The more we set our heart on the delights of heaven, the more we can find peace and contentment now and forever.
He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, 18 who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, 19 and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.
20 Looking at his disciples, he said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
22 Blessed are you when people hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil,
because of the Son of Man.
23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.
24 “But woe to you who are rich,
for you have already received your comfort.
25 Woe to you who are well fed now,
for you will go hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will mourn and weep.
26 Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you,
for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.
From vs24 on, Luke records a harsh word from Jesus to those who “have it all now”. To those who are rich, well fed, laughing, and seen positively by all, that when the delights and rewards of Heaven are revealed, they will lose (rather than gain!). Given other things Jesus says (Luke 12:34 “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”), this rebuke is more directed at the heart of the rich, rather than actual possessions. “Where is the delight of your heart?” “Where do you think the good life is found?”
If you believe the good life is found in the comforts and over-indulgences in life- that better car, that better partner, that bigger bank balance, that better job- then Heaven will be a disappointment… because these things will not be what delights our heart! We will lose these things… but gain our creator and Father God.
If our heart delights in love, justice, sacrifice and Jesus, then we will toil in this life for these things, holding our possessions loosely, and be delighted beyond compare when Heaven is revealed and these things become fully reality.
What we prize in life HEAVILY influences what those around us prize. Let’s not be false prophets to each other by delighting only in what the world can give us, but instead preach the true gospel to each other by living lives that prize and delight in Jesus, justice and love, for great will be the reward in Heaven when we see these things come about.
Head: Can you see how Jesus is challenging the desires of the heart in this passage?
Heart: What is your heart desiring now?
Hands: What habits in your life might you build to delight in and serve Jesus, remembering that others will see and model off the way you live?
Prayer: Thankyou Father for all the good gifts you give us to enjoy. Please help us not to let them snare the desires and affection of our heart. Please give us hearts that desire you and your Kingdom, that we might eagerly await the delights of Heaven. Help us to live lives that model this desire to others, that we might encourage each other to step out in faith, not towards the riches of the world. For your glory and in your name. Amen.
A song to listen to: Audience of One