As we continue through the Gospel of Luke, we’re now coming to the section known as the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus was teaching righteousness principles to His disciples while a crowd of people were around them, listening.
As we go through Luke 6:20-26, we’ll find that Jesus is contrasting some things. Because of that, I’m going to deal with the differences the Lord brings out rather than going through verse by verse. I believe that in this way, it will be more understandable to us.
But first, there are two words that are repeated throughout these verses that we need to look at. The first is the word, blessed. I always pronounce this word as, blest. It means to be supremely fortunate and well-off.
The other word is, woe. If you’ve ever spent any time around Jewish people, then you’ve heard this word. It’s the exclamation, “Oy!” It’s an exclamation of grief and frustration.
Now to the sermon.
Looking at his disciples, he said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God…But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.”
Luke 6:20, 24
One of the things we have to remember, is that Jesus is specifically teaching this to His disciples. These are principles for the future leaders of the church.
We have to realize that Christ is not talking about material things in this passage. Nowhere in Scripture are we taught to strive to live in poverty. God wants to bless us with material things so that we can pass on these blessings to others (2 Corinthians 9:6-11).
I believe that the Lord is dealing with attitudes in these verses. We need to come the realization that in ourselves, no matter how great our possessions, we are totally destitute in relation to the kingdom of God.
It’s only when I can see this truth that I’m ready to receive God’s provision. Without Him, I’m not able to accomplish anything He wants me to do. At that point I now have all the resources of the kingdom of God at my disposal.
But, if I have a “rich” mentality, I’m headed for trouble. When I think that I’ve got everything I need and God doesn’t have to help me, I’m in a bad place. God let’s me go off on my own and I soon learn the error of this type of thinking.
The word, comfort, in that verse is a word that means to call alongside. It’s very close to what we mean by coaching in our society. This is the attitude that I already have all the coaching I need. So, I don’t need to seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.
To this, Jesus simply says, “Oy!”
“Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied…Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry.”
Luke 6:21a, 25a
Again, these are attitudes that need to be cultivated. The word, hunger, means to crave after something. Matthew tells us that we are to crave righteousness – God’s way of doing things (Matthew 5:6). If we crave righteousness, Jesus tells us that we will be able to gorge ourselves when the Holy Spirit answers our prayer.
Then there are those who Jesus refers to as well fed, literally full or satisfied. These people feel that they’re okay. They’re no worse than anybody else. No need to seek a deeper walk with God.
What they’re going to learn is that they’ll come to a point where they realize something is missing. Even though they feel their walk with God is okay, there’s a hole in their life they just can’t seem to fill.
Our goal should never be to get satisfied in our service to the Lord. We should be always craving more of His Spirit. This is how we keep spiritually strong.
Question: What is your satisfaction level in your walk with God?
© 2022 Nick Zaccardi