2/27 Luke 6:20

20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God."

Luke's version of the Beatitudes differs from Matthew's in the wording and the addition of woes. Some people claim this is a contradiction, but having preached for a number of years, I can testify that when I preach on a subject more than once, the sermon is never the same each time. Surely Jesus delivered His Beatitude message more than once. These blessings describe the upside-down world of the kingdom of God. The expressions show us how God sees circumstances as opposed to how man sees them.

Luke's account emphasizes the physical condition as opposed to Matthew's account, which emphasizes the spiritual condition. Matthew tells us that Jesus said the poor in spirit are blessed, but Luke tells us Jesus said the poor are blessed. Of course, the poor can include poor in spirit as well as those who are financially poor. Why would those who are financially poor be blessed? A few things come to mind. They are not preoccupied with business and possessions. They are not as tempted to trust in wealth for security. They can't look to money to solve their problems but must depend upon God. In another passage Jesus said, "How hard it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" (Luke 18:24).

God sees the eternal result of our temporal condition as a matter of great importance. If our wealth draws us away from the things of God, it is better that we are poor. We need the eternal perspective to filter the way we understand circumstances in our lives. What appears to be a blessing to our natural way of thinking may really be a curse in its eternal result.

Prayer: Lord, help me to see my circumstances in the light of the revelation of Your Word. Help me to have the discernment to see things through Your eyes.