Jesus reminds His apostles just before His crucifixion that in being His disciples they do not belong to the world, though they will live in it (Jn 15:19). Later, the apostle John would write to the church and remind them that those who are from the world speak the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them, as well (1 Jn 4:5).

The world values, pursues, and commends riches, plenty (well fed), and laughter (fun/pleasure). This is how it views success. If you are rich, lack nothing, and have a lot of fun then you have found your purpose in life. Life, then, is a journey of pursuing whatever makes you happy.

While God understands our hearts and gives all men things in this life to fill their lives and hearts with gladness (Acts 14:17), the nature of His kingdom is spiritual. It is beyond this world and its pleasures.


20 Looking at his disciples, he said:

Blessed are you who are poor,

for yours is the kingdom of God.

21    Blessed are you who hunger now,

for you will be satisfied.

Blessed are you who weep now,

for you will laugh.

22    Blessed are you when men hate you,

when they exclude you and insult you

and reject your name as evil,

because of the Son of Man.

23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.

24    “But woe to you who are rich,

for you have already received your comfort.

25    Woe to you who are well fed now,

for you will go hungry.

Woe to you who laugh now,

for you will mourn and weep.

26    Woe to you when all men speak well of you,

for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets (Lk 7:20-26).


The kingdom of God calls men to lives of faith and humility. These result in rewards that cannot be found in this world, because they are above and beyond it. The kingdom (belonging to Christ) cannot be judged by the viewpoint of this world. The nature of the kingdom is counter-cultural to our world, because its purposes and rewards are beyond this world; they are spiritual. Do not fall prey to the devil’s schemes and judge the value of faith in Christ by what the world values. Just two pages over in Luke 8:18, Jesus would warn His disciples to consider carefully how they hear the message about the kingdom. We would do well to heed His warning.



Jay Don