Note: This series is written as a first-person narrative in order to present Jesus in the context he walked with the unknown disciple that narrates presenting my thoughts and sparking more thoughts with his questions. Enjoy.
Jesus sat looking at us, the 12 he had chosen and the crowd of his other followers. He is about to begin teaching.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Blessed” declares that it is well with these who behaved in that particular way. Isaiah wrote that God esteemed the one who was humble and contrite in spirit. He would revive it. It is well because the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
He’s tying it back to Isaiah again, I thought. Mourning has two meanings, over a loss and over sin. Repentance is often expressed in mourning. Jesus is reminding us that God is comforting us.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
The meek, the humble, the lowly, those who depend on the Lord rather than themselves, would inherit the earth. How?
I remembered a Psalm of David, “For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land. A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found. But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.” (Psalm 37:9-11)
No more wicked.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
Those who want and need right standing with God will get it. Isaiah promised we would be filled, “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.” (Isaiah 55:1-3)
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
The pure of heart are the only ones who can see God. Another one of David’s Psalms echoed that. How can I get a pure heart?
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
The peacemakers? I began putting it together in my head. Wasn’t God supposed to help us wage war to establish the Kingdom of God? The Romans rule over us, yet Jesus is saying the kingdom is going to the meek, the merciful, the peacemakers, and they will be called the 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.”
Isaiah said something similar but what was it…ah…”Hear the word of the Lord, you who tremble at his word: “Your own people who hate you, and exclude you because of my name, have said, ‘Let the Lord be glorified, that we may see your joy!’ Yet they will be put to shame.”
“because of my name”…” because of me…,” Jesus put himself in the place of God. How many noticed, I wondered.
“Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
We won’t be alone, in good company with the prophets for sure. Jesus continued…