Woe to the rich! (Lk 6:24-6:24)

“But woe to you

Who are rich!

You have received

Your consolation.”

 

Πλὴν οὐαὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς πλουσίοις, ὅτι ἀπέχετε τὴν παράκλησιν ὑμῶν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said the rich people should be cursed (Πλὴν οὐαὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς πλουσίοις), using the second person plural.  They already had received their consolation, comfort, or happiness (ὅτι ἀπέχετε τὴν παράκλησιν ὑμῶν).  While Matthew had 8 beatitudes about the poor in spirit, the mourners, the meek, the righteous, the merciful, the pure of heart, the peacemakers, and the persecuted, Luke only had 4.  The blessed or fortunate ones here were the poor, the hungry, the weeping, and the. persecuted.  3 of the 4 of these categories are almost the same, but the hungry could only go with those who hunger for righteousness.  Some later 4th century Christian writers, like Ambrose of Milan (337-397), have said that theses 4 beatitudes correspond to the 4 cardinal virtues of temperance, justice, prudence, and fortitude.  However, Luke uniquely has these 4 more woes or curses in which he denounced or called out their bad behavior.  In this particular case, he challenged or criticized the rich people because they already had their consolation.

The future just king (Isa 11:3-11:5)

“He shall not judge

By what his eyes see.

He shall not decide

By what his ears hear.

He shall judge

With righteousness.

He shall judge the poor.

He shall decide with equity

For the meek of the earth.

He shall strike the earth

With the rod of his mouth.

With the breath of his lips,

He shall kill the wicked.

Righteousness shall be the belt

Around his waist.

Faithfulness shall be the belt

Around his loins.”

Isaiah points out that not only would this future king have Davidic roots and be filled with the Spirit of Yahweh, he would be righteous and just. He would not merely judge on what he sees and hears, but with righteousness. He would judge the poor and the meek with equity. His mouth and lips would even kill the wicked ones. Righteousness and faithfulness would be his belts. Thus this future ideal king would be just and fair to all, no matter what their status was.

The meek shall inherit the land (Ps 37:10-37:11)

Vav     

“Yet a little while,

The wicked will be no more.

Though you look diligently for their place,

They will not be there.

But the meek shall inherit the land.

The meek shall delight themselves in abundant prosperity.”

You have to wait a little bit, but the wicked will be no more. You will have to look diligently for their property, but it will not be there. The meek, on the other hand, will inherit the holy land. They will live in abundant prosperity, if only they wait.

Yahweh must bring justice (Ps 10:17-10:18)

“Yahweh!

You will hear the desire of the meek!

You will strengthen their heart!

You will incline your ear!

You will do justice for the orphans and the oppressed!

Thus those from the earth may strike terror no more.”

The psalmist wants Yahweh to hear the meek and strengthen their hearts. Listen to the cries for justice of the orphans and the oppressed. Get rid of the evil doers so that they cannot strike terror any more. The psalmist of David wanted justice for the oppressed. Get rid of the terrorists. That is a cry that we often hear today.