The Sermon on the Mount
I will be referring to the scriptures as presented in the New Living Translation.
3“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. 4 God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth. 6 God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.
Blessings are meant to be passed on and Jesus passes blessings on to those who are in the circumstances listed in the above verses. We often hear it said about Christ that He was totally human and totally God and that He experienced all that we experience and this is true. The writer of Hebrews wrote in Hebrews 4:15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So this blessing of living the Crucified Life is something that comes back to perspective for each of us. This faith is something that carries with it a strong attachment to who Jesus is, what Jesus did, and what that means for those who are disciples. Prior to all that the disciples would be experiencing Jesus preaches this sermon for them and He reminds us to not get discouraged because we are blessed to have this great salvation that bridges the gap between us and God. The following story is a great illustration of what it means to follow and take on something from someone great.
At age 16 Andor Foldes was already a skilled pianist, but he was experiencing a troubled year. In the midst of the young Hungarian’s personal struggles, one of the most renowned pianists of the day came to Budapest. Emil von Sauer was famous not only for his abilities; he was also the last surviving pupil of the great Franz Liszt. Von Sauer requested that Foldes play for him. Foldes obliged with some of the most difficult works of Bach, Beethoven, and Schumann. When he finished, von Sauer walked over to him and kissed him on the forehead. “My son,” he said, “when I was your age I became a student of Liszt. He kissed me on the forehead after my first lesson, saying, ‘Take good care of this kiss–it comes from Beethoven, who gave it to me after hearing me play.’ I have waited for years to pass on this sacred heritage, but now I feel you deserve it.”
This life we have been given needs to be taken care of and the blessings of being associated with the sufferings of Christ is an honor only given to true believers or disciples. In verse 6 alone Jesus gives us a the promise of blessings if we will “thirst” and “hunger” for justice and tells us we will be satisfied. Our justification is found in the blood of Jesus and our identity is forever changed because of the position it puts us in. That position is “made right” with God and it is the ultimate made right!! This makes sense for where Jesus says in John 14:27 27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. We are not left alone as we follow Christ, but have His peace and that is priceless. In a world of hate of dissension we believers are experiencing true peace as a lifestyle. We have been blessed with this peace and our lives should show that blessing is being received by how we respond to things going on around us. When those without Jesus are running around with their hands in the air we can truly say, “I’m at peace. God has this!” In reference to the story above this blessing is our “kiss” from Abba Father through Jesus to us. It is “who we are” now that we are “in Christ.”
When we mourn there is no greater comforter than Jesus and the blessing of His comfort is beyond anything presented by the world. Verse 4 shows a blessing that can only be given by the “giver of life!” Life itself is so taken for granted by all of us and we don’t realize the finality of it until we experience the death of someone dear to us. But it is at that time that the comfort of God blesses us with an unexpected peaceful calm that looks at things from God’s perspective. To give us that perspective is truly a wonderful gift and should be appreciated and shared with others.
All of the sermon on the mount was given to those disciples with the plan to give those blessings away to others as they preached and lived the gospel. Those early disciples needed these truths about the blessings of God because they were surely going to experience all of these things in one way or another and they needed to have this in their memory so they wouldn’t become discouraged and quit.
Verse 5 shows the blessing of humility that mirrors the heart of our Savior as Paul wrote about Jesus in Philippians 2:6 Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. This keeps our lives in a mode to humbly serving God as Jesus did and thus continue the way He lives. Remember, a disciple is someone who learns through the teachings of someone else and the words of the sermon on the mount cannot stop with just the reading of them, but the living of them. The word Beattitude is used in other translations than the one I am using and Beattitude means condition or statement of blessedness. Our condition is to be a condition of Christlikeness in every situation and we have ben empowered through the Holy Spirit to live that life and see what Paul wrote to the church at Galatia in verse 16 16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.
The Sermon on the Mount was not a sermon you could take notes from and then not ever reference those notes again. This sermon was LIFE. The life of the believer coming alive in Christ and the resulting blessing. I will continue on in the days ahead with more sermon “notes” and we will grow together in these great words from Jesus.
The Pilgrimage continues…..