In Luke 6:24-26, Jesus condemns people in general — and the Pharisees in particular — with four specific woes.  Here’s what he says:

But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.

Jesus is not condemning being rich, having a healthy plate for dinner, enjoying a good joke, or being commended by friends.  Contrary to popular opinion, Jesus is not a fun-sucker.

Instead, Jesus is condemning those who put their hope in those things. People who hope in riches usually don’t cheerfully donate to the homeless. People who hope in food don’t normally volunteer time at the food bank. People who get their kicks from insulting others aren’t selfless humanitarians. And people who love the praise don’t love to give credit to others when its their due.

Riches, food, humor, praise, and a thousand other things are all good. But when good things become ultimate things, they become idols. And idols will kill you.

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2 thoughts on “Woe to the Idolater

  1. Excellent thougts! The average believer isn’t even aware how quickly we can fall into idolatry. What a sad thing it is when we love the gifts more than the giver. What a sadder thing it is to put all of our hope in the things of this world.

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