The Lord’s Sermon on the Mount is given to us in Matthew and Luke.  Your question involves one of the sayings of the Lord in this sermon.  Let’s first determine who the Lord is speaking to in this sermon.  Luke 6:20 says, “And he lifted up his eyes on HIS DISCIPLES, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.”  So, the Lord is speaking here to those who profess faith in Him. 

To get the proper context of this verse, let’s go back and read Luke 6:22-23, “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.”  There is a blessing promised to those who endure the hatred of the world because of their testimony of the Lord Jesus.  In the days prior to the birth of the Lord Jesus, many of the prophets were hated and killed for their faithfulness to the Lord.  Historically, we see that hatred towards the righteous ones was common among the Israelites.  I dare say that hatred for those who seek to live for the Lord is still very common.  We read in 2 Timothy 3:12, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”  While the Lord delights in those who live to honor Him, the world at large hates such a person. 

The Lord forewarns us in John 15:18-19, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”  Hatred from the world is to be expected for believers.  On that same note, love from the world is an indication that we are bowing to the desires of the world and have compromised ourselves with the world’s standards.

In this portion in Luke 6, we read of four ‘woes.’

  • Verse 24 says, “But WOE UNTO YOU that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.”
  • Verse 25 says, “WOE UNTO YOU that are full! for ye shall hunger. WOE UNTO YOU that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.”
  • Verse 26 says, “WOE UNTO YOU, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.” 

Those who truly seek to live for the Lord are called ‘blessed’ (happy).  ‘Woe’ (sadness) is promised to those who are occupied with the world and its pleasures.

If you are occupied with becoming rich with the world’s good, if you try to satisfy yourself with the ways and pleasures of the world, if you long for the delight and amusement of the world, if you seek to have the friendship and praise of the world…WOE UNTO YOU.

Let’s listen to the voices of Paul, James, and Peter regarding the Christian’s sufferings:

  • Philippians 1:29, “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.”
  • James 5:10, “Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.”
  • 1 Peter 2:19, “For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.”

Rather than being highly esteemed by the world, if we live faithful lives, we will find the world has no esteem for us at all.  They will hate and persecute us…and that will eventually bring us great joy!  (CC)  (514.6)