Monday, February 3, 2014

Blessed and the beatitudes of Matthew 5

Blessed are the merciful 5:7,
Blessed are the poor in Spirit 5:3

The Beatitudes to some are quite confusing for we often take blessed to have the sort of connotation as in "that golfer is surely blessed with sporting abilities", that is there is something innate in them that they are able to perform wondrous feats.

I recently heard a friend mention that the blessedness of the beatitudes are often hard to grapple with when we don't feel blessed, when in fact the circumstances of our lives are anything but enhancing the feeling of being blessed.

Here I think he was on the perimeter of equating blessed with being happy. But happiness depends on happenstance, on the circumstances one finds themselves in. Yet the blessed status of Matthew 5 has nothing to do with outward circumstances. No matter what our circumstances, the inner peace of being right with God is a reality that God declares and affirms.

The tough thing is that in this passage it seems like often blessed is juxtaposed with those things that normally rattle us, that make us uncomfortable, unsettled.

Just look at "blessed are the merciful because they will receive mercy", yet often this is not our daily experience with others is it? or "blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called sons of God" - but who calls them that? often their actions go unnoticed, unappreciated. 

First of all take careful note that in the beatitudes, it isn't that one person is blessed with mercy, another with mourning and another with being peacemakers. No, all these are traits of a person belonging to the Kingdom of God.

These verses tell us that blessed is something quite different to reliance on sweet circumstances. It is the inward contentedness that has nothing to do with external circumstances. That is what God desires for His children and is the possession of the Child of the Kingdom of God. All Christians.

in Christ

1 comment:

Steve Martin said...

I think the beatitudes are a great picture of Jesus.

But they don't describe us, at all.

Getting even and getting ahead…often at the expense of our neighbor…are a more accurate picture of us.

But…He olives and forgives us, anyway!

What a God!