On: January 16, 2015 | By: admin | Under: Blog | Comments: Comments are off
“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. [Luke 6:24-26]
I’ve just noticed that this is an exact repeat of the previous verses, but in reverse! Rather than comforting the weak, it challenges the apparently strong. It moves from “Blessed are you” to “Woe to you”. This is sobering. The earlier verses felt like we were been shown a scenario, which we could weigh up and act accordingly. Here, though, it is as if Jesus wants to shake us out of our indifference, looks directly at us, and challenges our worldview and lifestyle.
By global and historical standards, I am wealthy, well fed, having a good life and (as far as I know!) am generally well spoken of. Does that mean I have nothing but misery to look forward to?
Sets me thinking about the parable of the rich young ruler (Luke 18). Jesus loved him, but challenged him to let go of his riches. Why? He saw it was his wealth that defined him and, as became apparent, bound him.
I need to search Scripture further to fully support how I see Jesus’ challenging words but, in the interim, I’m going to take the view that it’s not what we have that will place us on the receiving end of Jesus’s Woes, rather what we do with what we have been given.
What to do? To open the window and throw out all I have would be irresponsible. To eat nothing but dry bread would be dismissive of God’s blessing. To walk around looking po-faced all day long would hardly demonstrate joy – part of the fruit of the Spirit.
Lord Jesus, I bring to you all I have. Show me how to use it, how to give generously, how to live a disciplined life, how to come alongside those who are suffering, however difficult or inconvenient it may be. Amen.