September 23 - Luke 6:17-26

Monday, September 23, 2013

Luke 6:17-26 – Blessings and Woes

Now that Jesus has chosen his twelve apostles, he leaves the mountain for a level place, where Luke tells us that a large crowd of his disciples as well as people from all over the region had come to listen to him speak and be healed.

When Moses went up the mountain, he encountered God and then returned to communicate to the people what God’s will was for them. The Exodus was a salvation event for the people of Israel and Moses was their leader.

At this point in their history, the people of Israel need more than just a physical exodus from slavery, they need a spiritual re-awakening. Jesus ascends the mountain and when he returns to the plain, he begins teaching salvation of the heart and soul to the people who have come from all over.

In this first section of Jesus’ sermon, he speaks directly to the large group of disciples. That expands to the larger audience soon, but he speaks first to those who follow him. These are the ones who believe in him, who have given up much of their lives to follow him. These are the beginnings of his church, the ones who will face persecution and rejection because of their love for him.

Jesus reminds his disciples and those of us who read these words today that he doesn't come to bring a life of ease and popularity. Blessings come to those who are willing to sacrifice all for the sake of the message of salvation. It’s not an easy lesson to hear, nor is it an easy life to live, but it is what he called his disciples to know.