“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 (KJV)
How are you? In doing my research for this blog post, it seems that this verse is used to encourage people to tithe or give to a specific cause. However, I am wondering if that is the way this verse is meant to be spoken. In that use, the speaker is seeking something. Yet, in the way Jesus says it, the hearer is the one who will reap its rewards if followed.
I think God probably cringes when we use His Word for our gain. “Will you buy me a new car? The Bible says, ‘It is better to give than to receive.’ (Wink, wink.)” Can you imagine what God is thinking or feeling with this? Sometimes, the message isn’t just what we say, but how we say it.
About what does this verse remind you? At first glance, the “good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over” reminds me of measuring something for a recipe. When scooping flour with a measuring cup, you may think you have the correct amount, but if you tap the measuring cup against the counter the flour will settle and you will find that you don’t have as much flour as you thought. So, my mind thinks, “Jesus is saying that if I give the amount that seems full when I first scoop, I will get back the amount that looks like that amount after that amount settles and more is added to make it look equal. As a matter of fact, it will be more than that, because it will not only be that amount, but running over.”
The part that confuses me with this verse is, “shall men give…”. I know that if we do God’s will, He will reward us, if not in this life, in everlasting life. Yet, people don’t always return kindness with kindness or cruelty with cruelty. People are more apt to return like for like, but not always. What are your thoughts on that? Jesus must have had a reason to say “shall men give…”. Was it to say that “people are more apt to treat others in the same way others treat them”? Or, was there more to the message?
So, what is it that we are measuring? Some, think it is money. Remember the wink, wink? However, to me it seems to be a general rule of life for reaping and sowing. The verses prior to Luke 6:38 talks about not only money (Luke 6:34), but also things like mercy (Luke 6:36), judgment (Luke 6:37) and forgiveness (Luke 6:37) as well.
I think it is just like in gardening. If you plant peas, peas will grow or if you plant beans, beans will grow. I think it is the same with Luke 6:38, if you give money, you will get money or if you give cruelty, you will get cruelty. And, of course, if you give love, you will get love. Maybe that is what the last sentence of the verse means, “For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” If you give someone a pint of berries, you will get an overflowing pint of berries in return. If you give someone love, you will get more love in return.
It may seem strange that this works out, especially when humans are involved. I mean, we may know and believe that God will reward our love, faith, and obedience. But why would it make sense that “shall men give…”?
This is why I like to reflect and find other verses in which the verse reminds me. Sometimes God’s Word is difficult to understand unless we make connections with other verses. After all, God’s Word speaks about heavenly ways and we are used to hearing about worldly ways, so it may seem a bit strange to us at first.
So, why does it make sense that even men could repay like with like or even with more than given? Matthew 7:12 says, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” The Golden Rule, as we call it, tells us to treat others as we would want to be treated. I believe that speaks to the repay same with same, especially if kindness is given.
Matthew 5:40-41 speaks about not only giving, but also giving more. Matthew 5:40 says, “And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.” Nobody wants to be sued, but whether we are compelled through the court or through compassion, I believe we are called to give even more than expected.
We are to ensure that we aren’t the person in debt, but the person who has given more than owed. In that way, we are called to follow Jesus’ example. He gave His life for us, even though He didn’t owe us anything.
Matthew 5:41 reinforces Matthew 5:40. It says, “And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.” We are called to not only give of our earthly possessions, or of our emotions, but of our time and memories as well. We are called to spend more time with someone than even asked.
Like I said, it may seem strange, but even though this is not the way the world is, it is the way it was meant to be. God always calls us to give. God gave man a “help mate”. I believe it wasn’t just because He loved man and didn’t want man to be lonely, but also because He meant people to help one another.
Sadly, things are always as they “should” be, but that doesn’t take away from the truth. Truth is truth. The way God planned things is truth and the way they “should” be.
In the beginning of the post, I mentioned something about a message being not only the words but also how they are used. So, what is the message in Luke 6:38? I think the message is in the first word of the verse, “Give!” Don’t give because it is said in a sermon or because people ask you to give. Don’t give because you feel guilty or embarrassed. Don’t give because you are manipulated. Give because God calls us to give. Give out of compassion and love.
Thank you for your Word. Even though it may seem “strange” at times, because we are used to worldly words, help us to trust in Your Words and in heavenly ways. Oh Lord, help us to not only seek your Word and ways, but to share them in the spirit in which they were intended. Help us to honor you and praise you by following the example of your Son, Jesus, in giving more than we owe or are asked. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for Luke 6:38 (KJV):
*What does Luke 6:38 mean to me?
*Does Luke 6:38 speak of worldly things, heavenly things, or both?
*What are we to give?
*Of what verses does Luke 6:38 remind me?
*What can I do to better heed the words in Luke 6:38?
If you are interested in "reap what you sow" posts, you might also be interested in this post.
Now, it is your turn.
Luke 6:38 is a large verse. It is quite a bit to take in. We may or may not understand it all. I would like to hear from you though. What are your thoughts and understanding of the verse? Let us all learn from and encourage each other in God's Word.
Thank you for being here. I appreciate your kindness and support. I pray that you are blessed by the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations. If you are finding value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, please share it with your friends, family, and church members. Also, if you haven't done so already, please consider signing up below to receive the Faith Blog and other faith content in your inbox. Thank you.
This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.