How To Inherit the Earth and See God

 

Because I am becoming increasingly concerned with the inability of American Christians to live out their faith in a practical and realistic way that does not require fanaticism about issues and politics, I thought it would be good to move through some teachings of Jesus  and discuss how these teachings actually live out in daily life.

I am no expert but I hope to bring a thoughtful and reasoned approach. Plus, I am a disciple of Jesus and he has taught me a few things over the years. The main focus will be Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount.

He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Jesus only had two kinds of people who followed him – those who needed him and those who didn’t. The first group is obviously the people who were mired in sickness, sin, or devastation. The second group are those who were so against what Jesus was about that they followed him in order to prove him wrong or catch him in a religious mistake. These were the Pharisees.

The Pharisees and their wealthier counterparts, the Sadducees, were the groups of people in Jesus’ time who thought they had cornered the market on blessing. Their religious piety, their wealth, their gender, their reputation, and their health, in their minds, were all signs that they were deserving of blessing. If you did not fall into this category of people than you were blocked from God’s blessing.

You will notice that Jesus doesn’t list any of the common characteristics we would list as deserving of blessing. He doesn’t mention good looks, education, marriage standing, or occupation. Instead, his list seems like a mistake. The spiritually poor? The meek? The mourners? The kind souls who practice mercy? What exactly makes these people deserving of blessing?

That is the point. The common distinctions that humans make regarding who is really well off are thrown out the window with Jesus’ beatitudes. In Jesus, blessing is available to all who will receive it. Yes, even those mired in mistakes, misfortune, and misery.

If you are like me, you need Jesus and his blessing in your life. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus came to bring it to us. Yes, even us.

Rejoice and be glad.

 

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