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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.

24

“But woe to you who are rich,

for you have received your consolation.

25

“Woe to you who are full now,

for you will be hungry.

“Woe to you who are laughing now,

for you will mourn and weep.

26 “Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.

Love for Enemies

27 “But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. 30Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you.


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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).

24, 25. rich … full … laugh—who have all their good things and joyous feelings here and now, in perishable objects.

received your consolation—(see on Lu 16:25).

shall hunger—their inward craving strong as ever, but the materials of satisfaction forever gone.

26. all … speak well of you—alluding to the court paid to the false prophets of old (Mic 2:11). For the principle of this woe, and its proper limits, see Joh 15:19.

27-36. (See on Mt 5:44-48; Mt 7:12; and Mt 14:12-14.)




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