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Sermons about Beatitudes
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."
As followers of Christ, we mourn oppression and persecution, but we do not need to despair because we know the end of the story. Our personal sin and the sins of our world are certainly a cause for mourning. We mourn over the same things that God mourns over. Our mourning allows us to become a tool in God’s hand to provide the Good News of His salvation through Jesus Christ. We are enabled by God to provide comfort to many who are without hope. God allows us to share His comfort with others just as we have received comfort from Him. Be blessed!
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.
In this first beatitude, Jesus challenges mankind to admit their need for the fulfillment that can only exist through God’s empowerment. When we forsake our confidence in the things of this world, we are able to enter in to God’s kingdom, and He welcomes us with open arms.
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."
Jesus drew the attention crowds by His miraculous works. But that is often the extent of what people are content with – the potential for personal gain. The crowds that gathered around Jesus were hopeful for healings, food and for the Kingdom of God to empower them to overcome the bondage of Rome. Often times, even today this is the case with people. They are willing to follow whoever shows the potential for meeting material needs and desires in their lives. Jesus was offering much more than healing and food. He was offering the Kingdom of Heaven to those who would forsake their confidence in worldly gain for the hope of eternal life by following Him. As we begin the Sermon on the Mount, we will see that Jesus was not speaking to a mass audience, but rather to disciples who had left the crowd to hear Him and follow Him. Where do you stand today with Jesus? Are you looking beyond your personal needs? Have you committed to come out from the multitudes and follow Jesus as His disciple?
Peacemaking goes beyond peacekeeping or even being peaceful. Peacemaking cannot happen without an act of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the conflict. It is the work of God through us. When one truly serves as a peacemaker others will see in that person or persons a family resemblance to their heavenly Father. They will be called children of God.