Sunday, May 8, 2011

Scot McKnight on the Beatitudes in Luke 6:20-26 (and Luke 4:16-21)

I am reading Scot McKnight's One.Life: Jesus Calls, We Follow. In one chapter he looks at Luke 4:16-21 and 6:20-26 (which is often called the Sermon on the Plain).

McKnight makes the following comments on the latter passage.

"Imagine what it would have been like for a poor Galilean to hear these words, and then imagine what it would have been like to be a rich Galilean and hear these words. The first group's chests were swelling as the second group's blood pressure was rising." (page 65)

Every time I read these words of Jesus I wonder which side I'm on. Am I with the poor or with the rich? I think Jesus wants us to feel that tension. He came, as he announced in his first sermon, for the poor and for the hungry and for those who weep and for those who are persecuted; and he came against the rich and against the well fed and against those who laugh now and against those who are popular. This is why he blesses the poor and offers only 'woes' to the rich." (page 66; emphasis original)

Don't think that McKnight's words are too strong. Read Luke 6:20-26 and you will find that his comments are fair.

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