Luke takes a different approach to the “Beatitudes” from Matthew. I continue to meditate on those differences.
N.T. Wright offers this:
It’s an upside-down code, or perhaps (Jesus might have said) a right-way-up code instead of the upside-down ones people had been following. God is doing something quite new: as Jesus had emphasized in the synagogue at Nazareth, in chapter 4, he is fulfilling his promises at last, and this will mean good news for all the people who haven’t had any for a long time. The poor, the hungry, those who weep, those who are hated: blessings on them! Not that there’s anything virtuous about being poor or hungry in itself. But when injustice is reigning, the world will have to be turned once more the right way up for God’s justice and kingdom to come to birth. And that will provoke opposition from people who like things the way they are. Jesus’ message of promise and warning, of blessing and curse, rang with echoes of the Hebrew prophets of old, and he knew that the reaction would be the same.
Wright, T. (2004). Luke for Everyone (p. 71). London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
The Kingdom of God comes into this world. A world that things everything is “right side up” so when the Kingdom comes it looks “upside down.” What those who follow Jesus learn is this: the world’s been the “upside down” kingdom. Jesus has flipped it around.
He has come to bless the poor. He has come to bless the hungry. He has come to lift up the downtrodden. He has come to warn the powerful that they have abused that privilege. It isn’t time for power manipulation any more. It is time for the love of the Kingdom of God to rule and reign.
Welcome to the “upside down” kingdom of God.