You have a choice.
You can either read the reflection below or listen to me talk in the video here:
Day 4- Matthew 5:1-11
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
First things first. When we usually read this part of Matthew we often get into checklist mode. We begin to think of ways to carry out these acts and be more like this. The thing we need to remember is that all these things Jesus will say over the next few chapters are not a guide to better living, but rather a picture of what life looks like when it is centred around him. Ok let us continue on.
God is a God of blessing. This blessing is different than what we usually think of though. We usually think of wealth, luck, and health. The blessing we see here is not that though. It is a blessing that resides in a way of living, a state of being. The way of Jesus. We are not blessed because we do merciful things, but because we are merciful. They are lived out examples of what our lives in Jesus should be. We are blessed not because we do these things or these happen to us. We are blessed because we dwell in Jesus and as a result he gives us these things. We see Jesus living out these very words and as a result he is a blessing to everyone. Jesus wants us to keep eyes on him, and as we do that we will then be able to live out these words of Jesus, not because we hear them and agree, but because we will be shaped to be more like him.