure.

Measured

The word “measured” was translated from the Greek word “antimetreo” which means to mete in return.

At this point, we can quickly agree that the use of words points to a reward system amongst men typified by the Law.

That said,

Deciphering Luke Chapter 6:

Back to Luke 6

“Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven

Luke 6:37

There is nothing about money here!

What exactly was Jesus talking about?

He was talking about judgement, forgiveness of sins and mercy. This was the sermon on the Mount which began in Verse 20.

“And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.”

Luke 6:20

We will find a corroboration in Matthew’s account.

“Judge not, that ye be not judged. Vs 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”

Matthew 7:1

This is the same thing as Luke 6:37.

So, what was to be given in Verse 38?

…judge not…

This answers what was to be given. JESUS WAS REFERRING TO JUDGEMENT, MERCY, FORGIVENESS AND NOTHING MATERIAL. He was not talking about money, rather He was saying if you give, judge or show mercy, it will be given unto you that is with the same measure with which you give (mercy, judgement, forgiveness) it will be given back to you.

Hence, he says “…shall men give unto your bossom… “

So, Jesus was not teaching the character of God but the act of recompense amongst men as typified by the Law of Moses. He is talking about Judgement, forgiveness and mercy. And He is not teaching the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ. He is teaching the law of Sin and Death.

Now Detail Account From Verse 27-36:

Back up to verse 27

“But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you. Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.

And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.”

Luke 6:27-36

Jesus Taught The Law Of Sin And death:

Note, this is not the law here, this is the New Testament in view.

Hence, Jesus taught two different things/concepts. He taught the character of God in a man (however, in view) and He also taught the Law of sin and death. Jesus said this in teaching them the character of God.

However, he was ministering to men under the law. Hence, in his teachings on the nature of the father (the new creature), we will see him make contrasts with the law.

It is also important to know that Jesus was born under the Law and also ministered under the Law. He also taught things concerning the Law.

He said “Give expecting no return”. When you give expecting to get back, it is not an expression of the love of God but selfishness. “Agape” gives to meet the needs of another and not to meet yours. God’s gifts are for us. God does not give or judge because you gave.

Considering The Old Testament Verses:

However, under the Law of Moses what you give is what you get, as shown in the texts below;

“Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.”

Leviticus 19:18

“Thou shalt not seek their peace nor their prosperity all thy days for ever. Vs 7 Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land.”

Deuteronomy 23:6

“Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. But thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them. By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me.

Psalm 41:9-11

The Gospel:

In Matthew 5, Jesus again spoke about the character of God in giving to man

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 5:43-48

Material Blessing For Everyone:

We can see that enjoying material blessings is not an exclusive right of the believer in Christ. The fact is all men enjoy material blessings, it is a show of God’s unconditional kindness.

The text (Luke 6:38) cannot be a proof text for neither “giving to receive nor a measure of God’s giving”. God is a liberal giver and he gives without conditions or fault-finding. He is kind both to the good and evil; believers and unbelievers alike.

Like Jesus every minister of the gospel must be sober. The preacher must not be seen extravagantly brandishing wealth. He should place priority on the kind of influence his audience receives of him; in his call to sacrificial service, he must make that reflection of Jesus his own identity before the world, he must contain his appetite.”

About The Author:

Pastor Chris Segun Onayinka is a Nigerian Pastor and a profound teacher of the word of God who teaches explicitly, the gospel of Jesus Christ and the New Creation realities. A Nigerian lawyer by profession, He is the founder and senior Pastor of The Saints Community Church.

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  1. George Asante 8 months ago

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