The Gospel of Luke | Blessed Are You: Part 1 | Luke 6.20-22 |

by | Feb 27, 2021

“Looking at his disciples, he said: “Blessed are you who are poor,
    for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are you who hunger now,
    for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
    for you will laugh.
22 Blessed are you when people hate you,
    when they exclude you and insult you
    and reject your name as evil,
        because of the Son of Man.” Luke 6.20-22

Jesus was on the the mountain giving the famous “Sermon on the Mount.” We find a record of this also in the Gospel of Matthew 4-6. Verses 6.20-22 in Luke involve only half of the sermon, which is what we will focus upon today. In this segment, Jesus gives four directives. Four “blessings‘” if you will. They are for those who are poor, hungry, grieving and persecuted.

Now keep in mind, Jesus had just called forth the disciples. He was primarily teaching them although there was a large crowd pressing in. Just as the dying words of a person are significant, so are the first words of instructions to Jesus’ initial followers. In this initial list of instructions, Jesus gives a word of encouragement. His words are transcendent, they were intended for us as well as those listening that day.

The first “blessing” he gives is hopeful, “blessed are who you are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” This is a magnificent promise. His hearers move from spiritual or physical poverty to extreme riches in the Kingdom of God. These riches could include material possessions but more likely the riches include love, grace, acceptance, forgiveness and access to God Almighty through his power and his salvation.

The second “blessing” is for “those are those who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied.” Hunger is defined as having a lack of food but isn’t the more likely answer rather the hunger each of us feels in the depths of our souls — a hunger to be cared for, understood, known and fulfilled? Hunger is more than physical, it’s also a spiritual void we each experience until we meet Jesus.

The third “blessing” is for those “who weep now, for you will laugh.” I love this translation. “You will laugh.” When we laugh we become carefree, all fears are forgotten. We are happy and find a deep residing level of joy. Jesus promises to turn our weeping, our grief, our sadness not just into contentment or acceptance but into laughter. I appreciate having a God who laughs.

The fourth “blessing” is for those who are persecuted. Israel was under Roman occupation. They were no longer free to be who they were intended or created to be. Although Judaism was alive under this regime it did not thrive. Christianity was birthed also under the threat of persecution. Jesus is addressing the current hearers as well as future believers who will face persecution, hatred, and insults because of the name of Jesus.

Jesus’ words to us is that no matter our circumstances we can and should find blessing because we are blessed by God. His hand is upon us when we face pandemics, loss and difficulties in this life.

“O Lord God, you are good. Thank you for loving us and for allowing us to walk in newness of life. I praise you Lord for your faithfulness to your people and for your promises of blessings in the present and in the days to come. Be exalt Lord Jesus, let your name be known and fame spread in this land. Return to your people and take us home. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen