jump to navigation

The Beatitudes November 10, 2017

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
Tags: , , , ,
trackback

Here are my thoughts on Matthew 5:1-12.

Summary: In this passage, Jesus stands on the side of a mountain and begins to teach His disciples. He states that those who exhibit the following traits are actually “lucky bums”:

  • they are conscious of the fact that they lack the ability to enter the kingdom of heaven
  • they passionately lament their sins
  • they entrust themselves to God – who judges justly
  • they long to be in a right relationship with God
  • they show compassion for those in need
  • they are sincere and honest in their motives
  • they actively pursue peace
  • they are persecuted as a natural consequence of longing to be in a right relationship with God.

This stems from the fact that God will reward them abundantly.

Thoughts: This is one of the most famous Bible passages, and so I eagerly anticipated my stroll through it. I should note that at my church, our pastors recently preached through the Beatitudes. My high-level viewpoint on this passage is that it displays the contrast between short-term thinking and long-term thinking. Here, Jesus asserts that those who follow Him will naturally incur short-term losses; for example, they will be persecuted for their faith. Yet He also asserts that long-term gains will naturally follow these short-term losses. Long-term thinking is unnatural for believers, as our sinful nature drives our short-term mindset; thus, we need the assistance of the Holy Spirit – on a daily basis – in order to maintain our long-term focus on God.

In verses 10-12, Jesus asserts that those who are persecuted – for longing to be in a right relationship with Him – are actually “lucky bums.” Ryle offers some thoughts on this point:

He means those who are laughed at, mocked, despised and badly treated because they endeavor to live as true Christians. Blessed are all such! They drink of the same cup which their Master drank. They are now confessing him before men, and he will confess them before His Father and the angels on the last day.

My impression is that in this age of relativism, nonbelievers – especially the conflict-averse – readily ignore Christianity. They often make no comment on a believer’s outward acts of faith, e.g. praying before a meal or describing a church activity when asked about their weekend. Now if a nonbeliever feels uncomfortable in those situations, they may respond with some combination of anger, sarcasm, etc. As believers, we should ponder the following questions:

  • How can we tell when we have mistreated an unbeliever?
  • How can we tactfully display our faith so that if nonbelievers oppose us, our consciences are clear before God?

These are difficult questions, and we need guidance from the Holy Spirit in order to navigate the choppy waters of this age of relativism.

Advertisements

Comments»

No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: