Yesterday, we gave an overview of the Sermon on the Mount; today we kick off with the Beatitudes, or blessings by God. Please read yesterday’s overview before reading any further. How does one become blessed by God? Jesus shows us below. It’s important to note that Jesus had been in a large crowd. Before He began teaching, He climbed a hill and only His close disciples followed Him (v.1-2). Jesus would explain later in Ch.13:11-17, which we’ll get to soon, that spiritual understanding was not accessible for most people. That it took a special kind of person to attain these things. He begins to show us what kind of person we need to be to attain these things (we’ll only spend time on a few of the conditions He mentions that stand out to us)…
We must be “Poor in Spirit.” What do the poor do? They beg. They plead. They have given up trying to maintain dignity in order to get more (food, money, etc.) from anyone who passes by. Please don’t picture the American poor, who has less than you, but is wealthier than most the people of the world, when you read this verse. The hearers of this teaching would have thought of the poor whom they saw in the streets of the market and outside the Temple begging and pleading desperately for help. Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” He was saying that you will be blessed if you cry out to God desperately for more! The moment that you begin to feel that you have arrived…that you are now spiritually mature, is the moment you enter a spiritual swamp. You can have no more of Him with this kind of heart. God feeds the hungry. Are you hungry for what He wants to give you? Are you willing to set aside your dignity, your comfort for more of Him? If so, He will bless you in your Calling!
We must be “meek.” Jesus says, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” He means that we must consider ourselves lowly. The Pharisees of His day considered themselves masters of the Law and therefore of God’s wisdom. Jesus was teaching that those with proud hearts could not attain the Kingdom that He came to bring. These people charge around feeling important, but do this all of their own power. This builds on the “poor in spirit” admonition above because pride and arrogance can occur after some spiritual maturity. It can also come with position or experience.
Another big problem that happens is that if you are meek in the way that you conduct yourself, you might leave it for others to be the work of God. If this is you, please pray through the “poor in spirit” admonition above and stoke your hunger for God, because Jesus is telling you here that you’re exactly the type of person He wants to manifest His Kingdom reality in and through to this world. God delivers His Kingdom through His Holy Spirit to those who don’t consider themselves of more importance or more learning than others, but do seek God and therefore become his vessel to fill and pour out to others. Also, the more that you give to others, the more that He will fill your life.
Is this the condition of your heart? We’d love to hear from you. Is this what you see here? What can you add? Please add to the discussion.
We’ll continue this discussion tomorrow, please share this with a friend.