Topic: Luke's Perspective of Jesus: Ch. 6 Study Notes
Luke 6:25 (1)
by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 5 Study # 7 November 11, 2007 Lincolnton, NC
25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
1901 ASV Translation:
25 Woe unto you, ye that are full now! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you, ye that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
I. What is Wrong With Being "Full"?
A. Jesus' second "Woe" is reserved for those whom He describes as "full now".
1. In our consideration of Jesus' second "Blessed are you...", we saw that Jesus aimed at those whom He described as "hungry". It was our conclusion that He could not have meant those who were "without physical food". There is no teaching in the Bible anywhere that says that those who lack food are, by that, qualified for "blessedness". The wicked are often "without food" because of their own wickedness and the fact that they are "hungry" does not qualify them for "blessedness". Thus, we looked for a "bottom line" that fits Jesus' statement of "blessing". We found it: it was the issue of being hungry for the actual expression of righteousness in life coupled to the issue of possibly being without food because the quest for righteousness did not allow the one in the quest to eat. The classic example was Jesus in the wilderness refusing to turn stones into bread because He knew that practical righteousness did not allow such behavior.
2. Therefore we must bring these facts into our understanding of Jesus' pronouncement of "Woe" upon those who are "full". It is no sin to be full of food. The "sin" is in another area. But, that "other area" is clearly linked to "being full of food" because Jesus would not have used this metaphor if there were no link. It is highly likely that the "sin" is in the area of the "spirit". In that realm, the issue is "what is being done" (the spirit/Spirit has always been about "activity"). A person who is "full" in the sense that he feels no inadequacy to his "doings" is self-deceived, filled with pride, and subject to Jesus' "Woe". It is highly likely, also, that people who wish to ignore their inadequacies often turn to food to dull the perception of their weakness. The physiological fact is that "fullness" of food tends to silence the mind; the blood rushes to the digestive tract to take care of the food and leaves the brain in a low provision mode. The "their god is their belly" accusation of the apostle (Philippians 3:19) is preceded by "whose end is destruction". This means that those are "blessed" who legitimately deal with their failures and those are "cursed" who refuse to do so.
3. The "woe" is rooted in the declaration that "ye shall hunger". The implication is that the "hunger" will never be satisfied. And, as in the argument above, the "hunger" will be created by the reality that there is no righteousness present. In Hell, there is no lovingkindness. If there is interpersonal relating, it will be maxed-out unrighteousness. If there is total loneliness, the experience will be only of judgment due. There is little description of the conditions in Hell beyond the large boundaries of weeping, gnashing of teeth, and fiery torment. The "woe" does, however, significantly imply a desperate longing that goes begging...forever.