And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. 2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
As Jesus taught these lessons to the multitudes, they were amazed to hear such things. Judea was under the spiritual bondage of the Pharisees who interpreted the OT law according to their traditions and for their benefit. Jesus opens his mouth and begins to teach stuff that makes sense to the common men and women. The teachings of Christ were both radical and transformational and the people listened with great attentiveness.
In a culture where poverty was looked down on and wealth was a sign of wisdom and success, Jesus tells that the poor, the mournful, the meek, the hungry, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers and the persecuted are the blessed ones. A first-time listener who was put down their whole life because of their status would be fully engaged in this message. “Jesus just said that I am the blessed one. I always thought I was not blessed.” Try to imagine the radical nature of these words from the Savior.
Do you wish for more of this world and less of life’s troubles? Perhaps this message is for you. Wherever the Lord has put you is His place of blessing for you. Those who have much of what you want are usually not enjoying the blessing of God. Their lust for more or their need to maintain what they have can become as much of a chain as your poverty is to you. I think Jesus wanted both his audience that day and us to understand that the blessing of God comes from within, not from without. Furthermore, our cultural standing has nothing to do with our blessedness. Blessedness comes from accepting where God has put us and rejoicing in all that He has for us. Be blessed today.
I was out of town in class all last week and apologize for not getting out any devotionals. I am home now and will be keeping up with the devotionals again. It was a good week of classes for me as we studied historical theology.
During the week a few of our friends went through physical crises and have come out rejoicing in God’s protection and healing. Keep Yolanda Bramham in your prayers as she had to have brain surgery to crimp off an aneurism. I visited with her and the family Friday night and they are rejoicing in God’s protection.
We had a great day in church yesterday as we studied salvation from 1 John chapter 1. What a glorious salvation we have by God’s design.
Have a great day in the Lord,