1 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.
Ministers primarily write and preach their sermons at scheduled times, when they know they will have a congregation to hear their words and worship God. Jesus preached the sermon on the mount, not because there was a scheduled place and time, but simply because people came. He preached to the crowds of people who stopped what they were doing to follow Him. He preached to the people because they were thirsty for His wisdom, thirsty for the Word of God.
He said: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
The Beatitudes are often referred to as the “introduction to the Sermon on the Mount.” Jesus shared these teachings first because they encompass the spirit of humility and compassion that is required of all Christians.
I have problems with vanity. Whether it be my appearance or my belongings: I want to be and look my best, I want my house to look the neatest (both “neat” as in clean and “neat” as in interesting). I covet things…quirky things that will make my home look well lived in and well cared for and just funky enough to be cool without being ridiculous. I envy people who are thinner than me. I envy people who have the time/energy/know-how to wake up every morning and fix their hair rather than just letting it do whatever it’s gonna do on it’s own. I want to be the very best version of me that I can be.
The only problem is, I’m not looking at the big picture. The best version of myself is not what I see around me and want myself to be. That version of me falls so drastically short of the amazing things God has planned for me. As I read over the Beatitudes, I find myself feeling guilty. We live in a world where women fight to be strong and independent. Where everyone wants to be an individual and wants to get credit for their general overall awesomeness. Where it’s the status quo to “keep up with the Jones’.” When I read the Beatitudes, I am reminded that we’re not put on this earth for our own glory. We’re here for God’s glory. We’re here to love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our mind, all our soul and all our strength and to love our neighbor as ourself. Nowhere in that purpose does it say we are to be judged as awesome by human standards. We are called to be meek and merciful and pure in heart. We’re called to be peacemakers and to hunger and thirst for righteousness.
When Jesus preached the sermon on the mount, he was calling us to humility.
Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord. Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord. And He shall lift you up, higher and higher. And He shall lift you up.
Dear Lord, thank You for making us for Your glory. Help us to be ever mindful of You, that we may glorify You in all things. Lord, we ask You to make us humble so that we may bring You all the glory. Amen.