"Then looking up at His disciples, He said, ‘You who are poor are blessed, because the kingdom of God is yours.’” (Luke 6:20)
Luke 6:20-26 is the introductory teachings to what is called “The Sermon on the Mount.” Luke’s version is similar to Matthews, but is much briefer and less inclusive. It may have been preached at a different time as the one in Matthew. It seems to be addressed primarily to His disciples right after He selected the twelve. The arrangement of the introduction teachings is extremely intriguing. It’s like a positive-negative mirror image. The first several verses accentuate the positive, while the last half focuses on polar opposites. Take a look as you read through the full text of verses 20-26:
Prophets False Prophets
Rejoice Not Rejoice
What this amounts to is a challenge to go the way of the true prophet, the true servant of God, because that is the way of great reward, understanding also that there is a cost for going this direction. This is, thus, a call to discipleship. To follow Jesus as a disciple may well mean that we do not have a lot of money, that we may find ourselves hungry from time to time, that we may cry more than we imagined, and that we may find ourselves excluded, rejected, and hated because of who we are. But, this is how the prophets of old were treated, said Jesus, so we are therefore in good company. So, we are to rejoice as we move deeper and deeper into discipleship.
Lord, Thank You for reminding us today that discipleship calls for a commitment to pay whatever the price is in order to follow You. We follow as You lead today. Amen.