Life-Study of Lukeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
The first principle in these verses is that we who believe in Christ and who have been born of God should be a people blessed by God. We should be a blessed people, not a cursed people. As a result of the fall, mankind came under the curse. But in the jubilee of grace the Lord Jesus has rescued us from the curse and has brought us into God’s blessing. Hence, we should be a people blessed by God. In 6:20-23 there are four characteristics of blessed people.
In verse 20 the Lord Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” In this verse “poor” has two denotations. First, it denotes poor in material things; second, it denotes poor in spiritual things. Therefore, the word poor here indicates poor in earthly, material things and also poor in heavenly, spiritual things.
It is often difficult for those who are rich in earthly, material things to be poor in heavenly, spiritual things. If someone chosen and called by God becomes rich in material things, it may be very difficult for that one to become poor in spiritual things. It may even be necessary for God to take away that person’s material riches in order that he might become poor in relation to spiritual things.
If we would be a blessed people, we need to be poor. Mainly we need to be poor in spiritual things, in heavenly things. Concerning spiritual things, we should sense that we have nothing, that we are poor.
Matthew 5:3 speaks of being poor in spirit. To be poor in spirit is not only to be humble, but also to be emptied in our spirit, in the depths of our being, not holding on to the old things. To be poor in spirit also means to be unloaded to receive new things.
Our human spirit, the deepest part of our being, is the organ for us to contact God and to realize spiritual things. We need to be poor, emptied, unloaded, in this part of our being so that we may realize and possess the kingdom of God. All the time we need to be poor in our spirit, having the sense deep within that we are poor in relation to spiritual things, in relation to the things concerning God. If we are poor in this way and humble, immediately the kingdom of God becomes our blessing.
The second characteristic of a blessed people is to hunger now: “Blessed are those who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied” (6:21a). This verse speaks of spiritual hunger. First we realize that we are poor in spiritual things, and then we hunger after the things we lack in the spiritual realm.
The Lord says that those who hunger now will be satisfied. When we hunger, we shall be filled. We shall be satisfied with the spiritual riches of Christ.
In 6:21b the Lord Jesus says, “Blessed are those who weep now, for you shall laugh.” This is the third characteristic of those who are blessed by God. In this verse to weep means to repent and to regret. To weep in this sense means that we are not happy about our spiritual situation and condition. Therefore, we regret and repent and desire to have a change in our spiritual condition.
The fourth characteristic is found in verses 22 and 23: “Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they separate you from them and reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for in the same manner their fathers did to the prophets.” Here we see that it is a blessing to be hated and reproached for the sake of the Son of Man. We, however, like to be praised by others and to be valued, honored, and highly regarded by them. We need to realize that believers will be hated and evil spoken of by the world. The reason for this is that the entire world is following Satan, and we are following the Lord to go in the opposite way. Because our way is opposite to that of the world, the worldly people will hate us and speak evil about us.
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