Luke 6:24

ESV “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.
NIV But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.
NASB But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full.
CSB But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your comfort.
NLT 'What sorrow awaits you who are rich, for you have your only happiness now.
KJV But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.

What does Luke 6:24 mean?

In the Sermon on the Plain, Jesus gives four blessings (Luke 6:20–23). He also offers four corresponding woes: promises of coming hardships. Where Jesus promised that the poor would receive the kingdom of God, He warns that the rich have all the comfort they are ever going to experience. In Matthew, Jesus mentions something similar. Speaking of those who perform charitable deeds to attract attention, He says, "Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward" (Matthew 6:2).

This is a sobering thought. "Received" is a business term that means a transaction has been permanently finalized. Instead of the promise of the kingdom of God, which includes the Holy Spirit's presence today and paradise for eternity, those who value riches more than Jesus are experiencing the most comfort, joy, happiness, and fulfillment that they ever will. Like the rich ruler, they are blinded to the reality of eternity and cling to what they have in this life (Luke 18:18–25). The only way a person can live their "best life now" is if they are destined for an eternity separated from God (Revelation 20:11–15).

These woes have a specific context. The people mentioned here are rich, full, and happy because they are as deceptive as false prophets (Luke 6:24–26). Jesus isn't saying that no one with money can follow Him. He is not claiming that the rich can never receive forgiveness from their sins and reconciliation with God. Both Zacchaeus and Joseph of Arimathea were wealthy (Luke 19:1–10; Matthew 27:57). But those whose earthly needs and desires are filled now often find it difficult to look beyond their present circumstances to their spiritual needs (Luke 18:25). This should inspire Jesus-followers to love and forgive them (Luke 6:27–42).
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: