Friday, April 8, 2016

Luke 6:24-26

Luke 6:24-26
Moreover, woe to you, rich ones, because you have your calling.  Woe to you, the ones who are filled up now, because you will be hungry.  Woe, you who laugh now, because you will mourn and weep.  Woe to you whenever all mankind should speak well of you, for according to the same things their fathers were doing to the false prophets.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Today we have the inverse of the teachings that we’ve looked at for the last two days.  Woe to the rich, because they already know their calling.  This is an interesting word to look at.  The Greek word is paraklesis (παρκλησις).  The verb form is parakaleo.  This is the verb that the Gospel writers use whenever a person calls out to speak loudly to another person.  It is also the word that the New Testament writers use to speak of our calling from God.  That is why I have translated it as “calling” instead of “comfort” as many translations do.  Personally, I think the idea of calling is a powerful one here.  When we are wealthy, we are typically focused on our wealth, what got us there, and how we’re going to use it.  In other words, that is our calling.  Wealth often interferes with our understanding of God’s calling for us.  This is why Jesus gives us the warning.

When has materialism ever gotten in the way for your pursuit of God’s will?  Have you ever thought of materialism in terms of calling?  Where is your calling – this world or the eternal?

Second Thought:

Jesus then gives us the inverse teaching about being full and laughing.  Again, while many people think of being full in terms of food, I think that it is far more broad than this.  We can be full of ourselves.  We can be full of passion for things that aren’t good for us.  We can be full of our dreams and ideals.  But Jesus’ warning is clear.  If we are full now here in this world, we will be hungry in the world to come because our focus is not in the right place.  The same thing is true for laughing.  If we live in this world and do not recognize the brokenness and sinfulness around us, how can we possibly claim to know God?  How can we possibly claim to follow God when there is so much evidence of brokenness around us and we fail to see it?

What do you think Jesus is saying to you about laughing and being full?  Does Jesus really want us to not enjoy life?  How can we still enjoy the creation that God has given us but recognize the brokenness around us?

Third Thought:

Finally, we hear Jesus warn us about how people talk about us.  Again, the thought from yesterday still applies.  When the world speaks well of us, what does that really say about us?  Look at how the people treated the prophets who truly stuck to God.  Most of the prophets were reviled by the world.  Even Daniel, who was respected by Nebuchadnezzar, was hated by the rest of his contemporaries.  Of course, we shouldn’t go out of our way to make people mad at us.  Jesus isn’t saying that we earn points with God by being a jerk.  What Jesus is saying is that if we are walking with the Father and people are irritated by our faith, then that’s on them and it should be no concern to us.  We have to stop caring about pleasing people through worldly means.

How do you please people?  How do you please God?  Are these things ever in contrast or competition in your life?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 6:27-28
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