The opening of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus’ own words setting up expectations for how Christians should live. So, what does it mean for us?? First thing, what is blessed?? Probably not how we read it today, which would most likely be simply “happy” or “given plenty”. In the original Greek, with original intent, the full meaning would be “life changing transformation in spirit”. When Jesus says “blessed” here, he is talking about transforming us, changing us from the inside. I might be a little off here, but he’s not just blessing us as when we sneeze!! He’s about transforming heart and spirit.
What does it mean to be poor in spirit? To mourn? Meek? To be poor in spirit means, I believe, to know that without God we are nothing. Without God, we are spiritually dead. We need to recognize this, turn to Him, allow him to take over our spirit and lives, and he will lead us to his kingdom in heaven. To mourn – maybe simply mourning our dead, but that’s simply a natural human emotion. Their fate is done either way. So, as believers we are to mourn, be sorrowful for the state of affairs of the world around us, for the world around us is turning away from their salvation daily. Meek does NOT equal weak. Meekness is simply being submitted to God, which is really our greatest possible strength. If we seek after what is right, Jesus tells us we will find it and be satisfied with our lives. In the same way we’ve never had a problem finding the wrong things, have we?? Some of these are difficult for us. To be honest, all of them are difficult. They seem simple and easy enough, but try putting them into practice!! Try being merciful. We all want to receive mercy, but having mercy on others, not so much!! Try being a peacemaker when someone else is in your grill. Try being the humble one instead showing how strong and macho you are by going into your own fight mode. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you”. Try living this one out. Try telling your boys you’re not going to meet them at the bar because it’s just not where you want to be anymore. Try being the guy who witnesses to lifelong friends who’ve known you in all you once were. Try being the one who doesn’t want to have the same Friday or Saturday night you’ve always had. Even Jesus had to experience this, remember? “And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.”” Matthew 13:57. Just know that the people most likely to persecute you as you transform and change your life are those who know you best. I guess this is part of what He meant when he said “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?”Luke 14:28 ESV.
“And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Matthew 5:2-12 ESV
Matthew 5:2-12 ESV