The Gospel of Luke ~ Chapter 6:14-23 ~ The Apostles of Jesus Christ (cont.) ~ The Apostles Code ~ The Great Sermon on the Plain (Blessings and Woes / Warnings – The Beatitudes and Anti-Beatitudes)

Vol. 18, No. 33 –  September 8, 2019

9 8 19 pic mainThe Gospel of Luke
Chapter 6

IV. The Associates of His Ministry, Luke 6:12-49, (Continued).

1. The call of the disciples, Luke 6:12-16.

2. The characteristics of disciples, (The Great Sermon), Luke 6:17-49.

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1. The Call and Election of the Disciples, Luke 6:12-16.

In vs. 14-16, we have been noting the call and election of the 12 Apostles during Jesus’ ministry here on earth. We have previously noted the first 8, we now conclude with the final 4.

Luke 6:14-16, “Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James and John; and Philip and Bartholomew; 15and Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot; 16Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.”

James son of Alphaeus

His name means supplants, undermines, heal = sin. Alphaeus means, “changing.” He is also known as “James the Lesser,” compared to the James we noted above who was John’s older, that James is also known as “James the Greater.” A better translation is James the Little, as the Greek HO MIKROS means, “small or little,” cf. Mark 15:40. MIKROS can be used to describe the diminutive height, Luke 19:3, age, Mat 18:6, 10, 14, or influence, Mat 10:42; Mark 9:42; Luke 17:2 of people. Any of these might be why Mark added the Adjective. Unger notes: “James the Lesser, (“the little”), was given that title either because he was younger than James the son of Zebedee or on account of his short stature.”

Like James the greater, the English translation of James in the Greek is IAKOBOS from IAKOB or Jacob, which means “supplanter.” The Hebrew equivalent is YAAQOB.

This James is the son of Alphaeus, Mat 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13, meaning “son of changing.”  We also note that it is thought that his father was also known as Clopas or Cleophas (KJV) meaning, “my exchanges,” from the Hebrew CHELEPH meaning “exchange,” John 19:25. In addition, Alphaeus is of Hebrew origin from CHELEPH, which was also a city in the Naphtali region of Israel. All of this is interesting when we put the “Apostle Code” together at the end.

This James is also mentioned to identify one of the Mary’s at the Cross of our Lord, Mark 15:40;  Mat 27:56, and the resurrection, Mark 16:1; Luke 24:10, so that we would understand that that Mary was not our Lord’s mother.

Many times he is confused with our Lord’s half-brother James, as our Lord had four brothers noted in Scripture, Mark 6:3; 15:40, 47, and His brother James was the head of the Jerusalem church and wrote the book of James.

Mark 6:3, “‘Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James, and Joses, and Judas, and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?’ And they took offense at Him.”

Even though James the lesser also had a brother named Joses or Joseph, Mat 27:56, that is most likely a coincidence and not an indication that James the lesser is the Lord’s half-brother.

Another perplexing aspect of this James is that Matthew (Levi) is also a son of Alphaeus, Mat 9:9; Mark 2:14, as we noted above. Therefore it is possible, but not probable, that he and James were brothers.

In addition, there is evidence in apocryphal literature of a Simon who was a son of Clopas who was also one of the disciples. If this be the same as Simon Zelotes, it would explain why he and James, (assuming them to be brothers), were coupled together in the apostolic lists of Luke and Acts. Again we have no conclusive evidence of this.

9 8 19 pic 1Other than his name, we know nothing about him from Scriptures. Some say he was a tax collector, but this is not verified. Fox’s book of Martyrs states about him, “He is supposed by some to have been the brother of our Lord, by a former wife of Joseph. This is very doubtful, and accords too much with the Catholic superstition, that Mary never had any other children except our Savior.”

Fox’s Book of Martyrs, also states regarding his martyrdom that at the age of ninety-four he was beat and stoned by the Jews and finally had his brains bashed out with a fuller’s club. Others also say he was martyred by crucifixion at Ostrakine in lower Egypt, where he was preaching the Gospel.

Simon the Zealot (Canaanite).

Like Simon-Peter, “Simon” means, “rock or stone.” This Simon also has two descriptive titles in the Greek, even though the NASB calls him Simon the Zealot in all four lists of the apostles with footnotes in Matthew and Mark.

1. He was called “Simon the Canaanite,” by Matthew and Mark, Mat 10:4; Mark 3:18, utilizing the Greek word KANANAIOS or Cananaean which means, “the jealous or zealous one” and comes from the Hebrew QANNA that means the same. It is not in any way related to the geographical terms Cana or Canaan.

2. He was called “Simon the Zealot,” by Luke, Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13, utilizing the Greek word ZELOTES that means, “hears, harkens, obeys, one burning with zeal, a zealot.” The root word for jealous or zealous is ZEO meaning, “to boil or be hot.”

Therefore, Matthew and Mark use the Hebrew origin while Luke used the Greek origin.

As we noted under “James the lesser,” there is evidence in apocryphal literature of a Simon, a son of Clopas, who was also one of the disciples. If this be the same as Simon Zelotes, it would explain why he and James, (assuming them to be brothers), were coupled together in the apostolic lists of Luke and Acts. Again, we have no conclusive evidence of this.

According to the “Gospel of the Ebionites” or “Gospel of the Twelve Apostles,” of the 2nd century and mentioned by Origen, Simon received his call to the apostleship along with Andrew and Peter, the sons of Zebedee, Thaddaeus and Judas Iscariot at the Sea of Tiberias, cf. Mat 4:18-22; see also Hennecke, Neutestamentliche Apokryphen, 24-27).

Other than his titles, this second Simon is as obscure as the first is celebrated. He is not mentioned in the Gospel history, except in the catalogues. In Luke’s gospel, we have the most understanding of his background, “Simon who was called the Zealot,” meaning it was like a nickname because of how he operated.

The title “Canaanite” has political rather than geographical significance. It was the name of a Jewish sect. This group was also referred to in the Greek by ZELOTES. So, we understand that previous to his call of apostleship, this Simon had been a member of the fanatical sect of the Zealots that was a blend of nationalists and Pharisees.

From the time of the Maccabees there existed among the Jews one or more parties who professed great zeal for the observance of the “law.” According to Josephus (BJ, IV, iii, 9; v, 1; VII, viii, 1) they resorted to violence and assassination in their hatred of the foreigner. It is not improbable that the “Assassins” of Acts 21:38, were identical, or at least closely associated, with this body of “Zealots.” Some say the Zealots were conspicuous for their fierce advocacy of the Mosaic ritual. They strongly desired the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecy and were zealous to usher it in by means of the sword if necessary. This group under the approval of the Pharisees, took to punish without trial on those who were guilty of violating Jewish practices, especially Jews who married foreigners, under which pretext they themselves committed the greatest excesses of crime. It was a blessing to Simon to accept the Lord, because their leader Judas of Galilee and those who followed him all perished or were scattered, Act 5:37.

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We do not know anything of this apostle after the resurrection of our Lord. Yet, we see through this Simon, another individual who could reach out to a specific group of people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ that otherwise could not be reached.

Fox’s Book of Martyrs may have some insight where it states, “Surnamed Zelotes, preached the Gospel in Mauritania, Africa, and even in Britain, in which latter country he was crucified, A.D. 74.” It says he visited Britain, possibly Glastonbury, and was martyred by crucifixion in modern-day Lincolnshire. But this is not supported. Other writings claim various scenarios for his martyrdom such as Christian Ethiopians who claim that he was crucified in Samaria, or Justus Lipsius who writes that he was sawn in half at Suanir, Persia. However, Moses of Chorene writes that he was martyred at Weriosphora in Caucasian Iberia. Tradition also claims he died peacefully at Edessa.

Judas son of James, a.k.a., Thaddaeus.

Judas means, “praise the Lord,” and son of James means, “son of supplanter.” Judas is the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew personal name Judah meaning, “Praise Yahweh.” In Matthew and Mark’s list, he is called Thaddaeus that means, “gift of God,” derived from Hebrew or Aramaic meaning, “breast.”

In Mat 10:3, the KJV adds, “Lebbaeus whose surname was” Thaddaeus, but that is not found in the most reliable ancient texts. Lebbaeus means, “large heart, a man of heart, or courageous,” similar to the Hebrew for Thadddaeus.

Interestingly, in John 14:22, he is called, “Judas not Iscariot.” Iscariot means, “men of the city” from the Hebrew ISH = man and QIRYAH = city. So, “Judas not Iscariot” would mean, “Praise Yahweh but not from the men of the city.”

The name by which Luke calls the Apostle, “Judas of James,” in Luke 6:16; Acts 1:13, is somewhat ambiguous as to the relationship of Jude to this James. Such a construction usually connotes a relationship of father and son, but the KJV has interpreted it as “brother,” trying to connect James the son of Alphaeus and Thaddaeus, (who he follows in the Matthew and Mark lists), together as brothers.

Like James the Lesser and Simon the Zealot, the use of Judas has led many to confuse him with the half-brother of our Lord.

Again, not much is known about this apostle. What is said seems to be confusing him with either a Thaddaeus of Edessa or Jude the Lord’s half-brother. All we have of him other than the list is in John 14:22, as the last of the four questioners, (Peter, Thomas, Philip, and Judas not Iscariot), of our Lord in John 13:36-14:23.

John 14:22, “Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, ‘Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us, and not to the world?’” He was perplexed at our Lord’s statements in vs. 1-21, but specifically vs. 19. Having been in a very public ministry for three and a half years, he now understood the Lord to be saying, “I am going to disclose myself to you all only, and not to the world.” He too did not understand the Lord’s statements in regards to His death, resurrection, and ascension, as well as the sending of the Holy Spirit. His understanding of our Lord to be removing himself from the public eye and going into recluse, gave our Lord the opportunity to expand on the relationship of the believer with the Lord during the Church Age by means of the Word and the Holy Spirit in vs. 23-31. 

Extra biblically, it is said that Saint Gregory the Illuminator is credited as the “Apostle to the Armenians,” when he baptized King Tiridates III of Armenia in 301, converting the Armenians, yet it is the Apostles Thaddaeus, Jude, and Bartholomew who are traditionally believed to have been the first to bring Christianity to Armenia, and are therefore venerated as the patron saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Linked to this tradition is the Thaddeus Monastery.

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He may have preached in Judea, Samaria, Idumaea, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Libya, or in Assyria and Persia. He is also said to have visited Beirut and Edessa, though the latter mission is also identified with Thaddeus of Edessa, one of the Seventy. Finally, a “Gospel of Thaddaeus” is mentioned in the Decree of Gelasius.

Fox’s Book of Martyrs says he was crucified at Edessa, A.D. 72. According to the Armenian tradition, Thaddaues/Jude suffered martyrdom about AD 65 in Beirut, Lebanon together with the apostle Simon the Zealot, with whom he is usually connected. Occasionally, he is represented holding an axe or halberd, as he was brought to death by one of these weapons. Their acts and martyrdom were recorded in an Acts of Simon and Jude.


Judas Iscariot

Judas means, “the praise of the Lord, confession.” Iscariot means, “men of Kerioth” that means, “men of cities, the world.” In John 6:71; 13:2, 26, he is called the “son of Simon Iscariot,” therefore his surname was Iscariot.

All of the Gospels place him at the end of the list of disciples because of his role as betrayer. He was an unbeliever from the beginning and remained that way until his self-inflicted death, Mat 27:5, Acts 1:16-20. Jesus knew that when He called and elected him to be one of the original 12, John 6:64, “‘But there are some of you who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.” Wow, notice that there were more unbelievers than just Judas Iscariot of the many disciples that initially followed Him, cf. John 6:60, 64. Nevertheless, Judas Iscariot was the one who betrayed Him at the Last Supper.

He was also called by Jesus in His high priestly prayer, the “son of perdition,” John 17:12, “While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, (i.e., son of destruction – the Lake of Fire), so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.” The anti-Christ is called the same in 2 Thes 2:3; both are possessed by Satan, cf. John 13:27.

Because of his unbelief, not his actions, the Bible says in Acts 1:25, “he went to his own place.” It is our firm belief that Judas went to Hades because that is where all unbelievers go and will be thrown into the Eternal Lake of Fire with all other unbelievers at the Great White Throne Judgment seat of our Lord Jesus Christ, Rev 20:11-15. His own place either means in contrast to the other 11 Apostles he went to Hades or he went to a unique place in Hades with greater suffering, Mark 12:40; Luke 20:47. The Lord said in Mat 26:24-25, “It would have been better if Judas had not even been born.”

Just because someone performs miracles in Jesus’ name does not make them saved, cf. Mark 9:38, “John said to Him, ‘Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us’.Cf. Mat 7:20-23.

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As you know, Judas was also given the trusted position of treasurer, John 12:6, 13:29, and was present at the Last Supper, John 13:26. In grace, Jesus and the Father gave Judas every opportunity for salvation, but Judas, by his own volition, chose not to accept Jesus as His Savior, which lead him to betray Jesus, Luke 22:6.


9 8 19 pic 5He allowed himself to fall under demonic influence, John 13:2, so much so that he allowed Satan’s possession during the betrayal, Luke 22:3; John 13:27. He protested the honoring of the Lord with perfume, John 12:3-9, was covetous, and a thief, John 12:4-6. He was a bad influence on the rest of the disciples, Mat 26:7-13, leading them to malign Mary of Bethany, John 12:3, for anointing Jesus. He also came up with the idea to “kiss” the Lord, thereby identifying Him, all by himself, Mat 26:47-48, John 18:3; Luke 22:48. His fruits showed who he was.

Psa 41:9, “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.”

Therefore Jesus called him a “devil,” John 6:70-71, “Jesus answered them, ‘Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?’ 71Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.”

That ends our review of the Apostles of Jesus Christ during His ministry here on earth. Now, given that each name has a further meaning, I have put together what I call the “Apostle Code,” that tells us the story of Jesus and our redemption in Him. Luke’s code is as follows, the other Gospel lists and their code can be found on our website under the Doctrine of Apostles.

Simon Peter, Rock / Stone.

Andrew – A Strong Man, manly.

James the son of Zebedee, brother of John – James means supplants, undermines, or the heel = Satan, sin.
Zebedee = My Gift or God has bestowed, endowment of Jehovah.

John – The grace or mercy of the Lord; Jehovah or Yahweh is or has been gracious.

Philip – Lover of horses, Warrior.

Bartholomew – Son of a plowman (Adam tills the ground).

Matthew, the Tax collector – The gift of Yahweh or Jehovah or Gift of God.

Thomas – Twin (like Adam).

James son of Alphaeus – supplants, undermines. Alphaeus = changing.

Simon the Zealot (Canaanite) – Simon means a rock or stone. Zealot means that hears, harkens, obeys [zealous]

Judas son of James – Praise the Lord, son of supplanter. Judas is the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew personal name Judah meaning, “Praise Yahweh.”

   Thaddaeus – gift of God.
Labbaeus – large heart, a man of heart, courageous.

Judas Iscariot – the praise of the Lord, confession. Iscariot = men of Kerioth = men of cities, the world.

The Apostle Code – Luke

Jesus Christ – The rock, the corner stone (of our faith), being all-powerful (in hypostatic union), the one who has supplanted sin. He is the gift of the grace and mercy of the Lord, the warrior on horseback [Rev 19:11] (who won the strategic victory of the Angelic Conflict) by becoming the curse (sin) for man [Gen 3:17ff], the gift of God who came in the likeness of Adam [Rom 5:12-17], supplanting our sinful flesh by changing (becoming a man). The corner stone for all who hear and obey, (confess the name of the Lord). Praise God for His Son the substitution. Praise the Lord you men of the world.

IV. The Associates of His Ministry, Luke 6:12-49.

2. The characteristics of disciples, (The Great Sermon), Luke 6:17-49.

After our Lord called and elected the 12 Apostles for His ministry here on earth, He then came down from the mountain and addressed those that had come to hear Him from many regions around Israel. The address He gave is called the “Sermon on the Plain,” (from the Greek in vs. 17, PEDINOS, “level, flat, or plain”), or the “Great Sermon.” It is very similar to but shorter than the Sermon on the Mount that is recorded in Matthew’s gospel, Mat 5-7. This is the first Preaching/Sermon of Jesus to occur in the Gospel of Luke. It contains blessings and woes, Jesus’ love commands, the need to inculcate nonjudgmental attitude towards others, sharing of possessions, etc.

In vs. 17, the traditional site of this sermon is the Horns of Hattin that are twin peaks by the road between Tiberias and Nazareth. Another possible site could be a hill near Tabgha, 3 miles south of Capernaum at the edge of the Plain of Gennesaret. Given the areas this great crowd came from, it implies it was an audience of both Jews and Gentiles.

We can outline this sermon as follows:

a. Vs. 20-26, Blessings and Woes / Warnings – The beatitudes and anti-beatitudes.

b. Vs. 27-36, Principles of Loving.

c. Vs. 37-45, Principles of Forgiving.

d. Vs. 46-49, Principles of Obeying

In vs. 18, we have similar words that we have noted previously regarding those coming to “hear,” AKOUO, Jesus’ teachings and be “healed,” IAOMAI, Luke 5:17, from their “diseases,” NOSOS, Luke 4:40. Here, we also see for the first time “troubled” by “unclean spirits.” “Troubled,” is the Present, Middle, Participle of the Verb ENOCHLEO, ἐνοχλέω that means, “annoy, harass, disturb, or trouble.” It is only used here and in Hebrews 12:15. It is used to describe mental or emotional turmoil. In this case, it is harassment by “unclean,” AKATHARTOS, “spirits,” PNEUMA, that cause mental anguish. We know these to be evil spirits or demons, i.e., fallen angels. This may indicate demonic possession or just demonic influence, the former is more likely. Luke also notes they “were being cured,” THERAPEUO, θεραπεύω, “served, cared for, or healed,” cf. Luke 4:23, 40; 5:15; 6:7.

In vs. 19, we see that the peoples’ excitement, along with their impatience, was getting the better of them, as they “were trying,” ZETEO, to “touch Him,” HAPTO AUTOS, as the “power,” DUNAMIS, of God was going out from Him to “heal all,” IAOMAI, once again with PAS. This crowd realized that simply touching Jesus would restore their bodies. This is like the woman who had been hemorrhaging for 12 years that we will note in Luke 8:43-48.

Interestingly, I am sure not all of these people were believers or even later became believers, yet the grace and love of God, the compassion of Jesus, healed them all. This is an image of the Cross of Jesus Christ that is available for the healing of all people from their sins. The teaching which follows outlines the principles of living inside the Kingdom of God.

a. Vs. 20-26, Blessings and Woes or Warnings, Luke’s Beatitudes and Anti-Beatitudes.

In Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount, we have 9 blessings or Beatitudes, Mat 5:3-12:

1) Vs. 3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

2) Vs. 4, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

3) Vs. 5, “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.”

4) Vs. 6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

 5) Vs. 7, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”

6) Vs. 8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

7) Vs. 9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

8) Vs. 10, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

9) Vs. 11-12, “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

In Luke 6:20-23, we have 4 Blessings or Beatitudes:

“Blessed,” is the Greek noun MAKARIOS that means, “blessed, fortunate, or happy.” All three definitions are in view. It is a condition of God’s gracious blessings that results in receiving something from God, i.e., being fortunate to receive them, which results in an emotional state of being happy on the inside with the outward expression of rejoicing.

1) Vs. 20b, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” This correlates to Matthew’s 1st in vs. 3. Matthew adds “spirit” for the object of this poorness and while Matthew uses “kingdom of heaven,” Luke uses “kingdom of God.” Both use the Adjective PTOCHOS for “poor,” meaning, “poor, oppressed, destitute, pitiful, or beggarly.” Given Matthew’s context of the spiritual life, these are people who recognize they are destitute of a spiritual life because of their sin and recognize they need a Savior.

Those who realize their total depravity and need for a Savior, and accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, will be entered into the kingdom of heaven / God and have an internal inheritance. It tells us that happiness, (the +H of God), comes to those who realize their total depravity and need for a Savior.

“For yours is the kingdom of God,” tells us that the “poor in spirit” are enriched with the fullness of Christ, the full enjoyment of an already possessed inheritance, which inheritance is fully waiting for them in the eternal state, but of which much can be enjoyed now as they live the unique spiritual life, the new resurrection life, of the Church Age.

2) Vs. 21a, “Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied.” This correlates to Matthew’s 4th in vs. 6.

Hunger” is the Present, Active, Participle in the Nominative case of the Verb PEINAO, πεινάω that means, “to hunger or be hungry.” It is also used in Mat 5:6, but Matthew adds the context of, “and thirsts for righteousness.” It signifies the strong desire for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Word to become Christ-like.

PEINAO means, “to long for something which is necessary for the sustenance of life.” In this case, the sustenance for spiritual life is Christ Jesus. Since the first beatitude was to recognize our spiritual depravity, being poor in spirit, this second beatitude is the continued recognition that you are lacking a spiritual life, coupled with knowing of your lack to gain it by yourself.

Those who recognize they are lacking a spiritual life and because they have no Divine righteousness in them and turn to the only One that can provide it, i.e., Jesus Christ, they will receive the blessing of God of being “satisfied,” the Future, Passive, Indicative of the Verb CHORTAZO, χορτάζω that means, “satisfy, satiate hunger, fill.” Both Matthew and Luke use this word. In other words, we will be filled up with Christ and His righteousness. The hunger we had to live a spiritual life will be made more than abundant for us, so much so, we will be satisfied, content, fulfilled, pleased, and gratified.

Psa 17:15, “As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness; I will be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake.”

The one who is hungry finds all of his actions motivated by his hunger. Jesus said He himself is that Bread of Life who appeases the gnawing spiritual hunger of humanity. A person who comes to Christ for spiritual satisfaction will never experience the pangs of this kind of “hunger” again, John 6:35.

John 6:35, “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst’.”

3) Vs. 21b, “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.” This somewhat correlates to Matthew’s 2nd in vs. 4.

Weep” is the Verb KLAIO that means, “weep, mourn, lament, cry, or show emotion.” In Matthew’s, “mourn,” is the Verb PENTHEŌ, πενθέω that means, “be sad, lament, grieve, mourn.” These two words are closely associated as noted in Mark 16:10; James 4:9; Rev 18:11, 15, 19. They both have to do with crying or lamenting over the dead, yet this is also a picture of repentance. Therefore, this is the person who understands their spiritual death and changes their attitude about the Christ.

Then we see that happiness comes to those who know they are a sinner and have received Christ for salvation. For those who recognize their spiritual death and receive Christ as Savior, they “will laugh,” the Future, Active, Indicative of the Verb GELAO. It is only used here and in vs. 25. Therefore, those who lament the fact that they are spiritually dead and receive Jesus as their Savior will inherit the Kingdom God and have great joy both now and in the eternal state. This joy will be expressed outwardly in great laughter as they rejoice in their Savior.

Matthew says they will be “comforted,” which is the Future, Passive, Indicative of the Verb PARAKALEO, παρακαλέω that means, “exhorted and encouraged.” Luke tells us the results of this encouragement, which is laughter. It speaks to the peace and contentment we experience while on earth with the promise of ultimate joy in the eternal state, Rev 21:4. It speaks to the inward satisfaction of knowing we are saved that results in the outward expression of rejoicing with laughter.

4) Vs. 22, “Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. 23Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.” This correlates to Matthew’s 8th and 9th in vs. 10-12.

In Luke, there are four evils that are done against the believer, “for the sake of the Son of Man.” They are:

a) Hated: MISEO, “hate, detest, abhor, or prefer against.” It means, to dislike intensely, often in a way that evokes feelings of anger, hostility, or animosity; a strong aversion with a feeling of intense hostility towards you. It means, malicious feelings toward you. Cf. John 7:7; 15:18; 17:14; 1 John 3:13.

b) Ostracized: APHORIZO, “set apart, exclude, to separate from, or to excommunicate.” It means, to banish or exclude you from society or a particular group, either formally or informally. This is when people do not include you in certain events or discussions because of their dislike towards you.

c) Insulted: ONEIDIZO, “to scold, reproach, or revile.” It means, to say or do something rude or insensitive that offends you or suggests a low opinion of you.

d) Your name scorned as evil: EKBALLO, “to cast out, drive out, or send out,” with PONERIOS, “evil, bad, wicked,” regarding, “your name,” ONOMA. Scorn means a strong feeling of contempt or disdain toward you. “Your name” adds the fact that they will treat you with contempt and run you down verbally with gossiping and maligning.

John 15:18, “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.”

Matthew begins with a general statement of “persecution,” in vs. 10, (DIOKO, to pursue, follow after, press, or persecute), and then gives four types of persecutions:

a) Insults: ONEIDIZO, ὀνειδίζω that means, “to scold, reproach, or revile.”

b) Persecuted: DIOKO once again, probably with the sense of to drive you out or drive you away from their presence, much like ostracize above, cf. Mat 23:34.

c) Speaking all kinds of evil against you: EIPON, “speaking,” PONEROS, “painful, serious, grievous, bad, wicked, evil, depraved” things about you.

d) Telling lies: PSEUDOMAI, “lying and deceiving” others about you or things you have done, mostly to denigrate your relationship with God and Jesus Christ.

As Luke tells us, all of these are the result of having a relationship with Jesus Christ, “for the sake of the Son of Man.” Matthew first says, “for the sake of righteousness,” in vs. 10, and then “because of Me,” in vs. 11. This reminds us that we are behind enemy lines as Royal Priests and Royal Ambassadors for Jesus Christ. It reminds us that our enemy is Satan and his fallen angels as we live inside the Angelic Conflict and that Satan will use people to attack / persecute us in regard to our relationship with Jesus in various ways.

Eph 6:11-12, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

These are all forms of persecution first mentally then verbally that leads to physical persecution. It is part of our undeserved suffering that is suffering for blessing as noted in vs. 23.

As a result of underserved suffering, our attitude should be twofold:

1. Be glad in that day: CHAIRO, “rejoice, be glad, welcome it, greet it.” In other words, do not be disheartened when people run you down, but rather embrace it, receive it with joy when it occurs, knowing that you are being persecuted on account of your relationship with Jesus Christ and that you have the enemy quite concerned about your positive impact here on earth. Also remember, they are not criticizing you but our Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, CHAIRO is related to CHARIS, “grace,” therefore we are to rejoice at the grace of God in our lives and take pleasure that the enemy sees us as a threat.

2. Leap for joy: This is one word in the Greek, the Verb SKIRTAO that means, “leap, jump joyously, and gambol.” It is only used by Luke here and previously in Luke 1:41, 44, regarding the babe in womb of Elizabeth, who would be John the Baptist, who leaped in her womb as an extension of her joy when she heard the news of her cousin Mary conceiving the Messiah by means of the Holy Spirit. This is the outward celebration of the inward joy within our souls, cf. Malachi 4. Therefore, combined we should have inward joy, peace, and happiness along with the outward expression of that joy in our lives; rejoicing!

Matthew simply states: Mat 5:12a, “Rejoice (CHAIRO) and be glad (AGALLIAO, “rejoice, be overjoyed, exult”).

Then we are given two reasons for our rejoicing:

1. Your reward is great in heaven: This speaks of our eternal inheritance and the rewards received at the BEMA seat of Jesus Christ in 1 Cor 3:10-15; Rev 2-3. This is our eschatological rationale: knowing we will be rewarded in the heavenly places.

2. In the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets: This speaks to the “seen it before,” rationale, our 20/20 hindsight rationale: knowing that there is nothing new under the sun, and if they so persecuted those positive believers who have come before us, they will persecute the positive believer in our day as well.

Matthew states: Mat 5:12b, “… for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Therefore, happiness comes to the believer who is faithful while under pressure. This is a reminder of the eternal reward and bliss we have already been promised.

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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:

#19-090 & 19-091 & 19-092

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If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.

Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life.

So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:

“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”

If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!

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