It’s interesting to compare Jesus’ sermon here in Luke 6 with the account in Matthew 5. In Luke, Jesus is concerned with the lived experiences of the people to whom he is speaking. He cares about those who are poor and hungry and sad. He cares about people who know what it is like to have someone hate them or exclude them or spread gossip about them. Yes, as Matthew reports, Jesus cares about poverty of spirit, etc., but he cares about our tangible, physical needs and experiences too. Jesus’ words are a reminder that in the kingdom of God, value and worthiness are not found in material wealth or in being popular. Instead, they are a promise that when people are hurting, God sees them and loves them. And when Jesus issues all the “woe” statements, he’s calling his listeners to pay attention to the needs of others and to be generous in the same way that God is generous.
Are there times when you operate from a mindset of scarcity rather than abundance? How does this affect your ability to be generous? Who are some of the most generous people you know? What do you think is the source of that generosity?
In prayer, thank God for the abundance in your life and commit yourself to living more generously.