After calling the twelve apostles, Jesus descends from the mountain to a level plain to preach to his disciples. In Luke 6:20-26, Jesus describes the kingdom he has come to bring, in contrast to the kingdom that is already in place in the world.
This section in Luke is traditionally called “The Beatitudes,” which is a subset of a larger section of material called the “Sermon on the Mount.” In Matthew’s account, a typology is drawn between Moses and Jesus. Both men are cast as prophets who receive revelation on a mountain and descend to instruct the people in the law and establish a kingdom.
- If we are intended to view Jesus as a new and greater Moses, what is new and greater about the law he gives and the kingdom he brings?
There is a direct parallel between the beatitudes (“blessings”) in verses 20-23 and the curses (“woes”) of verses 24-26. Jesus is contrasting the core values of the kingdom that’s in place in the world now with the kingdom he has come to establish.
- According to Jesus: poverty, hunger, weeping, and rejection are evidences of a blessed life. What does this mean? In what sense are these blessings?
- Does Jesus mean to say that if you are not poor, hungry, sad, and excluded that you are not blessed? Likewise, if you are rich, full, laugh, and accepted that you are cursed? Discuss this with your HFG.
- There’s a reversal in the passage between the way we experience life now, and the way we will experience life then—referring to the life to come. Can you explain why this difference exists? What help are you intended to gain from this?
Jesus is certainly our example for how to live as a disciple in the Kingdom of God. But if Jesus is merely an example, we have no hope. We cannot live up to his example. What hope to do we have in Jesus for living like Jesus? In your answer, consider verse 19.