Monday, October 26, 2009
I'm going to focus this post on Luke 6:17-36.
I find it interesting that the people in the crowd are the same people that Jesus spoke about in his first sermon. But now, instead of talking about how his plan includes them, he's telling them face to face! These are the folks who have been drawn to him. These are the ones who've traveled a long way just to hear him. Many have come because they know that he can help them. Some are lame, some have diseases, and others are "troubled with unclean spirits." Jesus is demonstrating, or "signing", the Kingdom.
These people are poor, they're hungry, they've been weeping, they've been hated, they've been excluded, they've been reviled, and their names have been spurned as evil. He is telling them that there is a place for them in his Kingdom. He is their King. He is their long awaited Messiah. The Gospel is called "good news" for a reason, and this news is truly good to this crowd of people.
Jesus doesn't stop there, though. He contrasts this "good" news with some bad news. He gives four "woe's", and it's basically the opposite of the good news. For those who right now are rich, full, laughing, and well thought of, Jesus has some warnings. What is Jesus saying here? Nothing in Scripture reveals that these are in of themselves sins. It's not a sin to have money or to have food or to laugh. I think Jesus is saying that these people (or could I say "we") need to Kingdom to come just as much as, or possibly more than, the first group.
The first group knows their need. It's evident to everyone. But the second group can easily miss what God is doing. When we have money and food, it is easy to believe that we are independent, that we don't need a King. Jesus is saying that this is a foolish, and even dangerous, place to be.
May we know our great neediness today, King Jesus. May we look to You to be our sustenance. May we not for a second be deceived in believing that anything we have is of our own doing, but instead may we remember that "every good and perfect gift comes from above, coming down from the Father of lights" (James 1:17), and may our worship be an appropriate response.