The Sermon on the Mount

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The Sermon on the Mount – 9 October 2006

The Beatitudes, the declarations that Jesus made in His Sermon on the Mount, may seem like ideals that are difficult to live up to. However, they provide guidelines and comfort to those who truly want to live by the Lord’s ideals.

Chapter 5 of Matthew opens with the following description of where the Sermon on the Mount was delivered (verses 1 and 2) and quotes Jesus’ first Beatitude (verse 3):

1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto 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.
~ King James Version

The New American Standard Bible version says:

1 And when He saw the multitudes, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.

2 And opening His mouth He began to teach them, saying,

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

I think that “poor in spirit” describes those who are humble and do not have an inflated opinion of their own importance. At a time when the poor were looked down upon as lacking God’s favor; when wealth and power were thought to be God’s blessings; and when the arrogance of the leaders held sway, Jesus’ teachings were no doubt considered controversial to the extreme. To say that the kingdom of heaven belongs to those who are considered lowly and of no importance must have seemed heretical.

The people who are truly “poor in spirit” are those who have empathy for others – both human and other animal – and who are not caught up in one-upmanship. During their journey on this earth they become more aware of what is of value in life – not the perishable and worldly, but the imperishable and eternal that Jesus spoke of.

To be continued.
 


"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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