Let’s continue Jesus’ teaching on what is necessary to approach God and enter the Kingdom of Heaven. If you have not, please read the introduction to this section before reading further.
Jesus tells us, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called Sons of God.” A peacemaker is one who brings unity to those around him. Someone who cares more for that unity and peace than for his own desires. James later said, “Peacemaker’s who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” -v.3:18 This broken world is born of and fraught with division. Jesus calls for His followers to be the ones who bring it back together into unity. It’s interesting to note that this is the only beatitude that Jesus ends by saying, “you will be called Sons of God.” This is a staggering statement. Jesus was the only begotten Son of God, but here He tells us that we will be God’s sons also. A son is one that is held most dear and when of age is granted great authority to act on behalf of the Father. Just as Jesus did, He is calling us to represent the family of God on this earth.
After Jesus establishes the many ways in which His people approach the world, He warns that you will not be well received by the world. There are many who will be offended by your existence and your works. They have aligned themselves with darkness and will hate you. This is to be expected of those truly following Him. That even though you be above reproach in your words and actions, many will persecute you. The persecution we receive now is very small compared to other parts of the world, but if our country continues to grow further from God, are you prepared for more persecution? Again, he tells us we will be blessed for enduring this for Him.
(v.13-16) Jesus says, “You are the light of the world.” That is a staggering statement. Jesus is often called the Light of the world…but He is not on earth anymore. He is telling you that you are the light to those around you. You are the representation of God to those around you. You! If you do not appropriately represent the Light of God, they will forever suffer in darkness. Sorry for the heavy message, but this is what Jesus is teaching us. It’s up to you. The good news is that God is the only one who can make real change happens. So He is not asking you to go around annoying your friends with who you know God to be. He is asking you to seek after Him so fiercely that He is able to transform you so powerfully that this spills over onto those near you and changes their lives as well. This is the way of life in the Kingdom.
What do you see in these verses? Does anyone know the difference between Salt & Light in these parables? I’m sure there’s a reason Jesus gave both parables, but I don’t distinguish the two. Thanks! Please send this to anyone you think can add to these discussions.
Tomorrow we discuss how, by living according to His Kingdom, we surpass all righteousness of the Law.