“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.
“Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.
I believe two things are being said here. First, if you are poor, hungry, sad, and despised, take heart! Your day is coming. You will inherit a kingdom eternal where you will be loved, filled, and delighted. Second, if you are already filled, loved, and delighted by the things of this world, this is it. It will come to an end.
So, is Jesus calling all to lives of poverty, deprivation, and persecution? I believe the key to this is in the last sentence. Everyone spoke well of the false prophets. And that’s because the false prophets always spoke well of them. They never brought correction. A favorable word could be had for a price.
Being faithful to God will set you against the main stream. It may cost you comfort, safety, and popularity. And if you’re faithful enough, you can count on it. But you can also count on a rich, joyous eternity. “Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.” Hebrews (11:35-38).