Matthew 5:1-6 (ESV)
5 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
2 And 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.
Jesus’ most famous teaching is the sermon on the mount. Right at the start, Jesus takes everyone up the side of a mountain to teach. Imagine the views and the fresh air. Here, on top of the mountain, with the greatest teacher here, people could start to forget their troubles and woes. And Jesus begins by talking about those God has blessed. But what is a blessing?
According to the dictionary, a blessing is “God’s favor and protection”. So anyone “blessed” would be gaining extra grace, favor, protection, and gifts. Jesus begins listing those whom God regards with special favor, but it wasn’t the list people were expecting.
The Poor: Those who don’t have food, water, shelter, or clothing.
Those who mourn: People who have experienced great tragedy.
Those who are humble: Those who don’t use power for gain.
Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: People who deeply desire to live holy lives.
And what do all of these groups have in common? Each of these people are forced to rely on God. They don’t have any other options. They don’t have riches, or entertainment, or influence, or power. The only source of comfort and protection they have is from God.
God blesses them and favors them. He does this because he desires this mindset from all of us, even if we have riches or anything else, God still wants us to need him.
And the Truth is, regardless of what we have, We need him.
Dear Lord, we thank you so much for Your love and mercy. We want to receive Your favor and protection. Please help us to always rely on You, instead of on things or other people. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.