This is the second of an eleven-part series on the Beatitudes.
Each part features a hymn to a familiar tune.
Jesus spent His entire ministry here teaching and demonstrating a new relationship with our heavenly Father. Life could be full and complete by simply, actively trusting Him. These teachings are especially concentrated in Matthew, chapters 5, 6, and 7, the passage we call the Sermon on the Mount.
Jesus begins His description of this new life by summarizing God’s recipe for success. This recipe is called the Beatitudes. Here He pronounces God’s blessing on eight character traits. He says that God has decreed the eternal well-being of people who possess these qualities.
But like much of the Sermon on the Mount, the list is surprising, even shocking. Human society tends to prize people who are strong, assertive, and confident, people who provide themselves and others with the physical goods, security, and pleasure.
Jesus’ recipe for success is completely different. Realize that only He has experienced both life on this earth and eternal life in heaven. Only He has a complete perspective on what is best. And He says that the person who is truly blessed by our Creator is poor in spirit, meek, merciful and pure in heart. That person mourns, desires righteousness above all else, makes peace, and gladly suffers persecution for obeying God.
What unexpected keys to success! None of these qualities are strength, skill, material goods, or human accomplishment. All these qualities flow naturally from trusting and loving God.
These traits come with wonderful promises from our Father. He has decreed that all who show these qualities will be blessed with the Kingdom of heaven, their Father’s rich comfort, rulership of the entire earth, a complete rightness to life, mercy from God, the promise of seeing Him, and the glorious reality of living as His dearly-loved children.
All these blessings concern our inner, eternal person. None are simply material. All will outlast this world. Jesus, the only person with a total view of all of life, urges us to seek these gifts as our Creator’s greatest blessings.