Are you Upside Down? N (Luke 6:17-26)
Verse 17 There are three people groups shown here, Apostles (them), a crowd of disciples, and a great number of people. While the people have come from all over these are still Jews and not Gentiles yet.
Verse 18 People were coming to Jesus for healing and help with demons and evil spirits.
- This is what prompts Jesus to go into his teaching on Blessings and woes.
Verse 19 The crowd is pressing in around Jesus, it is a very chaotic scene.
- But I think this also shows the impatience of the people.
- And their lack of understanding of the Kingdom.
- They don’t want to deal with the person of Jesus. They just want instant healing;
- So rather than waiting for Jesus to pray for them, the reach out and try to just take it.
- The Kingdom is always a slow work and is always centered on the person of Jesus.
Verse 20 It is from this chaotic scene that Jesus launches into a teaching on the Kingdom.
- Now the word here “Blessed” means: receiving God’s favor, fortunate, good, in a position of favor, happy feelings, associated with receiving God’s favor.
- In this context the word happy is the best way to see this. Theological lexicon of the New Testament suggests “internal joy.” The YLT translation of the Bible uses Happy.
- So, Jesus’s point here is that the Kingdom of God is to be happy when you are poor.
- The word “poor” here is not socioeconomic term but is much more complex. The best way to summarize it is, having few material things, being humble and meek in spirit, being dependent on God, self-sacrificing and serving others.
- What Jesus is saying here is that it is better to be like this then to be with many material things, bold and proud, self-dependent, self-serving and stingy.
Verse 21 The word hungry used here in the Greek means more than just an empty stomach.
- The lack of food is a part of it, but this word also includes being spiritually hungry for God, and being hungry for justice and righteousness. There were many in this crowd who needed justice.
- The word “satisfied’ here is much more of a spiritual promise than for just food.
- The point Jesus is making here is that the Kingdom is one of the already and the not yet.
- The verse continues with Blessed are those who weep. The weeping here is because of the lack of justice and righteousness and the pressure and persecution the people of God suffer.
- There is a distinction here with the word laugh. Here it is a joyous feeling where as in verse 25 it is a mocking laugh.
Verse 22 The rejection described here is fourfold with increasing intensity.
- First, the person is hated. This is just a state of mind or an attitude. Not yet an action.
- Second, the person would be excluded.
- This is now an action not just an attitude. Jesus probably meant general social ostracism.
- Third, is being insulted.
- Fourth, one is attacking a person’s name. To attack a person’s name is to strike at the very person. This phrase pictures total rejection on every level.
- But Jesus says our response to all of this is to be happy, or have internal joy.
Verse 23 The verse contains the only command of the entire section. Rejoice!
- The phrase, “in that day” is similar to the word “now.” It is not meaning in the future but right now. The moment these happen to you, you are commanded to rejoice!
- The passage contains two reasons for rejoicing.
- The first one is the promise of reward.
- The second reason for rejoicing is that our persecution parallels the treatment of God’s prophets.
Verse 24 Obviously, the language makes a big shift here. Also, the beatitudes in Matt don’t contain these woes.
- There is of course direct correlation between the four blessings and the four woes.
- The exclamation of a woe is of pain and pity for the misfortunate.
- The theological lexicon of the NT defines it as: A cry of pain, terror indignation, declaration of misfortune, threat.
Verse 25 Those who have plenty now will lack those very things they have now in the future.
- While the rich may be laughing now, albeit a mocking laugh, they will be the ones weeping in the future.
- The word used here for laughter is boastful, self-satisfied, condescending, or rejoicing in the harm that others experience. Those who are mocking us now, will pay the price later.
Verse 26 This woe is to avoid falling into the trap of courting acceptance for one’s message at the expense of the truth.
- In other words, don’t aim to please your audience, that makes you a false prophet.