Luke 6 v 20. “Blessed are the poor for yours is the Kingdom of God.”

This passage reads very much as does Matthew 5 vs 7 where our Lord gives his famous “Sermon on the Mount”. Is this the same sermon? Probably not but in all probability a very similar sermon on a different occasion. Many portions of scripture are repeated with some variations, as in fact happens today when preachers preach similar sermons with slight variations. There would be no space to study the variations and differences so we will stick to the main flow of the passage.

Only four Beatitudes are mentioned here – all describing the negative conditions people experience – poverty, hunger, sorrow and rejection. But we must remember what Luke ultimately means by these terms.

1. “Poor” means poor, either in spirit, that means as they view themselves, or poor as judged by the spiritual experts of the day – in other words they were considered spiritual losers.

2. Those who hunger are those who hunger for God’s Kingdom and its righteousness.

3. Those who weep are those who weep for the souls and the sins of their nations.

All these will be blessed in some way or another according to the text. But the one final blessing is given more prominence than the other three combined. It refers to those who were rejected and cast out for the sake of the Son of Man. Note v 22: “because of the Son of Man”. Notice v 23: “All Christians who are ostracised because of their faith in Christ are blessed and accepted by him. They shall rejoice, because that is how the prophets were treated and believers are associated with and identified with the very prophets of God.

So don’t be downcast if you are rejected for being a Christian and criticised because of your faith. Remember that their very unkindness that hurts you, is a sign that you truly belong to him.