Blessed are you poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God.
Woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. Luke 6:20;24
This is uncomfortable reading. Jesus has turned everything on its head and it should make us pause and reflect on the application of these verses. When Jesus talked about the blessed, he was directly addressing the disciples. They were people who had left everything to follow him and had to rely on God’s provision. They were going to be people who would weep and be excluded, but they would also know joy and the assurance of being in the Father’s will. If you read Mary’s song at the beginning of Luke, you will see these verses reflect her prophecy. As Jesus addressed the rich, he widened the audience beyond the disciples. The effect of riches and self-sufficiency can be to make us self-reliant and not feel the need for God. Often that is expressed by people around us. Why do I need God? I have a good, comfortable life. What can God offer? It is in Luke’s gospel we meet Zacchaeus, a rich man who knew his need of God. In surrendering to Him through Jesus, he entered the Kingdom. We all need to keep a rain check on where we seek our security and comfort.