Today in my reading of the Bible, I came across the beatitudes, which are amazing. One of the big things I noticed is that the beatitudes are in Matthew and also in Luke, but Luke includes a section that Matthew had decided to leave out. I want to focus on the passage from Luke in this blog today to include the sorrowful part of what Jesus was saying, along with the blessings.
This is part of Christ’s “sermon on the mount,” which is His longest recorded Sermon.
20 Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said,
“God blesses you who are poor,
for the Kingdom of God is yours.
21 God blesses you who are hungry now,
for you will be satisfied.
God blesses you who weep now,
for in due time you will laugh.
22 What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. 23 When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way.
24 “What sorrow awaits you who are rich,
for you have your only happiness now.
25 What sorrow awaits you who are fat and prosperous now,
for a time of awful hunger awaits you.
What sorrow awaits you who laugh now,
for your laughing will turn to mourning and sorrow.
26 What sorrow awaits you who are praised by the crowds,
for their ancestors also praised false prophets.
In the beatitudes (verses 20-23), Jesus pronounced blessings on those whom society normally looked down upon. Beatitude is taken from the Latin word meaning blessing. In these verses, Jesus describes what characteristics He looks for in His followers. What I love is that at the time, and even know, it’s so contradictory to the world’s view of being blessed and being successful.
It certainly changes my view on things to know that when I cry, it is a blessing from God and I should be happy about it. Money, prosperity, and praise are normally thought of as things the Lord would bless you with. It’s neat to know that the poor and hungry are really the ones being blessed. I notice that too. Sometimes, it’s the people to have the least that seem the happiest. They have such joy in Christ, and honestly sometimes I am jealous of them.
Each of the Earthly troubles comes with a heavenly reward. The Kingdom of God is the reward for the poor. Satisfaction is the reward for the hungry (either physically or spiritually). Laughter is the reward for those who weep now.
One of the reasons these things are blessings, is because these people know they need God. Those who are poor need to trust God to provide them with everything they need. They have to have faith. The hungry must rely on God to feed them. The ones who weep need to be comforted by God.
If you have never experienced pain, it would be so much harder to feel a need for God. Personally, it seems to be the times in my life when everything is going wrong that I am the closest to God. I’m so thankful that God brings me to such low points sometimes, because it reminds me of how desperately I need Him. Nothing on Earth can satisfy me like Jesus can, and I am so grateful that I have had hard times and been forced to learn that lesson.
Now what about the people who have sorrow waiting for them? Verses 24-26 would have been SO countercultural at the time, and still are today. But Jesus wasn’t afraid to make people mad. He was blunt at times and He spoke the truth. What upsets me is when people try to fit Jesus into a little box that they’re comfortable with. They turn what Jesus said into something that works in their favor. They water it down and say, “Well that’s not what He really meant.” Jesus wouldn’t have said it if it wasn’t what He really meant. On the other hand, we do need to be aware of the context of Scripture in order to understand the meaning.
The rich, the prosperous, and the ones praised by the crowds were probably the ones persecuting Jesus and His followers. This was most likely a further explanation of the justice that God will deliver in the end. Part is this message from Christ, is that we should always be focused on Heavenly rewards, not Earthly rewards. Wealth, prosperity, and praise are Earthly rewards that we do not need as followers of Christ. We should never seek to glorify ourselves with our good works, but glorify our Father in Heaven. If we do, our reward waits for us in Heaven. All I want to to glorify the Lord in this life, and be with Him eternally. Whatever He has in store for us up there will not even be able to compare to anything this world can offer us.
May the Lord bless you in this life. May you always seek to glorify Him on this Earth. And may your true rewards be waiting for you in heaven.
Posted on March 3, 2013, in Awesome and tagged ancient prophets, Beatitudes, Bible, blessings, Book of Luke, Christianity, countercultural, daily dose of scripture, Earth, false prophets, God, Gospel, heaven, hungry, Jesus, Kingdom, Kingdom of God, Luke, poor, praise, prosperity, sermon on the mount, sorrow, Spirituality, wealth, weeping, World. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.