Not These Attitudes

Jesus looked at his followers who had come to hear his teaching (Eyewitness Luke 6:20).

Eyewitness: p. 63.
In your Bible: Luke 6:24-26.

Jesus describes attitudes the believer must not participate in for Kingdom Living. Four woes spoken by Jesus are placed at the end of the beatitudes by several Bible scholars, including Frank Ball. Additionally a few Bible versions the Eyewitness and the Chronological Bible include them this way. These woes are termed what sorrow awaits you in some translations.

Ponder this sobering teaching by Jesus.

Say No to These Attitudes

The words listed in italics are from Luke 6:24-26 – Eyewitness version. I use some comments from Bible scholars (William Barclay, Matthew Henry, and John Gill), and add my version as the third one listed.

1. “Woe to the rich, those unwilling to help those who have less, for they already have their blessing.”

Woe to those seen as prosperous. They are miserable yet the world envies them. Instead of serving God with their prosperity they serve themselves and their lusts. *

Believers have leave all to follow God. They are generous and content to live for him. Yours is the Kingdom of God by belief in the Son of God… so live it!

2. “Woe to the well fed, those who think they have no need, for they will be hungry.”

Woe to those who live without knowing God as the source of life. They will hunger and be stripped of all the things they are so proud of. *

The self-righteousness (those that are full of themselves) are full of conceit, vanity, and pride. They have no appetite for spiritual things, nor hunger and thirst after Christ. ***

3. “Woe to the joyful, those who depend on circumstances for happiness, for they will weep and cry.”

Woe to them who know only happiness by carnal and sensual means. They entertain themselves with laughter of a fool. They will ultimately mourn and weep in a world of endless sorrow. *

Woe to those who laugh at sin, rejoice in iniquity, and glory in themselves—instead of mourning for it. They’ll lie down in sorrow. ***

4. “Woe to the politically correct, those who say what people want to hear, for that is what their fathers liked about the false prophets.”

Woe to those care only about the praise of men. They value themselves more than the favor of God. **

Believers should desire the approval of those the wise and good. They should not be indifferent to the critique or what people say of them.

Yes, we come face to face with an eternal choice to follow the world’s way or God’s way. God rewards the believer at the completion of life for following Kingdom Living.

Prayer: Father, thank you for the Holy Spirit who guides us to take on the ”godlike” attitudes.

Questions: Why do you believe Jesus focuses on in these “woes” for the believer? How do they affect or change your thinking?

* The Daily Study Bible, The Gospel of Luke, William Barclay, The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1956, pp. 74,75.

** Matthew Henry Commentary, Luke 6, christiantytoday.com

*** John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible, Luke 6, christianitytoday.com.

The Beatitudes – Part 2

When Jesus saw a crowd gathering, he went up on the hillside and his disciples came to him. He taught them saying . . . (Eyewitness Matthew 5:1-2a).

Eyewitness: p. 62.
In Your Bible: Matthew 5:8-12

Jesus presents God’s outline for Kingdom living. He teaches about attitudes that believers should think, say and implement. He gives us a picture of the character and position of those who receive Jesus’ instructions. Of course, it pertains to disciples who are in Christ today. Follow his teaching.

A Different View

This is different than my last blog on the first five beatitudes. Again I’ve taken the liberty to reword the last five of beatitudes (Matthew 5:8-12) to give another an eye opening experience. The verses in italics are from the Eyewitness. The verse reworded (bold) is my translation. It takes some thinking on your part to reverse these familiar verses, but I feel it will help in understanding overall.

v8. Blessed are the pure in heart, those who are inwardly clean for they will see God.
Those who will be able to see God have godlike joy for they are pure in heart and are inwardly clean.

v9. Blessed are the peacemakers, those who respond to an offense with kindness, they will be called God’s children.
The children of God are the peacemakers, they respond to an offense with kindness and godlike joy instead of harshness.

v10. Blessed are the persecuted, those who suffer because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Kingdom of God belongs to those who overcome with godlike joy when they suffer and are persecuted for righteousness.

vv11/12. Blessed are the hated, those who are rejected, insulted, and falsely accused because of me [Jesus]. In their day of abuse, they will rejoice because their reward in heaven is great. The ancient prophets were treated the same way.
The reward in Heaven is great for those who are rejected, insulted, and falsely accused because of me (Jesus). The ancient prophets were treated the same way.

We need to chew on Jesus’ words and then ask the Holy Spirit how to take on these attitudes he teaches us.

Prayer: Father, thank you that you want us to have the correct – godly attitude in good times and difficult times.

Questions: How do you see the application of the beatitudes affecting your actions? How much easier is it to conform to them in good times? How can you remind yourself to live the beatitudes no matter what the circumstances?

* Darby Bible Commentary, christianity.com.

Jesus Teaches Beatitudes – Part 1

When Jesus saw a crowd gathering, he went up on the hillside and his disciples came to him. He taught them saying . . . (Eyewitness Matthew 5:1-2a).

Eyewitness: p. 62.
In your Bible: Matthew 5:1-12.

Most believers know about the Beatitudes and some have memorized them. Yet often we do not understand how they apply to our life today. A few Bible commentators * say these verses reveal the righteousness of God. Some add the word “blessed” is better translated as godlike joy ** from the Greek word markarios.

Joy belongs to believers. They enter this capability as soon as they believe Christ is Lord and Lord their life. Embrace this joy now.

Blessings

To help understand the meaning of each of the first four “beatitudes,” I’ve taken the liberty to add a word “why.” Lets look at them.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, those who recognize their need for God, [why?] for the Kingdom of God belongs them.

Blessed are the mourners, those who are grieving [why?] for God will bring comfort, joy, and laughter to their aching hearts.

Blessed are the humble, those who are content with their identity [why?] they will inherit the land.,

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst to please God and live a righteous life (my wording) [why?] they’ll receive true satisfaction. (Eyewitness Matthew 5:2-6).

Personal Perspective

Now, use this exercise to amplify the meaning and understanding. Read the second half of the verse, then read the first part of the verse. An example using Matthew 5:3 try this out:

The kingdom of God belongs to those who are poor in spirit, to those who recognize their need for God (my wording).

Blessed are the poor in spirit, those who recognize their need for God [why?] for the Kingdom of God belongs them(Eyewitness Matthew 5:3).

Now, if this exercise intrigues you, try this for the first four beatitudes.

Prayer: Father, thank you that Your Word is alive, at work, and useful to me. Let me ever be mindful of it.

Questions: If you tried this exercise, how did it open your eyes to each attitude God wants for a believer? Why is it important to meditate or ponder scripture for its deeper meaning?

* Comments from the Ryrie Study Bible, Charles Caldwell Ryrie, Moody Press, Chicago, 1978, p. 1451

* The Daily Study Bible Series, The Gospel of Matthew, Volume 1, William Barclay, The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1975, pp. 88,89.

Obey What Jesus Says

Jesus said. “From now on you will fish for people” (Eyewitness Luke 5:10b).

Eyewitness: p. 53 and p. 259-260.
In your Bible: Luke 5:1-11; John 5:4-12 and 21:1-11.

Two remarkable events occurred on the beach at the Sea of Galilee. The first was when Jesus called his disciples and the second was when he appeared to the disciples after the crucifixion.

Obedience

A large crowd pressed in on Jesus as he taught the Word. Jesus needed more space so he asked Simon for the use of his boat. When Jesus finished speaking to the crowd, he turned to Simon who was on the shore washing his nets. “Go to deep water and let down your net for a catch” (Eyewitness Luke 5:4).

IMG_0193 (1)Simon was blunt with Jesus. “Master, we have worked all night and caught nothing, but because you say so, I will go out and let dawn the net” (Eyewitness Luke 5:5). [In obedience to Jesus, but not believing there’d be a catch, he did as Jesus commanded.] This time, they caught so many fish their net started to break (Eyewitness Luke 5:6). Jesus continued, “From now on you will fish for people” (Eyewitness Luke 5:10b).

Listen

After Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection a remarkably similar event occurred again at the Sea of Galilee. The disciples had fished all night and caught nothing. The disciples were frustrated. Jesus, whom they didn’t recognize at first, saw their dilemma. He asked if they’d caught any fish. Then he told them to cast their nets on the right side of the boat. Their boats didn’t sink nor their nets nearly break. Everyone present was surprised by the huge catch. There were 153 fish, yet their nets were not torn (Eyewitness John 21:11b). *

When walking with Jesus, hearing his voice, or asking Jesus for something – listen and obey.

Prayer: Father, I too want to clearly hear your voice. I will listen and obey.

Questions: When you get frustrated how well do you take advice? When believers get frustrated, Jesus is ready to come to our rescue. How can we improve our listening and obedience to the Lord?

* John Darby’s Synopsis of the Bible, Christianity.com website.