Reading Luke 6 today and I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t read Luke’s account of the Beatitudes in a while, but Jesus words are very cutting today.
In v20-26 He pronounces blessings on these groups:
- Poor – for yours is the kingdom of God
- Hungry – for you shall be satisfied
- Weep – for you shall laugh
So, perhaps a good summary of mission – Jesus came to bring us the Kingdom, to satisfy us fully, and to be our joy?
He also pronounces blessings on those who are persecuted for His name – even telling them to rejoice becasue their reward is great in heaven. I’ve been reading “Tortured for Christ” and I can’t believe some of the stories in there – the moments of joy and singing praises to our Father amidst unspeakable tortures becuase of their faith in Christ.
He also pronounces woes on these groups:
- Rich – for they have already received their reward
- Full now – for you will be hungry later
- Laugh – for you will weep.
I didn’t notice until just now that those groups were the complete opposites of each other. So, I guess to ask the Piper-like question: where are we basing our total riches, satisfaction and joy? If it’s in Christ you will be blessed, but if it’s in this world now and that is what you pursue, then you will not be and you are headed down the wrong road. Also, hope in Christ is true hope, because Christ will never change and is always faithful, unlike hope in this ever changing life.
v31 contains the infamous often over-humanized “Golden Rule” which most people don’t even realize is in the Bible.
v37 again, a famous and often incorrectly-interpreted passage, Jesus tells us not to judge – this doesn’t have anything to do with church discipline (see Matt 18), but I loved the ESV study note that says “Lit: stop judging…condemning. Jesus is not ruling out the legitimate use of discernment, church discipline, and law courts, but rather admonishing his listeners to discontinue their tendency to criticize and find fault with others.” Ouch. That hurts. I do that WAY too much.
v39 cautions us to remember to check our own lives before we go off “correcting” others. The blind cannot lead the blind. (hmmm…another humanistic saying? 🙂 )
v46 is where the real cutting for me happens. Jesus’ words are very simple and sharp:
Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do what I tell you?
In looking at v47-49 it was a great reminder to see that the foundation of him who built on the rock was the one who heard the words of Jesus and DID them. Most often I forget that, I just think of building my house on a foundation in “trusting in Jesus.” Yeah…well there is ACTION there buddy…’hear the words and DO them” in order to have a rock solid foundation – then we can stand when the flood comes.