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“Blessed are the poor in spirit,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn,

for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,

for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful,

for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart,

for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,

for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matt 5: 3 – 12).

Some of these people don’t sound blessed, do they?

I mean, those who are poor, people who are mourning loss, those who taste persecution. Or meek people who sound like they are too frightened to even show themselves. Some of the descriptions here don’t feel very attractive.

Even at the beginning of His ministry (where Matthew places this teaching), we hear Jesus preaching about a very different sort of kingdom. This is not a rally cry for this strong. This is an upside-down world where God’s favourites stand zero chance of attaining any kind of worldly success or influence. But it’s a place of genuine hope for the humble.

The poor in spirit know how much they need God. They need Him for everything. Even things most people take for granted. Therefore, the kingdom of Heaven is at their disposal.

Those who know the pain of loss will find the comfort of the Father. The meek, who others see as weak because they will never win by hurting or dominating others, will find great reward in God’s new world.

Those who are hungry, not for personal goals or dreams, but for things that are good in God’s eyes will be filled to the brim. The merciful will know what it is to be treated with mercy; the pure in heart will see the Lord in places where most fail to recognise Him.

The Lord will be especially pleased with those who strive for peace; those who will pay any price to mend a fracture or bring the lost one home.

And finally, blessings are gift-wrapped and ready in-store for those who are insulted, misunderstood and falsely accused, simply for doing the right thing. For following Jesus and conducting themselves His way. Nothing can stop the rewards to come.


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