Luke 6: “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.
 “Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry.
“Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.
 “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.
Following the blessings upon the poor, the hungry, the sad and the persecuted, Jesus turns to those who are wealthy, full , happy and popular and pronounces woes upon them. It needs to be pointed out from the very beginning that Jesus is not teaching that poverty and hunger and persecution and tears are tickets to heaven. We must not take one passage of Scripture and use it to destroy other teachings in the Bible. What Jesus is saying is that the faithful may suffer now in many ways but that does not mean that they are worse off than those with no faith who are spared the hardships of life because of their money, their power, their ease or their laughter.
How the Christian life is meant to turn the world on its head! And how tragic that so many believers do not seem to understand that the life lived for Christ is the polar opposite to how the non believing world lives and what it values. We can be like the Psalmist in Psalm 73 when he speaks of envying the wicked because of their comforts. Near the end of that Psalm he says “I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end”. The rich and well fed and laughing popular people of the world are not to be envied. They are to be pitied.
The “woes” pronounced by Jesus on these people is because they are in great danger. But what do we see when we look at such people? We see their money and laughter and comfort and possessions. Just check out the lottery ads. We complain and grumble and sometimes even charge God with neglect or dishonesty. We are far too short sighted.
The reason the rich are to be pitied is because they have all the good they are ever going to have. They shall enter eternity having received all the consolation that they will ever receive. Believers, on the other hand will receive a consolation that lasts forever and makes this life seem pretty small and brief – because it is.
Which is better? Hunger now for seventy years and an eternity of no want, or seventy years of plenty and an eternity of nothing? It’s a no brainer. How sad that so many, so often get this mixed up, even among those who claim to know Jesus Christ.
It is better to have nothing of the world’s goods with Christ than to have all the comforts that the world has to offer without Him. We need to believe this and we need to reflect that we believe it by not chasing after what the world does, not hungering for what the world hungers for and not thinking that once we get the comforts that all is well.
Consider the following song. It is a recording of a poor man in London England. Someone recorded him and added the orchestration. The world will claim that he is certifiably insane. Of course Jesus has failed him. Anyone can see that he He has. But the old guy has it right. And when he dies, if he has not already, he will enter into the bliss of the glory of God – forever. And those who mocked him and thought him crazy will enter eternity alone and without God and without hope. Now – who is insane?