It’s a great privilege to be called to follow Christ; but it is not an easy calling.
Looking at his disciples, [Jesus] 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 people 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 ancestors 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 everyone speaks well of you,
for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.
How does Jesus turn our normal view of life upside down?
As a Christian, how have you known:
- being more poor or hungry than if you didn’t live for Christ?
- crying for a reason that a non-Christian wouldn’t?
- being hated, excluded or insulted because you follow Jesus
How can this life possibly be “blessed”?! How can it be happy and contented?! The answer's in verse 23: It’s the reality of heavenly eternity that allows a Christian to look through the tears, to look at their empty bank balance, to look beyond being hated, and say: “I am blessed simply because I know Christ. I may have nothing in this life, but I have everything I need for eternity”.
Of course, the world doesn’t look at life like this—and Jesus has a warning about that.
- Instinctively, many of us just want an “easy life”. What does Jesus have to say about that attitude?
- Where in your life are you (or are you in danger of) living for worldly, fleeting comfort and reward, instead of the heavenly, eternal ones?