Beggarly, hungry, weeping, and rejected
Updated: Feb 28, 2019
So, know where to find your joy in life. Thank God for days – beggarly, hungry, weeping, and rejected days – that send us running to Jesus for the joy we long for! The greatest blessings we enjoy do not come from within us nor are they dependent on circumstances in our lives. Though our reason may never fully understand it, those days that send me running to Jesus, are our best days! Find the joy in Christian discipleship always in Jesus!
“Grace be unto you and peace from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.”
17 He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coast of Tyre and Sidon, 18 who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by evil spirits were cured, 19 and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.
20 Looking at his disciples, he said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
22 Blessed are you when men hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil,
because of the Son of Man.
23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.
24 “But woe to you who are rich,
for you have already received your comfort.
25 Woe to you who are well fed now,
for you will go hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will mourn and weep.
26 Woe to you when all men speak well of you,
for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.
Where does a person go to find his joy in life? For most, the undying urge to find joy in life is all about self. What makes me happy. We look for joy in being self-absorbed, self-serving on our way to self-centered and self-sufficient and self-satisfied. Jesus urges us in our text to find joy in the most unlikely of places. Let us learn today how to …
Find the Joy in Christian Discipleship
Your Savior is amazing
Your weaknesses are a blessing
Your reward is in heaven
In the verses just before our text we hear that Jesus had spent the night in prayer and the next morning he picked out 12 of his disciples and designated them apostles! Their names are listed. We are not told that there was anything particularly special about them. Jesus simply chose them for special service in his kingdom. They must have wondered what life was going to be like for them as they followed Jesus.
Then our text begins: “He went down with them (that is the apostles he had just chosen) and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon to hear him and to be healed of their diseases.” People walked – some as much as 50-60 miles just to hear and watch Jesus! So, “this is what Christian discipleship is all about” the apostles must have thought to themselves.
We are following a rock star! Everywhere we go people are going to wish they were us! They must have thought that day that this life of following Jesus is going to be great! And maybe they were beginning to think inside their sinful minds that maybe they would have special places of honor and glory in God’s kingdom because they are his apostles. Oh, what a great life we have as we follow Jesus!
The crowds that day wanted to hear and be healed. My friends, remember that there are all kinds of people you know who really want to hear about Jesus. Look at how many people are searching for some voice to tell them something positive, something good and hopeful, that they can cling to! You have the only message that saves! You have the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ to share with the whole world! People will listen because we do have an amazing Savior who offers great joy to those who follow him!
Not only were people amazed at his teaching, they were amazed by his miracles! He cured diseases. He drove out demons. He healed people who were in his presence! All knew that the healing they received came from Jesus! So, the crowds might have thought what the disciples might have thought: Following Jesus is fantastic! Do you think that the people there that day might have thought that the joy of Christian discipleship is found in Jesus making life easier somehow?
Wouldn’t we all like to think that way? I am truly blessed when my children listen to me and do what I say. I am truly blessed when my work is appreciated, and my paycheck reflects it! I am truly blessed when my investments reach an all-time high. I am truly blessed when I and my loved ones are enjoying good health.
To that, Jesus says “No.” That wasn’t true for the apostles and it is not true for us either. Jesus will preach what we know as the Sermon on the Mount to address himself to the misguided thinking about what our best days look like. He stunned the crowd that day and still stuns us by revealing to us that the way we picture our best days – rich in what makes us comfortable, satisfied with what fills our tummy and life, laughing our way from one success to another, praised and respected by all – all these things fall under “woes” not “blessings”! It is a foretaste of what Jesus would later say to the Christians in Laodicea: “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and d