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Bible with Cross ShadowTo wrap up our survey of the sayings of Jesus, we shift our attention to Luke’s Gospel. Here we find several passages that harmonize with those of Matthew. We also find a couple of interesting additions.

Harmonizing the two accounts uncovers additional depths of understanding. For example, Luke’s Beatitudes add a physical, down to earth perspective to Matthew’s account. Both are true; encouraging us that Jesus was concerned about, and speaking to, all aspects of our lives.

We will come back to the harmonies sometime soon. For now, I would like to focus on a particular addition in Luke’s account: Jesus’ pronouncement of woes.

But woe to you who are rich,
For you have received your consolation.
Woe to you who are full,
For you shall hunger.
Woe to you who laugh now,
For you shall mourn and weep.
Woe to you when all men speak well of you,
For so did their fathers to the false prophets.
Luke 6:24-26

These woes represent life in, and for, the world. Interestingly, they match well with “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life”; those things of the world we are warned will pass away (1John 2:17). Furthermore, if we love the world, or the things of the world, the love of the Father is not in us (v. 15).

One chapter later, John says the same thing about the one who has this world’s goods and shuts up his heart to his brother in need (1John 3:17): “How can the love of God be in him?” These are strong words of warning; words that warrant strong consideration. Read the rest of this entry »

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