THE KING’S SERMON
Matthew 5 v 1-5
Would you climb a mountain to hear Jesus preach? I’m sure you’d have thought it well worth the effort… so let’s pay as much attention to the same sermon written down.
Jesus is painting a word-portrait of the kind of people we should aspire to be. Before we go on, take a moment to think what kind of people you respect and admire. What characteristics do you value and want to have for yourself?
If you could be like that, then surely you would be truly happy…?
Blessed means ‘approved by God, privileged, truly happy’.
Do you long for Jesus to be able to describe you like that?
So what are the top-of-the-list characteristics for ‘blessed’ people?
Poor… mourners… meek
Jesus doesn’t mean that these people are weak, characterless, miserable and cowardly! ‘Blessed’ people are the very opposite of that in practice. Jesus does mean that they don’t have a high opinion of themselves— because they have seen their spiritual poverty before God. They mourn over their appalling sinfulness. So much so that they can even take other people’s criticisms meekly.
Read Isaiah 57 v 14, 15
Immediately, we can see who the people are that fit this description. It is believers; those whose hearts God has changed, whom Jesus has saved and begun to make like Him. Miserable? No, more happy than can be described, because they enjoy the presence of the living God Himself.
Look again at what Jesus has promised those blessed people:
Re-read verses 3-5
Notice the wonderful contrasts in each of the verses. What they think of themselves is just so different from what God thinks of them, and what He has in store for them.
Jesus had come to bring in the kingdom Isaiah had predicted:
Read Isaiah 61 v 1-3
Praise God if He has made us at all like this! But has He? Are these characteristics really seen in your life?
If they are, then one thing is sure— we’ll want to become more and more like this, more and more like the King Himself.