Monday, December 15, 2008

Luke, Chapter 6 part 2

I wanted to separate the middle part of Luke 6 because it presents an interesting dichotomy in Jesus’ teachings. Jesus often taught about the treasures of heaven. They are obviously something that we have to wait patiently for. It is not an easy life. As with many things, Jesus showed in this passage that what is easy isn’t necessarily always what is right. This middle passage of Luke chapter 6 is a warning against taking that easy path in this life.

20Looking at his disciples, he said:
"Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
21Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
22Blessed 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.
23"Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.
24"But woe to you who are rich,
for you have already received your comfort.
25Woe to you who are well fed now,
for you will go hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will mourn and weep.
26Woe to you when all men speak well of you,
for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets. – Luke 6:20-26

Does this mean we always must be poor, hungry, hated, and sad in this world? Of course not! As usual, Jesus is speaking in a metaphor. He is asking us, as his disciples, to constantly hunger for more. This can be more knowledge, more time in the Word, more time with Him. We must be aware of our sad surroundings and long for the victory He has promised.

That is why we have the woes here too. The woes are presented to show us that if we are satisfied with our present state, we will be sorely disappointed in our eternal state. What we think is satisfying here pales in comparison to the kingdom of God. If we think we are great here we are truly nothing in the sight of God. Jesus is trying to show us how our earthly lives, while not needing to be full of pain and suffering, pale in comparison to what is ahead.

Maybe this is why I have felt so unfulfilled lately. I know that I don’t fit into this world very well. It is probably a large reason why I have struggled to find regular work despite the gifts I have been given. This world seems like nothing more than a dark, forbidding, hopeless place on a lot of days for me. As we are taught here, however, we must remember the ultimate reward. Suffering here will melt away when Jesus’ promise is fulfilled.

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