In this post, we’re continuing to look at the Sermon on the Mount as recorded in Luke’s Gospel. It contains some important principles on righteousness.
“Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh…Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.”
Luke 6:21, 25
This is one of those truths that doesn’t sound good, but is actually very important. Remember that Jesus is addressing these statements to His disciples – the future leaders of the church.
He tells them that in the “now”, there should be weeping. What could the Lord possibly mean by saying that?
What we need to realize is that spiritual truth, sometimes, goes completely opposite what we’ve learned in the world. The disciples were hearing from Jesus the principles of the kingdom of God. This means that in many cases they had to make an 180 degree turnaround from what they thought was right.
The fact is that truth brings change. And, more than that, change is uncomfortable. The disciples were being taught that it was better to accept the spiritual principles of Christ and deal with the sorrow of change. Later on, as they experience the results, they’ll walk in the joy of the Lord.
This has always been how embracing God’s truth works. Initially sorrow – then the joy His blessings bring (Psalm 30:5).
This is a real problem for those who only want to see blessings and never want to change. Eventually they’ll experience loss, with the grief and mourning that accompanies it. I find it better to submit to the Lord’s process of change right from the start.
“Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.”
Not only is there pain in receiving the truth, sometimes it hurts when you speak the truth. Not everyone wants to hear the message of Christ.
Here the Lord lists a number of things that will happen when people reject the Gospel of Christ. Many will hate you. That’s a choice to treat you in an abusive way.
Jesus also says that they may not invite you to participate in their events. You’ll be excluded because just seeing you causes them to feel guilty.
The word, insult, in the above verse means to defame you. It’s not just an insult to your face, but they’ll even talk about you when you’re not around. This could even include spreading lies about you.
Jesus doesn’t want to see His disciples hindered by these things. That’s why He’s warning them, and us, in advance. That’s how it’s always been with those who stand their ground for the Lord.
There is, however, another warning that we’re given.
“Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.”
Jesus tells them that they need to take stock if everyone speaks well of them. The message of Christ will always make somebody upset. As a matter of fact, in this society, I sometimes receive a look of disgust simply by sharing with someone that I’m a minister.
We need to realize that the truth hurts. Sometimes it hurts us, when we need to be changed by it. Sometimes it upsets others who hear it. But the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His gift of salvation must continue to be preached to all who will listen.
Question: How have you dealt with the discomfort of change from hearing God’s Word?
© 2022 Nick Zaccardi