Bible text: “Blessed are you who are poor, hungry now, weep now...woe to you who are rich, who are laughing now and when people speak well of you”.
Are materially poor people blessed? Are materially rich people unfortunate?
The first thing we should understand is that Jesus is not saying that all poor people are blessed. What He is saying is that His poor disciples are blessed. This is poverty accompanied by grace. This is being poor in worldly possessions but being rich toward God. This is forsaking an earthly treasure and laying up treasure in heaven. This type of poverty is making wise investments in eternity.
Jesus was deeply grieving because there was discrimination against the poor on the part of the rich, the same discrimination which marked the structure of the Roman Empire. Jesus criticizes the rich very hard and directly: You rich have already received consolation! You are already filled, but you are still hungry! Now you are laughing, but you will be afflicted and will weep! This is a sign that for Jesus poverty is not something fatal, nor the fruit of prejudices, but it is the fruit of unjust enrichment on the part of others.
Jesus is building a Kingdom army that is ready for struggles of this world. He is amassing a people who will not fall for the schemes of Satan. He is putting together genuine disciples who when given the choice between riches now or riches later are wise investors and hold out for real riches and don’t fall for the fake stuff Satan has.
Remember, as believers this is not our real home. Our real home is in heaven. Our citizenship is in the Kingdom of God and God’s ways are not the ways of this current fallen, cursed world.