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Christian Art | Beatitudes And The Woes | King James Audio Bible KJV

Luke 6: 20-26 – Week 23 Ordinary Time, Wednesday (King James Audio Bible KV, Spoken Word)

20 ¶ And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.
25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

Up until this point, Luke has told us several times that Jesus taught the people, but he has not told us what Jesus was teaching. This is the first time that Luke in his Gospel shares with us the teachings of Jesus. Jesus gives four blessings, four Beatitudes, and four curses. We are drawn to the heart of Jesus’ teaching, and must sharply reflect on what we are taught here.

This is the central message Luke chooses to emphasize, which message is an overhauling of worldliness, both the worldliness of two thousand years ago, during the time of Christ, and of our present time. Perhaps we might be simple enough to say, should we be able to remember no other message of our Lord’s, that, in poverty, we can be enabled to know God better than we can when we are living in riches. Perhaps we might additionally ask at times, when one smothers himself or herself in riches: ‘What went wrong? Where did it all go wrong?’

In following Jesus, Jesus’ disciples have agreed to be poor and hungry, hated, rejected, and given cause to weep. Jesus tells these people now that they are blessed for having so chosen to be with Jesus. The disciples are declared to be poor and hungry for the Kingdom’s sake – and the Kingdom is with those people; Jesus is with them now; those people are truly blessed.

There are riches and false vanities that obscure our relationship with Jesus. These are things that we do not want to give up, even though we know that to give up such false comforts would be to strengthen our relationship with Jesus. It can even be the case in our society that what a poor person is given to be able to buy can maintain him in poverty which is both spiritual and material. In terms both of rich and poor, our society has given so much effort through the years to rejecting Jesus. This can be a great challenge for the individual Christian.

One core challenge in our adoration of Jesus is to turn the world upside down. Where there is rich and where there is poor, our true love of God most likely lives beyond any such known categories, and consists, as Jesus teaches, in rejecting so much of the value systems of this world. Perhaps much that we think we know gets in the way.

Concluding Prayer | Love Revealed By Jesus Christ

Lord God,
in your wisdom you created us,
by your providence you rule us:
penetrate our inmost being with your holy light,
so that our way of life
may always be one of faithful service to you.
We make our prayer through our Lord.

King James Audio Bible KJV | King James Version Bible | Endnotes

What Does It Mean To Be Blessed As The Poor In Spirit?

To be blessed as the poor in spirit means to experience God’s favor and grace in a unique way, one that is not dependent on wealth, power, or status. It means to recognize our own spiritual poverty and need for God, and to trust in him for our salvation.

In Matthew 5:3, Jesus says: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’ This statement is the first of the Beatitudes, a series of blessings that Jesus pronounces upon those who follow him. In this context, being ‘blessed’ means experiencing the joy and fulfillment that comes from being in a right relationship with God.

The idea of being blessed as the poor in spirit is not about glorifying poverty or suffering, but about recognizing the value of humility and dependence on God. As Jesus says in Luke 18:17: ‘Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ Children are naturally dependent on their parents and trust in them completely, and Jesus is calling us to have that same kind of faith and trust in God.

Throughout the Bible, we see examples of those who are blessed as the poor in spirit. The psalmist writes: ‘The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.’ (Psalm 34:18) And in James 4:6, we read that ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble’.

In Isaiah 66:2, the Lord declares: ‘But on this one will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.’ Here, the Lord emphasizes the importance of humility and dependence on him as essential aspects of true worship and devotion.

The story of Job illustrates being poor in spirit. Despite being a wealthy and successful man, Job recognizes his own spiritual poverty and dependence on God in the midst of his suffering: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.’ Job’s humble and submissive attitude towards God is a model of the faith that pleases God.

The Apostle Saint Paul writes: ‘For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.’ (2 Corinthians 8:9, KJV) Jesus himself is the ultimate example of spiritual poverty, as he humbled himself and became a servant, even to the point of death on a cross (Philippians 2:5-8).