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A systematic reading of the Scriptures, portioned to complement your daily time spent with God.
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Luke 6:20-26 "THE THIRD SET OF CONTRASTS"
Day 74 – Luke 6
Text: Luke 6:20-26
THE THIRD SET OF CONTRASTS
“Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.” Luke 6:21
“Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.” Luke 6:25
Being a Disciple of the Lord Jesus must have involved some moments of sorrow, and danger too. When did the Disciples shed tears? We are not told specifically just what Jesus meant when He spoke of following Him with tears, but we can imagine those poignant moments when tears could have come to the eyes of the Disciples. Let’s think of several situations when tears could have been shed:-
1. Did Peter and his partners in the fishing business weep when they finally comprehended who Jesus really was? The four fishermen had been invited to be the Disciples of Jesus, but apparently something held them back from making the final, full decision of following Him. Jesus brought the multitude to the seashore and there the fishermen heard what He taught. The Teacher then asked Peter to put his boat out to sea again. He asked him to let down his net for a catch. Peter was flabbergasted with surprise when he looked at the vast catch he had. He hailed his friends to come to his assistance. In the excitement of the biggest catch in their lives, Peter suddenly realized who Jesus was. “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” (Luke 5:8) was Peter’s cry. Was that cry choked with tears? Possibly!
2. How did Matthew feel when he was called by Jesus to forsake all and become His Disciple? Then came the criticisms against Jesus and His association with people like Matthew and his fellow tax collectors. Did the words of the Scribes and Pharisees sting his heart? Was there embarrassment felt? Were there tears, for the Scribes and Pharisees were not far wrong in describing the spiritual lot of the tax collectors and the well-known sinners? Possibly.
3. How did the Disciples feel, when their Master came to their rescue. The Scribes and Pharisees had reproached them for breaking the Sabbath (Luke 6:1-11). They had not meant to break any Sabbath laws. However, they had been very hungry, and they had been with Jesus as He ministered to so many people throughout the day. They never had to worry about meals before, and now they were in such reduced circumstances that they had to eat raw grain. On top of that they could not answer the sharp attacks of the Scribes and Pharisees. They were just not able to make a swift or good reply. They could just curl up somewhere and have a good cry! But their Teacher had understood. He came to their rescue immediately. He was not ashamed of them. He stood up for them, and put the Scribes and Pharisees in their place. Did they feel a great sense of gladness that their Master was so good to them? Did that feeling of gratitude in their hearts come to them with gladsome tears? Possibly.
“Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.” The Disciples must have shed tears when they had to give up much to follow Jesus. As they followed Him, and saw what He did, and heard what they did, their tears must have been replaced by joy. The words of Jesus must have brought great joy to their hearts. To see Jesus care for the multitudes must have brought great happiness. To see the radiant faces of those who came to faith, and of those who were wondrously healed must have brought great joy to the hearts of the Disciples. Jesus was right, whereas there had been tears once, there was now Joy!
“Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.” Were there those who had laughed at the Disciples when they followed Jesus? Did the colleagues of Matthew laugh when he decided that he would quit his job as a tax collector and follow Jesus? Did the Scribes and Pharisees laugh at the Disciples for their lack of scholarship, for their lack of finesse, for their lack in so many other areas? They may have laughed in scorn, but they would regret that they had not listened to Jesus, one day!
ALWAYS A PRICE TO PAY
There is always a price to pay when one decides to follow Jesus seriously. That price is sometimes very “high”. Perhaps the highest price to pay is best measured in terms of tears.
Tears represent much. They represent the making of tough decisions. They represent the making of decisions that must have been deep-decisions of the heart! To be a faithful and true disciple must have cost the grown men plenty! Jesus had understood them. He spoke of their being blessed by God because they dared to make that all-important decision to consecrate themselves to be the Disciples of the Lord Jesus!
DIFFICULT HURDLES TO OVERCOME
We read constantly of “great multitudes” who came to Jesus. They came with their needs. They came for their own undisclosed reasons. The Scribes and Pharisees came to see if they could fault Jesus in His teaching of the Scriptures. The sick came with one desire – to be healed. Many remained as part of the multitudes. They never made that all-important decision to step away from the multitudes to become Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Somehow, they preferred their lifestyle. They preferred to be part of multitudes. To give up everything, possibly to suffer want, or criticisms, from people – that would prove too much! No, they preferred whatever little happiness life could give them. To follow Jesus – that seemed like too big a decision to make! One day, they would weep and mourn, that they had not chosen to follow Jesus as His Disciples.
ARE YOU A DISCIPLE?
Are you part of the multitude? Have you decided that you would like to follow Jesus as His Disciple?
“Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh…” Luke 6:21
“Blessed are you who laugh now, for you shall weep and mourn…” Luke 6:25