Jesus Commanded Us to Forgive Our Enemies. Problem Is, How Do We Do That?
Experiencing Our Blessings, Enduring Our Woes, and Loving the Source of Both
(Luke chapter 6, verses 20–36)
For this week’s Bible study, we’ll be going over part 2 of Luke chapter 6. It is at this point in Scripture that the venerated Sermon on the Mount takes place, although it starts in chapter 5 of Matthew’s gospel. But today we’ll be picking up beginning at verse 20. As you recall, when we closed out last week’s study Jesus had just finished healing a large crowd that had come to see him and hear him preach. Now that the healing was over and everyone’s needs had evidently been met, it was time for the preaching and teaching phase of Jesus’ ministry to begin. I find it quite remarkable that Jesus apparently didn’t need to take a break between the healing and the preaching, although at this point our Savior must have been on his feet for hours! Jesus might have stopped long enough for a quick bite to eat, but the Bible doesn’t say if he did or not. I find this to be one of many classic examples of the unknowable and never-ending love of Jesus Christ for each of us! But to stay on topic, let’s begin at verse 20.
“Looking at his disciples he said, ‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.” (Luke 6, verses 20–21)
As we take in this portion of Luke’s gospel verses by verse, I think it’s important to examine both sides of this coin from Jesus’ point of view. “Blessed are the poor”, means cursed are the rich. Anyone who chooses a lifetime of temporary riches, all of which will remain behind when those persons have lived out their lives will get exactly what they chose. Meaning, after they die they have nothing set aside for eternity. They will be “thrown outside into darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25, verse 30).
“Blessed are you who hunger, for you will be satisfied.” Matthew’s gospel says this a little better, I think: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matt. 5, verse 6) We live in an incredibly unjust world, and the proof lies in the…