Monday, August 2, 2010

Alright, Jesus is messing me up

So, this morning I am reading Luke 6:20-26, and on several levels this is breaking down a lot of the "religion" that I have been taught. Here is the passage:
And turning His gaze toward His disciples, He began to say, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 “Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.
22 “Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man.
23 “Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.
24 “But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full.
25 “Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.
26 “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.
So I used to actually read verse 24 like this, "But woe to you who are rich(er than Jeff Korhorn), for you are receiving your comfort in full." I also took this & have read this context, especially verses 20-21 as those who are spiritually poor, hungry, weeping. However, that interpretation doesn't make any sense with the rest of the context. Because that would mean that those in verse 25 who are spiritually rich, spiritually well-fed, and spiritually happy now will suffer later. Is Jesus saying that there is punishment for those who are spiritually vibrant? I don't see it.
Here Jesus seems to be talking about physically poor/rich, hungry/well-fed, weeping/laughing.

So is it wrong to be rich? Is it wrong to be well-fed? Is it wrong to laugh? What is rich? What is well-fed? What does He mean by "laugh"?

A few thoughts, as I think through this out loud on my blog-
1. This verse in Mark comes to mind right away.
And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.
35 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.
36 “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?
37 “For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
I think Jesus is teaching, as He typically does, at the heart of man. He's challenging our hearts.
Possibly, and this is the part that is bugging me, is He teaching that we should give up our excess: our possessions, our food, our money, our hearts to those in need? Then, what is excess?
For the sake of not becoming a checklist, I am gonna keep what I think I should do to myself. But I will say that I think I need to live radically different. I tend to live in fear of not having enough, I am often discontent (needing just one more thing), we (by looking at our weight) spend more than enough on food and I am probably overweight because I eat when nervous & bored. All that to say, I am often self-centered. There are people in Findlay living on the street & the "danger patrol" says that I shouldn't have anyone live at our house because they might kill my children. To me, the people I see on the street, would not & last I checked, God was sovereign & good. We can always find excuses not to do good.

Anyhow, there is a lot for me to think about. Jesus still continues to mess up MY life.

New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Mk 8:34–37). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Lk 6:20–26). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.


  1. Very challenging stuff. Have you read "The Gospel-Filled Wallet"? I was challenged by it. I still have yet to respond to the challenge in a significant way, but I'm working on it.

  2. I just watched a clip yesterday that is kind of relevant to some of the things you said. I found it interesting. It's by John Piper on the prosperity gospel talking about riches in different way than you would normally think.

    You're making me think. Thanks Jeff