The Beatitudes & Jesus Pronounces Woes

The Gospel Meditation

Luke 6:20–26

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.         The “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew 5 was preached by Jesus on a mountain. The “Beatitudes” in Luke 6 was preached by Jesus on a “level place.” (See Luke 6:17)

2.         There are 9 beatitudes in Matthew 5 and 4 in Luke 6. In Matthew, there are no “woes.”

3.         In Luke each beatitude has a contrasting woe:

poor vs rich, hungry vs full, weep vs laugh, reject vs accept.

4.         In Luke there is a large crowd gathered to hear Jesus preach. In Matthew there are only the twelve who hear Jesus.

5.         This is only the second sermon Jesus is presented as preaching in this Gospel, the first was at Nazareth.

6.         In our passage is both a promise of true blessing, or ultimate well-being, despite appearances.

7.         Jesus looks to a judgment that will be coming at some future time, and then the so-called tables will be radically turned. Here is the promise of eternal bliss in heaven and the awfulness of eternal separation in hell.

8.         It has long been suggested that Jesus presented complex realities in forms that could be easily memorized. And these presented in ways that people of that era could relate to.

9.         The Book of Revelation seems to incorporate much of what we find in our passage, especially in Revelation chapters 21 and 22.

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