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Jesus Teaches and Heals

17 He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. 18They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.

Blessings and Woes

20 Then he looked up at his disciples and said:

“Blessed are you who are poor,

for yours is the kingdom of God.

21

“Blessed are you who are hungry now,

for you will be filled.

“Blessed are you who weep now,

for you will laugh.

22 “Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. 23Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.


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17. in the plain—by some rendered "on a level place," that is, a piece of high tableland, by which they understand the same thing, as "on the mountain," where our Lord delivered the sermon recorded by Matthew (Mt 5:1), of which they take this following discourse of Luke to be but an abridged form. But as the sense given in our version is the more accurate, so there are weighty reasons for considering the discourses different. This one contains little more than a fourth of the other; it has woes of its own, as well as the beatitudes common to both; but above all, that of Matthew was plainly delivered a good while before, while this was spoken after the choice of the twelve; and as we know that our Lord delivered some of His weightiest sayings more than once, there is no difficulty in supposing this to be one of His more extended repetitions; nor could anything be more worthy of it.

19. healed—kept healing, denoting successive acts of mercy till it went over "all" that needed. There is something unusually grand and pictorial in this touch of description.

20, 21. In the Sermon on the Mount the benediction is pronounced upon the "poor in spirit" and those who "hunger and thirst after righteousness" (Mt 5:3, 6). Here it is simply on the "poor" and the "hungry now." In this form of the discourse, then, our Lord seems to have had in view "the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which God hath promised to them that love Him," as these very beatitudes are paraphrased by James (Jas 2:5).

21. laugh—How charming is the liveliness of this word, to express what in Matthew is called being "comforted!"

22. separate you—whether from their Church, by excommunication, or from their society; both hard to flesh and blood.

for the Son of man's sake—Compare Mt 5:11, "for My sake"; and immediately before, "for righteousness' sake" (Lu 6:10). Christ thus binds up the cause of righteousness in the world with the reception of Himself.

23. leap for joy—a livelier word than "be exceeding glad" of "exult" (Mt 5:12).




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