The world says,
“Who are you to judge?” Christians need to take Jesus’ advice to “judge not…” and stay out of everyone’s personal business.
They obviously haven’t read tonight’s passage.
These woes stand in direct contrast to the Beatitudes in order to wake us up! Pastors need to preach both the beatitudes and the woes.
Remember, this sermon was especially for Jesus’ disciples (20). These warnings apply to believers. Jesus seeks to redirect our hearts to what is eternal rather than temporal.
Doom awaits those who settle for the best this world has to offer.
Read Luke 6:24-26
Woe To You Who Are Rich (24)
Although Jesus is addressing those who have material prosperity, He’s most concerned with their spiritual lives. His warning is for those who find their comfort in their money. It’s become an idol.
Maybe your mind goes to the obvious examples in movies and literature. This verse certainly rebukes people like Scrooge who are stingy and self-serving with their money. But what about those who are anxious until the check arrives?
Gaining the whole world would not be worth losing your soul (Matt. 16:26)! Money cannot save you, but it can condemn you (1 Tim. 6:10). Beware of wealth’s power.
Those who are rich are always full…
Woe To You Who Are Full (25a)
Just like money, many find their comfort in food. As long as they have food in the fridge, they are content. But their satisfaction will turn to hunger on Judgment Day.
We saw a similar warning in Amos 8:11. There has always been a correlation between finding our satisfaction in food versus hearing the Word of God (Deut. 8:3). Fasting was meant to teach this to us.
Food is a gift from God and should be enjoyed, even feasted upon. But food can quickly become a means of numbing ourselves from trials.
The satisfied have no interest in receiving (John 4:13-14).
Rich > Full…
Woe To You Who Laugh (25b)
Of course, there are exceptions to every one of these general warnings. Jesus isn’t condemning joy, but warning those who pursue happiness in the wrong objects. Those unwilling to unplug from entertainment.
John Calvin argues that Jesus is referring to “Epicurean mirth”. Epicurus was a Greek philosopher who promoted the enjoyment of sensual pleasures such as food and alcohol. In other words, Jesus is warning those who forsake everything for parties.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with parties (or food/money), but when we prioritize entertainment we compromise our calling.
On the other hand, when we prioritize eternity our envy of the world’s heroes turns into pity.
Rich > Full > Laugh…
Woe To You Who Are Popular (26)
Those who are willing to speak the truth will cause division and upset the mixed multitudes. The good news is that it’s never been easier to offend people. There’s so much sensitivity!
Calvin This warning refers peculiarly to teachers, who have no plague more to be dreaded than ambition: because it is impossible for them not to corrupt the pure doctrine of God, when they “seek to please men,” (Gal. 1:10.)
Woe to the “pastor” that never condemns the philosophies of this world. They may become darlings of the media for their 10 seconds of fame, but their place on Judgment Day is reserved alongside the false prophets.
Doom awaits those who settle for the best this world has to offer. What the world most desires (money, food, happiness, and fame) Christ issues grave warnings.
J.C. Ryle comments that these woes target…
…the men who prefer the joys and so-called happiness of this world, to the joy and peace in believing, and will not risk the loss of the one in order to gain the other.
May our best always be what is yet to come! That nothing would take Christ’s central place in our hearts. The gifts cannot bring contentment, nor ever replace the Giver.