The Beatitudes

January 29, 2017

Blessings come in so many ways.   When Jesus sat down and the disciples came to Him, He began to teach them.  He wanted to expand their vision.  Everyone feels the rich are blessed. Jesus says blessed are the poor.  Everyone feels those who eat robustly are blessed.  Jesus says blessed are the hungry.  The meek have a tough place, yet Jesus says their position is significant.  Everyone feels blessed when they are filled with joy.  Jesus says blessed are the sorrowful.

Jesus longed to teach the disciples about where to find blessings.  Blessings are not just where society says they are.  Blessings that flow from God are found in unexpected places of need.  They are found when people are hungry, poor, mourning, merciful and forgiving.  Blessings come when we rely on God.  The journey begins when we are not relying on ourselves, but rather when we are relying on our Savior.  He wants us to be in a position of need.  This need then allows us to ask, seek and long for help.  Our Savior, embracing our thirst and longing, fulfills it by His very life.  When we become dependent on God, God shines into the brokenness of our lives and transforms it.

When the disciples first heard this, they began to realize nothing would be the same and how they looked at the world would have to change.  Jesus did not expect such change to happen without His guidance or help.  Of course He was going to help.  He wanted them to connect with a kingdom and the God who would make death die forever.  He wanted them to embrace a kingdom and the God who would sacrifice His very Son to save the world.  He wanted them to find the God who would call them by name and never let them go.

This message, this Sermon on the Mount, these beatitudes, they set the tone for a Kingdom of God that will be forever.  Blessed are we when we hear the Word of God, grapple with the mystery and become totally reliant upon God.

Reverend John J. Ouper