7626 - Blessings and Woes


In His Sermon on the Plain, Jesus taught us that things are not always how they appear to be.

Today we will be studying Luke 6:17-26. Pay attention to the contrasts in this passage:

He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coast of Tyre and Sidon, who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by evil spirits were cured, and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.

Looking at his disciples, he said:
"Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
Blessed 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.

"Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.
"But woe to you who are rich,
for you have already received your comfort.
Woe to you who are well fed now,
for you will go hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will mourn and weep.
Woe to you when all men speak well of you,
for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.

We notice that at this time the crowds continued to seek Jesus. All kinds of people thronged to Jesus, from near and far.

There were people from Judea and Jerusalem. We have previously observed how the Pharisees and scribes hounded Jesus seeking to find some offense in His life or teaching which, could be used to legally get rid of Him. But these kind of people were a minority of those who sought Jesus.

It is likely that many gentiles mingled with the Jews in these crowds surrounding Jesus.

Some came to hear Jesus teach and preach. Others who were diseased came to be healed. There was a third group who were aware that they were possessed by evil spirits who came to be delivered.

This passage also tells us that those needing healing and deliverance sought to touch Jesus, because something special happened to them when they did. When the needy touched Him, there was power, which came and brought healing.

Here, in what is commonly called the ‘Sermon On The Plain’ Jesus gives to the people four blessings and four woes.

‘Blessed are the poor’ is viewed as being for those who are poor in spirit. This is seen as a principle given to people who choose to trust and depend upon God, rather than take refuge in their own resources or people. Truly the Kingdom of God is for those who depend upon God without apology or compromise.

Blessed are those who have a hunger for righteousness and a deep relationship with God. God is delighted to satisfy these people with Himself.

And blessed are you who now weep. Many view this as a reference to those who weep and repent over their sinful life, and over those days of rebellion and wasted effort before yielding to Christ. Truly those who confess and turn from their sins are greatly blessed and filled with God’s joy.

Then Jesus reveals that those who suffer abuse, isolation, and insult because Jesus is exalted in their life will be blessed. This blessing even brings reward in heaven.

Notice Jesus is lifting up the attitude of true humility, trust, and dependence upon the righteousness of Jesus, which a person receives when they evidence faith in Him.

In the woes to the rich, those who live in pleasure, who seek the praise and prestige of men, Jesus is saying to such people that pride, greed and selfishness will only bring pain and hurt into your life. You must know that God does not desire nor enjoy this slavery to sin in your life. Come to Jesus! Give up. Receive His life and Lordship within you. Then you will be blessed.