Blessed Are You Who Are Poor – Luke 6.20

“Then he looked up at his disciples and said: 

“Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God belongs to you.”

(NET)

Having called and commissioned His twelve disciples/apostles (6.13), Jesus spent time ministering to the multitude following Him (vv.17-19). Then, as we read, He directs His focus to the twelve and, so to speak, begins to preach to them. The first words are pretty countercultural:

“Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God belongs to you.”

Where we read ‘blessed’ Luke used the Greek word ‘μακάριος’ (mak-a-ri-os). Over time it came to be used to describe being in a positive situation, sometimes detached from earthly sufferings and tribulations. Generally in Scripture we read this word when the authors are describing the state of being in a fortunate state before God and man (Psalm 1.1, for example). 

These blessings, or beatitudes (lit. supreme blessedness), are countercultural and go against what many think is ‘normal’. They can be emotional and can, honestly, look illogical. 

Here Jesus said that it is a good for you who are poor, for the kingdom of God belongs to you. Are these the words of a liar or a lunatic?

Was Jesus lying to these poor followers of His? They were poor in spirit (Matthew 5.3), but had also left everything to follow Him (Luke 5.11, 28). Augustine said that liars say the opposite of what they truly think with the purpose to deceive. Why would Jesus deceive these poor followers? How does He benefit from lying to them, then have nothing to give Him.

Was Jesus out of His mind when He said this?

“Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God belongs to you.”

Perhaps these are the words of someone not thinking right. The kingdom of God belonging to these poor and penniless followers of travelling teacher?

Jesus does have the authority and the ability to say, truthfully, “Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God belongs to you”. He had then and still has now the authority to admit people into God’s Kingdom (Mark 1.15, Luke 8.1, 17.21 John 18.36, Acts 1.6). Having established who He is and why He has come He was now beginning to put it into action. These, then, are not the words of a liar nor are they lunacy, these are the words of the Lord. 



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Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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