Some days, you pour through Scripture searching for something to speak to you. Some days, you do everything you can to avoid Scripture lest you fear what you’ll find.
And some days, Scripture seems to come looking for you.
Today was one of the latter. I wasn’t specifically searching for this, but I encountered the beatitudes both in my daily reading plan and during a radio sermon I listened to on my way to work.
Naturally, writing this makes encounter number three.
2And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
5“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
7“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
10“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
11“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Almost everyone wants to live a blessed life. Everyone’s definition of what that looks like may differ (search #blessed on Twitter sometime for a real-time eye-opener), but being blessed is generally seen as a good thing.
But the types of people, the situations, and the character traits Jesus referred to as “blessed”? Let’s just say they probably aren’t quite in alignment with modern culture, and that most of us probably don’t want to experience all of them.
Mourning? Persecution? Reviled? Spoken of falsely?
I’ll sure take the benefits though.
Kingdom of heaven. Comfort. Inherit the earth. Mercy. Seeing God. Being called a son of God.
Obviously you can’t summarize this passage of Scripture in just a few short sentences. But the takeaway from this passage that jumps out at me in the moment?
Following Jesus isn’t always going to look normal. Be blessed won’t always match up with our views of “#blessed”.
And the hard things the Beatitudes identify as blessed?
Maybe we should think twice about what we focus on when we’re there.
Because there’s great hope in the seemingly hopeless, if we have faith to see it.
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