“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Who knew? It’s the Gospel in a nutshell.
23 My command is a lamp and my teaching a light, and my reproofs for discipline are the way of life.
The preamble of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) begins with the above-quoted verse (5:3), which is the first of the Beatitudes. I have been reading an interesting book entitled, “A More Christlike Way,” by Bradley Jersak. On page 145, Bradley begins a study of the Sermon on the Mount, in which he states that the first half of each Beatitude is about Christ and the second half is about us becoming like Christ. Let’s try it:
- “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus became poor so that we could become rich (Corinthians 8:9). He humbled and emptied Himself for our sake so that we could inherit His kingdom (Philippians 2:6-8).
- “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Jesus mourned our loss–we lost sight of Him, His love, and we turned away from His light, His life. He then came looking for us (Luke 15:3-9) because He had compassion on us (Matthew 9:36).
- “Blessed are the gentle (meek), for they shall inherit the earth.” Jesus was meek and gentle with us (Matthew 11:29) because He loves us (John 13:34). Because of His gentle spirit, we are part of the process of gaining the whole earth as prophesied by Daniel (Daniel 2:44).
And so they go. Bradley goes on to say that the Sermon on the Mount is designed to show us what walking in the Spirit looks like. Jesus paved the way and then gave us His Spirit (which is actually Him) to teach us, show us, and empower us to walk the Jesus Way.
More on the Sermon on the Mount tomorrow.
Abba, thank You for Jesus’ notes on godly living. Thank You for the desire and the power to do Your will and live like Jesus (Philippians 2:13). May today be a day of celebration as we continue on the Jesus Way. Amen.