As believers we are kingdom people, but have you ever thought about what it means to be a kingdom individual? I want to take some time today to dig into Matthew 5 and unpack what is most commonly referred to as the beatitudes. This passage of scripture paints a beautiful picture of what it means to be kingdom people.
Let me paint the scene in which we find the beatitudes, Jesus notices a crowd is forming so he goes up a mountain side and sets down. His disciples set next to him as he begins to teach. This is where we'll pick up in verse 3,
"God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth." -Matt. 5:3-5
As we continue to read through this passage I want you to pay close attention to the phrase "theirs is the kingdom", you'll notice that it appears quite a few times. Going back to the passage,
"God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied. God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy. God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God." -Matt. 5:6-8
Everyone who hungers and thirsts for righteousness will be filled up, those who show mercy will receive mercy, and those with a pure heart will see God. I love the promise and clarity of these verses. Jesus paints a beautiful picture of grace and mercy with each word He speaks. The next two verses have always stood out the most to me.
"God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs." -Matt. 5:9-10
Another translation says, blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God. Verses 11 and 12 give us a reminder of what we as believer will walk through as we walk out our day to day,
"God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way." - Matt. 5:11-12
When you are mocked and ridiculed, don't let it stop you from continuing to pursue the things of God. Keep running forward! Keep pursuing Christ with everything in you, just like the apostle Paul instructs, run the race marked before you with perseverance. It won't always be easy, we are promised that throughout scripture.
At this point in chapter 5 Jesus shifts gears, the next few verses tell us in short that we are the salt and light of the world. Actually, let's just read this together too.
“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." - Matt. 5:13-16
If salt loses its flavor than it becomes worthless. Something I think is important to understand about salt is that during this time in history, salt was one of the most valuable substances in the world. So much so that it was often considered more valuable than silver and gold. Think about that for a second, you are more valuable than silver and gold and the most precious metals.
It continues, you are like a city that sets on a hilltop it cannot be hidden. It gives light to everyone around, you can't hide the light it shines so that everyone around you will see Jesus in you. I would strongly encourage you to read the entire chapter when you have a few minutes, this chapter is pack full of wisdom and promise.
I know that was a lot of scripture to go over in such a short time, but it carries so much truth and so many promises. It is my hope that you would take verses 9 and 10 to heart and take some time to think about what Jesus was saying and apply it to your own life.
Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of God. We were created for community friends, not to keep ourselves locked away from others. We were created to be kingdom people, with the mission of growing the kingdom of God and being the salt and light to the nations.
Much Love friends,