The Measure You Use


There have been moments when I’ve caught each of my three kids living or acting like Jesus. It scared me to death every time. Each instance has challenged me to redefine my values and what I want for my children. You see, my kids are never more like Jesus than when they are attacked without fighting back, stolen from without demanding justice, or kind to those who hate them.

  • When have you been treated unjustly or unkindly? What did it feel like, and what was your response?


27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. 30  Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

32  “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

37  “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. Do you know anyone who has lived the commands Jesus gave in verses 27-31? What would that person be like, and what would we think if our children started acting like that at school?
  2. If verses 32-34 are a commentary on the commands Jesus gave, what is Jesus’ argument? Summarize it in one sentence.
  3. What is the motivation and reward for this kind of living (vss. 35-36)?
  4. In what ways are verses 37-38 an explanation/warning connected to verse 31?
  5. Which of Jesus’ challenges are most difficult or convicting for you today?
    • Love your enemy.
    • Bless those that curse you.
    • Pray for those who abuse you.
    • Offer your other cheek and another jacket.
    • Give to everyone who asks.
    • Don’t demand your rights.
    • Expect nothing in return.
    • Judge not.
    • Condemn not.
    • Forgive.


Jesus, the only one who has ever fully lived like he commanded, can call us to this radical way of living because it is precisely the way he lived and acted towards us—loving us while we were still sinners, forgiving us the sins that cause him pain, choosing us to be his sons and daughters even though we acted like his enemies. And one small way I can demonstrate the depth of my understanding of God’s love for me is that I treat others like Jesus has treated me. How could I possibly demand justice from hurting and broken people when Jesus has poured into my lap such an embarrassing abundance of mercy, kindness, and love?

  • Ask God whom you need to forgive today, and ask for Jesus’ help to forgive.
  • Pray for the people who have hurt you, that God would bless them and that they might know the riches of God’s love.
  • Spend some time thanking God for his abundant love and forgiveness.