The Meaning of Luke 6:21 Explained

Luke 6:21

KJV: Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.

YLT: Happy those hungering now -- because ye shall be filled. 'Happy those weeping now -- because ye shall laugh.

Darby: Blessed ye that hunger now, for ye shall be filled. Blessed ye that weep now, for ye shall laugh.

ASV: Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.

What does Luke 6:21 Mean?

Verse Meaning

Following Jesus as His disciple also involved feeling hungry occasionally. However, Jesus promised ultimate satisfaction to those who chose discipleship. To those less fortunate, discipleship then and now sometimes involved and involves giving away some money that one might use for food. Sometimes students preparing for ministry have to live on meager rations to pay other bills associated with their commitment to study God"s Word and serve Him.
Likewise discipleship involves weeping and sorrow, but laughter will come eventually. Kingdom conditions are again in view. In one sense a disciple is to rejoice always ( 1 Thessalonians 5:16). However in another sense the sin that surrounds us, and the hardness of the hearts of people with whom we share the gospel, are constant sources of sorrow.

Context Summary

Luke 6:12-26 - New Leaders And New Principles
There are three circles here: First, Christ and His Apostles-the men who were to be sent into all the world to preach the gospel and to lay the foundations of the Church. How little did these single men imagine that one day their names would become inscribed on the foundation stones of the New Jerusalem!
The next circle is that of the disciples, Luke 6:17. You must be a disciple before you can be an apostle. You must learn, if you are to teach. You must sit at the feet of Jesus, till some day He calls you out from the class and commissions you to the world. The sheep becomes a shepherd.
The third great outer rim is the poor, needy world. What a gathering of sick folk! But if only people knew the distempers of their soul-life they would gather with equal eagerness to Jesus. How wonderful that secret touch! Luke 6:19. But many still touch Him in the press! [source]

Chapter Summary: Luke 6

1  Jesus reproves the Pharisees;
12  chooses apostles;
17  heals the diseased;
20  preaches to his disciples before the people: the beattitudes;
27  Love your Enemy
37  Do not Judge
43  A Tree and Its Fruit
46  The House on the Rock

Greek Commentary for Luke 6:21

Now [νυν]
Luke adds this adverb here and in the next sentence after “weep.” This sharpens the contrast between present sufferings and the future blessings. [source]
Filled [χορταστησεστε]
Future passive indicative. The same verb in Matthew 5:6. Originally it was used for giving fodder Audible weeping. Where Matthew 5:4 has “mourn” (πεντουντες — penthountes).Shall laugh Here Matthew 5:4 has “shall be comforted.” Luke‘s words are terse. [source]
Weep [κλαιοντες]
Audible weeping. Where Matthew 5:4 has “mourn” (πεντουντες — penthountes). [source]
Shall laugh [γελασετε]
Here Matthew 5:4 has “shall be comforted.” Luke‘s words are terse. [source]
Now []
Peculiar to Luke. [source]
Shall be filled []
See on Matthew 5:6. [source]
Weep [κλαίοντες]
Strictly, to weep audibly. See on πενθοῦντες , mourn, Matthew 5:4. [source]
Laugh [γελάσετε]
Matthew, shall be comforted. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Luke 6:21

Luke 6:25 Now [νυν]
Here twice as in Luke 6:21 in contrast with future punishment. The joys and sorrows in these two verses are turned round, measure for measure reversed. The Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) illustrate these contrasts in the present and the future. [source]
John 11:31 To weep [ἵνα κλαύσῃ]
Rev., in margin, wail. The word means loud weeping. See Matthew 2:18; Mark 5:38; and on Luke 6:21; Luke 7:32. [source]
James 4:9 Mourn [πεντησατε]
First aorist active imperative of πεντεω — pentheō old verb from πεντος — penthos (mourning, James 4:9), as in Matthew 5:4. Often in N.T. joined as here with κλαιω — klaiō to weep (Mark 16:10; Luke 6:25). A call to the godly sorrow spoken of in 2 Corinthians 7:10 (Mayor), like an O.T. prophet.Weep (κλαυσατε — klausate). First aorist active imperative of κλαιω — klaiō (γελως — gelōs). Old word from Homer down, only here in N.T. as γελαω — gelaō to laugh (opposite of κλαιω — klaiō), in N.T. only in Luke 6:21, Luke 6:25, but καταγελαω — katagelaō in Luke 8:53 (Mark 5:40; Matthew 9:24).Be turned Second aorist passive imperative of μετατρεπω — metatrepō old word, to turn about, to transmute, in Homer (not in Attic), here only in N.T.Heaviness (κατηπειαν — katēpheian). Old word from κατηπης — katēphēs (of a downcast look, from κατα — kata παη — phaē eyes), hanging down of the eyes like the publican in Luke 18:13, here only in N.T. [source]
James 4:9 Weep [κλαυσατε]
First aorist active imperative of κλαιω — klaiō Old word from Homer down, only here in N.T. as γελαω — gelaō to laugh (opposite of κλαιω — klaiō), in N.T. only in Luke 6:21, Luke 6:25, but καταγελαω — katagelaō in Luke 8:53 (Mark 5:40; Matthew 9:24). [source]
Revelation 5:4 I wept [ἔκλαιον]
Audible weeping. See on Luke 6:21. [source]

What do the individual words in Luke 6:21 mean?

Blessed [are] those hungering now for you will be filled weeping you will laugh
Μακάριοι οἱ πεινῶντες νῦν Ὅτι χορτασθήσεσθε κλαίοντες γελάσετε

Μακάριοι  Blessed  [are] 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: μακάριος  
Sense: blessed, happy.
οἱ  those 
Parse: Article, Vocative Masculine Plural
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
πεινῶντες  hungering 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Active, Vocative Masculine Plural
Root: πεινάω  
Sense: to hunger, be hungry.
νῦν  now 
Parse: Adverb
Root: νῦν  
Sense: at this time, the present, now.
χορτασθήσεσθε  you  will  be  filled 
Parse: Verb, Future Indicative Passive, 2nd Person Plural
Root: χορτάζω  
Sense: to feed with herbs, grass, hay, to fill, satisfy with food, to fatten.
κλαίοντες  weeping 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Active, Vocative Masculine Plural
Root: κλαίω  
Sense: to mourn, weep, lament.
γελάσετε  you  will  laugh 
Parse: Verb, Future Indicative Active, 2nd Person Plural
Root: γελάω  
Sense: to laugh.