We are in Luke Chapter 6. In these early Chapters, Dr Luke writes of how Jesus Christ has been healing people, wrestling with niggling criticisms from the Pharisees and legalists, and calling these twelve men to be disciples.
When you see people, and when you look at people, that can affect what you are going to say.
This passage deals with our relationships - with ourselves - with other people - with God. We go on to read of what is called the Sermon on the Plain and it deals with happiness in yourself, and harmony with others, and holiness before God.
We are reading in these verses of those who need Jesus Christ, and those whom Jesus Christ needed. These two groups are still around today.
Sick people needed Jesus, no matter what type of sickness may cause the suffering.
From verse 20 we have these amazing saying of Jesus and we looked at these in great detail when we studied the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, not that very long ago.
Jesus said, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God”.
What a strange thing to say. It is almost a contradiction, but in these following verses lie the secrets of how we can be blessed by God, and they can shake our ways of thinking.
You poor - you who are poor - the Kingdom of God is yours.
By this time these disciples had left all to follow Jesus - good jobs - financial security - fishing businesses - and Jesus is offering them something else - something greater - something that would last for ever - something eternal.
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 men hate you - when they exclude you - when they insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day. Is that not one of the very last things you want to do when you are going through these experiences?
Here is Jesus describing what might be involved in what He calls being poor -hungering - weeping - being hated rejected and insulted. This is how to be happy!
From the beginning Jesus makes it clear - follow Me and you will be blessed - follow Me and you will be confronted with conflict - follow Me and you will face hunger and weeping and hatred and rejection, and being on the receiving ends of insults.
That is called later on - carrying the Cross. This is how Jesus looks at life, and prepares His disciples for what lay ahead as they confronted sin with grace and love and mercy and healing and courage.
You might want to sit down and cry - that is all right - Jesus did that when He entered Jerusalem, and nobody wanted Him.
We said that in these verses we see two groups - those who need Jesus, and those whom Jesus needs. That comes over so clearly here as Jesus looks at them and speaks to them, and teaches them, although they would not understand the significance of all this until they were ‘born again’.
Do you remember what I said a few weeks ago – you cannot teach the unborn. But, these men remembered what Jesus taught and very soon that teaching would become part of their life’s experience.
Within a few hours of being ‘born again’ Peter and John were arrested and thrown into a Jerusalem jail, and all over our world today the level of serious and severe persecution is increasing rapidly.
That is why, when you see people that can affect what you are going to say.
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