Todays readings… 2 kings 20, Ezekiel 10, Luke 6
“REJOICE IN THAT DAY AND LEAP FOR JOY”
Today we read Luke’s abbreviated version of what is generally called the ‘sermon on the mount’ – but, as in Matthews’ Gospel, it is clear that this ‘sermon’ is not given to the multitude but to the disciples. Verse 20 of Luke ch. 6 simply says, “And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”
We meditate on how Jesus spoke in the present tense! He does not say you ‘will be in the kingdom! This kingdom is theirs now – as Jesus sees it – but he sees eternally!
True believers must live so that their names are retained in “the book of life.” In Revelation ch. 20 John, in vision, sees, “the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.” [v.12]
We remember what we read last week in 2nd Corinthians – we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” [4 v.18] Back in Luke, how inspiring is verse 23! “Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven.” We link this with the last chapter in Revelation when Jesus declares, “”Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done.” [v.22] Recompense – means reward – Jesus will give the faithful their reward when he returns to establish – God’s kingdom on earth,
Jesus promised, “”Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” [Matt 5 v.5] Let us make sure we are there to “Rejoice in that day” and that rejoicing will be so great because of the wonder of that inheritance. The ‘rich’ in this world will not be there, they will have had their reward in this life. And will not those in the days of Isaiah and Ezekiel who refused to listen to and to believe these prophets that God sent suffer the same fate. The same principle applies to today – God’s word is available for all to read – but how many fail to read – or if they read – to absorb what God’s message is really telling them. Let us make sure – by the way you and I live – day after day – that we will “Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy”