In Luke 6, we find Jesus surrounded by the crowds who have come to hear his words and to be healed. This atmosphere of expectation leads into Jesus’ “Sermon on Plain”: a litany of Blessings and Woes that sound sort of backwards to our ears. How do these two scenes inform one another and what do they contribute to our conversations about Baptism and Rebirth?
- Jeremiah 17:5-10
- Psalm 1
- 1 Corinthians 15:12-20
- Luke 6:17-26
Jesus Teaches and Heals
He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.
Blessings and Woes
Then he looked up at his disciples and said:
‘Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
‘Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.
‘Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
‘Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.
‘But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
‘Woe to you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.
‘Woe to you who are laughing now,
for you will mourn and weep.
‘Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.