Summary: Looking at who God blesses and why
Will we be blessed by God or be a disappointment to God? – Luke 6:17-26
Gladstone Baptist Church – 28/11/04 am
"Most people who call themselves Christian would not follow Jesus if he returned today. His teachings were, after all, very radical - love your enemies, turn the other cheek, shelter the homeless, feed the hungry."
This morning I want to open up God’s Word and challenge you with words which Jesus used to challenge people 2000 years ago. For them as it will be for us, these words were very unsettling. This morning I want to ask the question of you “Will you be blessed by God or be a disappointment to God?” I am not going to answer that question for you as I think that God will make it very plain to you where you currently stand in his eyes. The question again? “Will you be blessed by God or be a disappointment to God?”
If you’ve got your bibles there, please open them to Luke 6:17
2 weeks ago I spoke at night about seeking God’s wisdom when making important decisions. Jesus was facing a huge decision – the choosing of 12 men who would carry on his work when after he was gone. When Jesus faced decisions – he prayed to God. He often prayed, he spent quality time praying and He prayed in quiet solitude where God could respond to him. After this night of prayer, Jesus selected the 12 who would be apostles (ones sent out on a mission) and immediately he begins their training program.
Read Luke 6:17-26
Jesus led his disciples (those he’d just chosen to be part of his inner core, and all the others) down to a flat place and began healing those in need and teaching them. What was the first lesson for those newly chosen? It was on the proper VALUES for life. What values would please God and what values would disappoint God.
Jesus doesn’t pull any punches in his words. He lays down before all present what it was that God desired for those who would follow Him. He does this through a series of contrasting values or behaviours which would end in one of two outcomes.
- There were things which would bring blessing from God. These are things which he was pleased with. They were things which were listed in his priority list. They were characteristics which were being requested in those that would follow Jesus. Jesus says “Blessed are the …. Poor, Hungry, Weeping and Despised or rejected
- But just as there were things which would bring blessing from God, there is a converse list of things which would result in disappointing God. They were the opposite values or behaviours to those things just listed. Jesus says “Woe to you.” The greek word here is not a word used to curse or condemn someone, but it is a word that would be used to express regret or pain or displeasure. Jesus was saying … “God is so disappointed in you who are … Rich, Well Fed, Laughing, or who are Mr or Mrs Popularity.
Which group do you most closely resemble? Are you going to be blessed by God or will you be a disappointment to God?
Now do you know why I said that if Jesus was here today, most of you would refuse to follow Him? These teachings are tough stuff and I’m sure some of you are asking some questions right now like
- Well how poor do you have to be to be blessed?
- What is wrong with having enough food to eat?
- Doesn’t God promise to economically bless those who follow him?
- What is wrong with a bit of laughter???!!!
So let’s have a closer look at each of these four contrasts to try to understand what Jesus is saying. I am not going to pull any punches here this morning, but I will endeavour to preach God’s word as He has revealed it to us through Scripture. If you feel uncomfortable this morning – maybe that is God telling you something and asking you to respond. Let’s pause and pray for wisdom, insight and courage this morning.
Prayer Lord, this is your words which are useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training up in righteousness. Teach us this morning from your word we pray. Help us to be open to your rebuke and correction and we pray that you would train us to be more like your son. These things we ask in your name. Amen.
1) Blessed are the poor. Woe to the rich
The first thing Jesus contrasts are the poor and the rich.
We in Australia are extremely Rich by all measures … Compare this data …
Australia Indonesia India Zambia World