SCRIPTURE FOR THIS SUNDAY: Matthew 5: 1-12                               

 (I’ll be using The Living Bible (TLB) translation.)

1-2 One day as the crowds were gathering, he went up the hillside with his disciples and sat down and taught them there.

“Humble men are very fortunate!” he told them, “for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them. Those who mourn are fortunate! For they shall be comforted. The meek and lowly are fortunate! For the whole wide world belongs to them.

“Happy are those who long to be just and good, for they shall be completely satisfied. Happy are the kind and merciful, for they shall be shown mercy. Happy are those whose hearts are pure, for they shall see God. Happy are those who strive for peace—they shall be called the sons of God. 10 Happy are those who are persecuted because they are good, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

11 “When you are reviled and persecuted and lied about because you are my followers—wonderful! 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a tremendous reward awaits you up in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted too.

Pastor Bob’s Reflections:

            This passage (Matthew 5: 1-12) is commonly referred to “The Beatitudes,” which can be defined as “supreme blessedness.” There are 8 Beatitudes that Jesus teaches his audience. The Beatitudes are also the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount by Jesus, which some call Jesus’ manifesto for life in the Kingdom of God. So, YES, this is important to understand for strengthening your personal relationship with Jesus.

This Sunday we will be learning more about these perplexing statements of Jesus, and why it’s those who would be least likely to be blessed, by worldly terms, that Jesus is speaking directly to. These 8 Beatitudes are both encouraging and challenging for us. And the biggest challenge for many of us is to come to know the true character of God through Jesus and these 8 Beatitudes.

Jesus has come to teach us that the “truth” of God is not about judgment or punishment or hell. Rather, Jesus introduces us to a “new” God that many find very difficult to accept. Not because this God is to be feared, but rather, because this God is to be trusted with all our sins – it’s too good to be true! Remember – as Jesus teaches – God’s judgment is not to punish or harm anything in God’s Creation, including and most importantly YOU! Instead, Jesus shows us that God’s judgment is just what we need, and should desire in our lives. God’s judgment consists of mercy, forgiveness, grace and redemption. And through God’s kind of unconditional love, we are blessed … or, as the scripture says above — “fortunate & happy.”

Questions to Consider and Reflect Upon

  • Who are the people that Jesus is talking to?
  • Who is He revealing His truth to? Why them?
  • What does Jesus mean by “happy” (blessed)?
  • What is Jesus’ teaching in this passage? What’s your take away?
  • What does this teaching mean for us … today? And for you?
  • What about all the others who either don’t or can’t hear His truth?

     Have a blessed week and pray for God’s will to be done on Earth, just like it is in Heaven, 

Pastor Bob <><