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We welcome guest pastor Phil Reinders this morning. Together we'll look at these words spoken by Jesus: "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Jesus said "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." What did he mean? What are the implications for us? And do we have the courage to be people who pursue peace?
We are going to reflect on words Jesus had to say about having a pure heart. The promise is that those with a pure heart will see God. What does this mean? How does it affect us? And how can it help us take a next step in following Jesus Christ?
Blessed are.. ....the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. (5:3) ....those who mourn: for they will be comforted. (5:4) ....the meek: for they will inherit the earth. (5:5) ....those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be filled. (5:6) ....the merciful: for they will be shown mercy. (5:7) ....the pure in heart: for they will see God. (5:8) ....the peacemakers: for they will be called children of God. (5:9) ....those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (5:10)
Rooted in the book of Matthew, we will be learning together what Jesus meant when he said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled".
In his teaching, Jesus makes a series of statements about the "blessed-ness" of various groups of people, including this one: "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth". Strange? Perhaps. But let's lean in and listen to how these words might help us take our next step in following Jesus Christ.
Today we look at the second blessing in Matthew 5: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." What does Jesus mean when he says we are blessed if we mourn? Is there really good news in the midst of our grief and sorrow?
We kick off a new summer series entitled "Blessed". We will be walking through the words of Jesus during the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. In part one, we look at the statement: "Blessed are the poor in spirit,for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Throughout the Bible we are taught paradox: apparent opposites that are true as they are held in tension but become heresy if we teach only one direction: Jesus is fully God, Jesus is fully man; God is transcendent and over all, God is immanent and as close as our breath, etc. This is also true of God's promise of heaven: it is in our midst now, Jesus is preparing a place for us and will come again to take us to himself. The promise is for now and forever. This is why we have hope and can rejoice even in the midst of struggle.
Matthew 4:24-25 tells us that Jesus was surrounded by people who were afflicted and hurting: demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics, all of whom not only suffered physically but were socially estranged in their culture. Matthew 5:1 says that he left this crowd and moved up a mountain, followed by his disciples. He saw those who were outcasts of society and beside him were those who would reach out to them, welcome and heal them in his name. And Jesus said to each, "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake."