The prophetic Word that Jesus speaks in the Beatitudes is both comforting and chilling. For those who hear what He said and love Him, there can be no greater promise. For those who don’t hear, don’t care to hear, and who either hate Him or are apathetic about God and the hope He brings, what Jesus foretells is a promise of disaster.
In His time on earth then, Jesus speaks a Word for NOW; a message of hope and one of hopelessness. Consider how He phrased the bookend statements that He made.
To those who love Him and hear His voice, who are the sheep in His pasture, He set forth a couple of circumstances that pertain to the human condition. In Luke 6:21 Jesus said:
“Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.”
Throughout history, people have endured physical and spiritual hunger. They have also undergone great, heartbreaking distress that can be a bane to the human soul. But, Jesus says this need not be the case any longer. For those craving nourishment of the body or of the spirit; for those aching in grief from loss; there is an answer. A person who turns to Him finds life. In Christ alone he will be satisfied; in Him only will the sorrow dissipate. Such a message had never before been given; for us today we can receive it as a guarantee.
God’s promises are always fulfilled. However, the one thing we never know is when. Through our prayers, belief, and confidence in Christ, He may deliver us in this life from these afflictions. But God is sovereign. His ways are not our ways. Regardless, these promises hold true. If not fulfilled in this lifetime, we can be assured that in the next, as blood-bought believers in Jesus Christ, He will bring them to pass. Thus, whether someone is hungry, is weeping, or has a body broken in illness, all these afflictions will disappear when Jesus returns. We will be like Him. He will give us glorified, perfect bodies. No more will we experience the sorrows of this world.
In contrast are those who don’t know the Lord. Unless they turn from their evil ways, Jesus warns them that trouble awaits right around the corner. In Luke 6:25 here is what He says:
“Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.”
As noted above, this is indeed a NOW Word. It often seems as if those who reject the Good News of Jesus Christ pay no penalty. Because God sends rain upon the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45), many who fall into this unjust category appear to live the good life and experience no consequences for their wickedness. But Jesus says that everything will even out. Vengeance belongs to God (Romans 12:19). A day is coming when all who aren’t covered by the blood of the Lamb will stand before God in judgment. Even before then, many will experience God’s wrath in the soon-coming Tribulation. Some number of these people who have chosen to follow their own way, rather than that which Christ offers, will go hungry in that time; others will mourn and weep. However, even those who seemingly ride above the winds and waves during that horrible seven years will not escape. Their fate is assured, their eternity is one of torment.
Knowing this, shouldn’t we who Christ has redeemed have the heart for the lost that He has? What are we waiting for? We’re nearer now to our redemption than when we first believed (Romans 13:11). Doesn’t this also mean that those who aren’t currently in Christ are closer to their doom?
Jesus gave all of us a command. We’re to operate in His power and authority. Doing so, we’re to make disciples and teach them about the love of God and all His ways (Matthew 28:18-20).
Time is running out. Shouldn’t we get busy?