If you ask any Christian, “Tell me something that Jesus said that it’s important.”
Then they tell you something like, well Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” No one goes to the Father except through Him.
They may say,
- “I am the door.”
- “I’m the Good Shepherd.”
- “I am the bread of life.”
- “I am the living water.”
and the list goes on and those are amazing.
But here’s the thing. How many people can tell you these four things that I’m going to talk about in this blog post?
The four woes and the four blessings that Jesus says because it’s so important and actually relates to heaven and hell, life and death, according to Jesus.
Let’s see if you know what they are.
The First Blessing Vs Woe
The first blessing versus woe that Jesus pronounced is in Luke 6:20, Jesus says,
“Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”Luke 6:20
And in contrast in verse 24, Jesus says,
“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.”Luke 6:24
Blessed are you poor, and woe to you who are rich.
What is Jesus saying? What is one of the first things that come to your mind when you think about a rich person? They have status. They have prestige. Right? They think they have everything that they need. “Why would I need God?”
The Story of a Pastor in India
In fact, I went to India in 2011, and the pastor there who hosted me, he said before coming to Jesus, he was very rich. He was in the movie production industry and people would look at him and give him status and recognition.
A pastor had come to him once, he says, “I don’t want Jesus, because this Jesus is the God of the poor people. I don’t want Jesus.” But this pastor told him, “In the future, if you come into trouble, call upon the name of Jesus and He will help you.”
And sure enough, one day, he was stabbed and his bowels were hanging out. The doctors couldn’t even revive him saying “You’re going to die.” They left them for dead. And during this time he called up to all his Hindu gods, and the millions of Hindu gods didn’t help him.
And at this time he remembered the pastor who said, “Call upon the name of Jesus in your time of need, and He will help you.” And so he did. He cried out to the name of Jesus and he saw two hands holding him up with white robes and blood dripped in there and He says, “I am Jesus.”
And a few hours later the doctors came back, looked at him, and said, “How come you’re still not dead? You’re supposed to be dead by now.” Of course, we know this because Jesus preserved his life.
Since then he’s been about building all these village churches in India, preaching the gospel because God has totally transformed his life. Before this life-changing experience, he was not able to receive the grace of God.
Why? Because he was proud, he has status, he was rich, he had things that he needs. Why would you need God?
That is the first woe that Jesus says to those who are rich because they have received their consolation and they see no need for the things of Jesus Christ. This is not to say that Jesus is against us having money to provide for our families and give to other people.
After all, if you have no money, how can you bless other ministries, lest other people who are in need? But we have to ask ourselves, who are we really serving? Are we serving God or are we serving mammon? Which we cannot do because we can only serve one God.
Who are you serving today?
Second Blessing Vs Woe
The second woe and blessing that Jesus said is this:
“Blessed are you who hunger now for you shall be filled.”
In contrast, Jesus says,
“Woe to you who are full for you shall hunger.”
The second woe and blessing that Jesus addressed has to do with what we have and how we view it. People sometimes say, “Well, I don’t need Jesus, I have everything that I need.” I can buy whatever I want, I can eat whatever I want, I’m so free, I’m so thankful.
But when you ask them, “Who are you thankful for?” They would say, “Well, I’m thankful for the universe.” “I’m thankful for the opportunity.” “I’m thankful for this guy, the being, the creator.” And someone even acknowledges the creator and they just say, “I have a thankful attitude.”
Why? Because they don’t want to acknowledge the name of Jesus Christ who gives breath, who gives sustenance and gives life to all things and all people.
That’s why Jesus says,
“Woe to you who are full because you lack to see your need of the savior.” (Luke 6:25)
“Blessed are you who hunger now, because you shall be filled.” (Luke 6:21)
The hunger and thirst to live a life that is pleasing to God, to strive for holiness, to do the things that please God. Or do you say, “Well, I have everything that I need. I don’t need God.”
Does that sound like to you the church in the book of Revelation 3:17 that says that “We are in need of nothing, we are good”? But Jesus says, “I see you as naked, poor and blind.”
Where are we in our spiritual walk today?
Third Blessing Vs Woe
The third blessing and woe that Jesus said is
“Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.” (Luke 6:21)
In contrast, Jesus says,
“Woe unto you who laugh now for you shall mourn and weep.” (Luke 6:25)
This is why I think it is a danger today in the modern gospel to tell people, “Hey, come to Jesus. He’ll give you life. He’ll give you joy. He’ll give you happiness.” When the people in the world say, “Why would I need God to be my happiness? I’m already happy I have all the money that I need. I have all the women that I have. I can do whatever that I want. Why would I need God to make me happy?”
And what they fail to realize is this: Christianity is not about God making you happy. And there’s a difference between temporal happiness and the things of the world and materialism and pride and recognition and status and fame versus the true joy in Jesus Christ, knowing that your sins have been washed clean, that your sin against our Holy God, but because of His great love and mercy, that the day you and I can have eternal life and the forgiveness of God. That is true joy and happiness!
But most people cannot come to realize and enjoy this benefit because they have not first mourned.
Mourn for what? Mourn for their sin.
That’s why Jesus says, “Blessed are you who weep now.”
And in the sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, “Blessed, are you who mourn, for you shall be comforted.”
When was the last time you’re on your knees and you’re saying, “God, I’m so sorry for the things I’ve done against You. I thank You, Lord, that You wash me clean.” That you’re mourned for your sin, you’re mourned for your past. And once you’ve done that, you don’t stay in your past, you’re now walking a new life.
You say, “God, I’m so thankful. I praise you, that your mercies are new every morning and now I want to pursue You with a life that pleases You and honor You.”
So ask yourself today. Are you living in the happiness in the world and materialism and the things that do not last to eternity? Or are you walking in the joy of the Lord? The true happiness of the Lord, knowing that He has saved you, knowing that He has called you out of this life into the everlasting glory in His kingdom. And you’re walking with Him today. Because if you are, Jesus says, “Blessed are you for you will laugh because you have the joy of everlasting life.”
Fourth Blessing Vs Woe
The fourth woe and blessing that Jesus said is this,
“Blessed are you when men hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and cast out your name as evil for the Son of Man’s sake, rejoice in that day and leap for joy for indeed your reward in heaven is great.”
In contrast, Jesus says,
“Woe to you when all men speak well of you for so did their fathers to the false prophets today.”
You and I have to ask ourselves these questions: Do we fear God? Do we love God over the fear of man?
The approval of men and what they think of us. Sometimes we look at people and they’re like, “Oh, so many people like them. They’re popular. So they must be right.” Everyone is saying how great they are.
But Jesus says the opposite. “Woe to you, if all men speak well of you.” Why? Because we know the bible says, “All who desire to live Godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”
I’m not saying that we should go out, act reckless, and have people think that, “Why are you acting so reckless and stupid?” What Jesus is saying here is if you’re standing up for righteousness, you’re standing up for holiness, you’re standing up for the name that is above all names, Jesus Christ, and the people revile you and say bad things against you because of His namesake, because of His kingdom’s sake. Then Jesus says, “Blessed are you for great is your reward in heaven.”
When was the last time you stood up for righteousness? When was the last time you stood up for the name of Jesus when a lot of people were blaspheming Him? When was the last time you said, I’m not going to cast the stone on this person who’s being beat down. I’m going to lift them up. I’m going to give them grace and pray for them? Versus the world that is pointing fingers and trying to step down on them.
And you say, “God, but you give them mercy. I pray for them because I saw the mercy in my life.”
When was the last time you said, I’m not going to abide and I’m not going to agree with the cultures of my time? I’m going to stand up for what is clean, what is holy, and what is righteous in the sight of God, not in the sight of man. Not even in the sight of religion, but in the sight and the biblical standard of what Jesus says we are to follow.
I will stand up for that because men will change, but God’s word will never change. I will stand up for that no matter what people call me. I will uplift the name of Jesus.
May this be our prayer today that we will seek after the things of God. That we will be kingdom-minded, that we won’t care about the opinion as a man, but we will stand up for what is true and what is right in the sight of God, because if we do that then we know we are the blessed ones and that our faith is genuine and that is true. And that we are walking on the narrow path at least in life because only a field will find this narrow path at least in life.
And Jesus says that path is difficult, so we have to strive until the end through that narrow path, through genuine faith, repentance, and obedience to His word.
And I want to encourage you. This path sometimes feels lonely. You don’t feel like you can make it on your own. But that is the exact path you want to walk on because Jesus is with you.
Share this blog post with those who need to read it.
God bless you!