"Blessed Are You!"
Luke 6:20-23 - 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. 23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.
All Christians or believers are looking for a blessing in their life.
But we are always looking for it from a worldly point of view/worldly perspective.
However, Jesus looks at blessings from a heavenly perspective.
Jesus looked at His disciples. From the world’s perspective, they were poor. But in the eyes of Jesus, from a divine point of view, they were richly blessed.
Jesus wanted to tell his disciples the truth about their state of blessedness so he reminded them, “You are Blessed” - four times Jesus repeated the statement - you are blessed!
20 - “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God."
Jesus clearly revealed the truth that riches and blessings were different. Do not misunderstand that poor people are not blessed! That’s not true. Some people believe that because they are not rich, they are not blessed by God.
Jesus said that even though you will not be rich - you still are blessed!
Jesus didn’t tell his disciples that they would become rich.
Instead, he promised them the kingdom of God.
Look at the statements above and read the scripture again:
Luke 6:17-19 - 17 He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, 18 who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, 19 and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.
Jesus has the power to make His disciples rich – but Jesus used His power to heal others or to make others rich. Yet he and his disciples remained poor.
If the disciples were poor, then Jesus was also poor because he was always with them. Jesus loved to live among the poor.
The poor are always a struggling group of people. We don’t like to go through struggles because we are so attached to our comfort zones.
21a - "Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied"
Don’t think you are not blessed just because you cannot meet all your needs with your current resources.
Even if you are struggling to make ends meet, you are still blessed in the sight of God.
People may’ve mocked the disciples, saying that even though they followed Jesus, they were still poor and had no improvement in their life.
“Blessed are you who hunger now”
Jesus didn’t tell his disciples they will have plenty of food. Instead, he promised them satisfaction in the kingdom of God.
21b - "Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh."
Some people will pray, “Lord bless me by removing my tears”
Don’t believe you are not blessed just because you are struggling and in tears crying.
Jesus didn’t tell his disciples that their situations would change. Instead he promised them eternal joy in the kingdom of God.
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."
Don’t expect everyone’s love.
Don’t think everyone will include you.
Don’t expect all will praise and appreciate you.
Don’t think all will accept you.
Jesus said not to compare God’s blessings with these things.
23 - “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets."
What did Jesus mean by saying you are poor, hungry, weeping, and hated in this world?
Jesus was telling his disciples that, “because I have chosen you, do not think you will be rich, or everything will be alright, or that you will laugh, and you will be accepted.”
I didn’t call you for that kind of life on this earth.
John 16:33 - "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Jesus clearly said you are blessed – you may not be rich, you may not be satisfied, you may not always be happy, you may not be accepted – but you are blessed!
I can boldly say I am blessed!
I don’t want to lose that blessing for the temporary and vain riches of this world.
Jesus is my wealth – Jesus is my blessing!
Look at the chilling promise Jesus gave when He called Paul.
Acts 9:16 - "I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
The Lord used Paul in order to increase the riches of His kingdom in such a way that in the world Paul became so poor that he had to ask for a blanket.
Today, people are coming to Jesus for worldly riches and don’t mind making His kingdom poor while doing so.
Paul said in order to become rich in Christ, he would dare to be poor in this world.
Philippians 3:7-12 - "7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Jesus reminded his disciples four times that they were blessed because:
1. All night Jesus prayed for them – that really is a blessing (Luke 6: 12)
Yes, I am blessed because Jesus is always interceding for me at the right hand of the Father.
2. They were chosen by God to be His disciples – the selection of the Father.
Yes, I am blessed because my Heavenly Father chose me (adopted me to His family)
3. Jesus chose these twelve disciples by name out from the crowd and he called them to serve Him.
Yes, I am blessed because my Lord called me by name to serve Him.
4. They were called apostles – God’s own men to represent heaven.
Yes, I am blessed because the Lord gave me a new name – I am no longer a sinner but His Beloved son/daughter.
I want to tell you one thing my brothers and sisters, even when everything is lost, when everyone has left, hold onto one thing!
Job 2:9 - His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” NIV
“Do you still cling to your integrity [and your faith and trust in God, without blaming Him]? AMPL
Job’s blessing was not his possessions or his children, but it was God and his relationship with God.
Our Lord Jesus taught us not to worry about the loss of material things.
Matthew 6:30-34 - "If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Do not worry because you think you are poor. You are blessed because you seek His kingdom and His righteousness first.
If you were to ask God about any material, physical, or earthly concept – He will answer from a spiritual perspective because He is more concerned about our spiritual well-being than earthly prosperity.
Peter asked Jesus a curious question:
Matthew 19: 27 - Peter asked him, “Lord, we have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”
See how Jesus responded to his question:
Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."
If you and I were to ask the same question to a prophet here today – he will answer you exactly how you would expect him to answer.
Peter asked another interesting question:
Matthew 17:4 - Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
Matthew 18:1 - "At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven
Matthew 22:17 - "Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?” 21. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
Matthew 26: 63-64 - "The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” 64 “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
When believers are faced with trying circumstances, there are always two kinds of reactions:
i) The first reaction is one of complete despair. When they face a problem, they look for an answer from man, calling all kinds of pastors and prophets, one after another, till they receive the message they want to hear.
ii) The second reaction is one of hope and fortitude. They know that whatever happens in their life, their faith in God and their trust in His promises will not be shaken.
Today Jesus is telling you, my brother and sisters, that you may be poor, maybe you are hungry, weeping, or hated by this world, but remember you are blessed!
As Job did, let us cling to our integrity, our faith, and our trust in God.
God bless you!