People were talking! Jesus was teaching with authority, healing the sick and casting out demons. People were traveling greater distances to hear His message and experience His power.
In Luke 6, we read the Sermon on the Plain, a parallel message to Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew. Jesus begins with a series of blessings and woes. He promised God’s favor on those who identified with Him. The descriptions of the righteous do not indicate four different groups. Rather, they combine to provide one complete picture of people who are blessed by God.
The poor are blessed because their eternal security is not in this world, but in the kingdom of God (v. 20). The hungry are promised a future far more satisfying than any current longing (v. 21). The destitute were sorrowful because of the strains of their earthly existence, but they are promised laughter (v. 21). The faithful are warned that they will face hatred, exclusion, insults, and rejection. Their suffering will not just be physical but also spiritual.
The four woes are the opposite side of these blessings. They also represent one type of person, someone who finds satisfaction in the things of this world, rather than in God. Jesus warned the rich that their comfort in earthly wealth will be fleeting (v. 24). Those who gorge themselves on food will be left wanting on Judgment Day (v. 25). Those who live frivolously in this life will ultimately weep and mourn (v. 25). Those who crave the praise of men will be condemned (v. 26).
Having encouraged the faithful and warned the self-centered, Jesus explained how to love. We are to love even those who intentionally harm us. Our love should reflect the love of Jesus.
>> There are some tough lessons in today’s passage. Choose one or two and write them down or underline them in your Bible. How can you walk them out in your life, prioritizing God over earthly wants?
May our earthly wealth deplete if it distracts us from You. May our health fail if we think we do not need You. May our joy in this life fade if it does not derive from You. Lord, You are the source of all we need. Help us trust You alone.