By Kenneth Allan Clark Copyright 2011
In Luke chapter 6 we have Luke’s account of the Beatitudes. Starting from verse 20, we first have four listed conditions that if we found ourselves in anyone of them, the people of the world would likely call us cursed; But Jesus Christ calls those who find themselves in any of these conditions blessed. Then from verse 24 are listed what most people of the world regard as blessing, but to which Jesus Christ said; woe to you who have seemly been blessed in any of these four ways, blessed with wealth, abundance, happiness and highly praised by others.
The people of the world would look at outward appearance of these two list; the first a list of what Jesus calls a blessed condition to be in; the second what Jesus calls a cursed condition to be in; and they would say Jesus Christ must be crazy.
But this passage is not about our outward appearance; rather it is about issues of the inner man and our heart attitudes. It is all about having the right heart attitude towards God and towards your fellow man. This is why this passage is often called the beatitudes.
Have you humbled yourself towards God; do you have a heart attitude toward pleasing God and serving your fellow man? If so, even though the world may not see you as blessed, you shall be blessed.
Or is your heart attitude full of pride and all about me, me, me? If so, even though the world may see you blessed, you shall be cursed.
Perhaps if we first look at these four Beatitudes through Matthew’s eyes it will help you understand.
Matthew 5:4 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of the sky.
We are all born into this world as sinners, spiritually destitute and in desperate need of a saviour. Being in that state, our first step towards repentance and accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, is realizing how spiritually poor we are. For only then will we repent and invite Jesus Christ into our life, thus we will be born again and translated out of the kingdom of this world and into the kingdom of God and of his Son Jesus Christ.
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.
What are you hungering and thirsting for? The things of the world and the lust of the flesh; if so your hunger and you thirst will never be satisfied. But if you hunger and thirst after righteousness, in Christ your hunger and thirst will be satisfied.
Luke writes; blessed are those who weep now, for you shall laugh (Luke 6:21). While Matthew writes; blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted (Matthew 5:4).
Mathew 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of the sky. 11 Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in the sky: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
The four woes:
Luke 6:24 But woe unto you that are rich; for you have received your comfort.
In Luke 16:19 – 21; Jesus Christ tells us of a rich man, who would not even give the crumbs off his table to the poor man Lazarus. Later, after the rich man died and was carried off to the pit of hell, he cries out to father Abraham for mercy, to which Abraham replies; son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and you are tormented (Luke 16:25).
Being rich is not a sin, but the love of money is.
1 Timothy 6:8 And having food and clothing let us be therefore be content. 9 But they that desire to become rich fall into temptation and snares, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some desired after, they have strayed from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Luke 6:25 Woe unto you that are full, for you shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.
Those who put the love money and earthly pleasures in this life before a love of God, righteousness and their fellow men, seldom find happiness and contentment in this life.
Luke 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
Mathew 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom in the sky.
When a society turns from righteousness to evil, often those who make a stand for evil against righteousness will be spoken well off by the masses. While at the same time, those who make a stand for righteousness against evil, will be spoken against, they will persecuted, and some will even be killed. In such circumstances, woe to those who are spoken well of, for they are in danger of hell fire, and blessed are those are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for their is the kingdom in the sky.
From Luke chapter 6, verse 27 to 37 Jesus Christ continues by telling us what should be our heart attitude and actions towards others.
Then in verse 38 Jesus gives us this parable.
Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you measure out it shall be measured back to you.
The parable explained.
In Bible days the people usually wore to flowing garments, a under garment and an outer garment. When gathering things, often the outer garment would be used as a bag to carry things. For example; if you were gleaning wheat, first you would gather and take hold of front lower hem of the your outer garment and lift it up, thus forming a bag in front of you. Then you start filling the bag of your robe with wheat, pressing it down and shaking to together, until your bag was full up to your bosom and running over.
If you measure out good, good will come back to you good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over. And that good will come back to you again in abundance and then pour out of you in abundance towards others.
If you measure out bad; that is give out evil towards others, bad will come back to you good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, running over towards towards others, then that bad will come back to you again in abundance and then pour out of you in abundance.
What fills your heart? Good or bad? For what fills your heart will pour out of your heart towards others.
Luke 6:43 For a good tree does not brings forth bad fruit; neither does bad tree bring forth good fruit. 44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush do they gather grapes. 45 A good man from out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and an evil man from out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Matthew 5:38 You have heard that it has been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That you resist not evil: but whosoever shall slap you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue you at the law, and take away your coat, let him have your cloke also. 41 And whosoever shall force you to go a mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him that ask of you, and from him that would borrow of you do not turn away. 43 You have heard that it has been said; you shall love your neighbour, and hate your enemy. 44 But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That you may be the children of your Father which is in the sky: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love them which love you, what reward have you? Do not even the publicans do the same? 47 And if you embrace your brethren only, what do you more than others? Do not even the publicans so do? 48 Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in the sky is perfect.
Proverbs 24:21 If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink: 22 For you shall heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward you.
What is this proverb talking about? It is a parable, and it is comparing the ancient craft of extracting precious metals from hard rock with what happens when we show love towards our enemies.
To extract precious metals from hard rock, they would first place the rock in a large iron pot with a spout for the precious metals to pour out of when they turned to liquid. They would build a fire under the iron pot, and then after the fire had brought hard rocks to a very high temperature they would heap some of the red hot coals of fire upon the top of the rocks, that is upon the head of the iron pot. Thus with the combined heat of the coals of fire from both below and above, the precious metals would pour out.
So what the proverb is saying? Even in our worst enemy there is some good; maybe very little and therefore very precious, and enclosed by a rock hard heart; but if you love him and do nothing but good towards him, even his heart will melt towards you and you will be rewarded.
Written by Kenneth Allan Clark and printed and published by
VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL. P.O. BOX 144 WYNNUM QLD 4178 AUSTRALIA.
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Scripture taken from the “Clarks English Translation” © Copyright 2011 by Victorious Christian Ministries International. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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