Daily Study from Lifeway’s “The Gospel Project”
So often those who knew Jesus missed the fact that He was the Messiah because He did not come to earth in the way that they had envisioned. Where they had expected Him to ride in on a blaze of glory, He was born to a young mother in the town of Bethlehem. While they expected Him to perform His signs and wonders to the din of thunderous applause, He often told those whom He healed to keep quiet about their healing. While they expected Him to throw off the yoke of their Greco-Roman society, He was crucified under its reign.
In the Beatitudes, Jesus beautifully captures the heart that He displayed here on earth—one of humility, mercy, purity, and peace, one that was willing to mourn, submitting to persecution, and was poor in spirit. And He reminded His listeners that even though these qualities were not often honored in the world, through these qualities they were marked as blessed by God.
By turning the Jews’ expectations of the Messiah on their head, Jesus drew the focus away from the earthly trappings of royalty and toward the marks of royalty that are honored in heaven. He exemplified the type of spirit He required, pointing away from an earthly reward to a heavenly one, promising eternal blessing for those who heed His words.
What are some ways you can practically exemplify the Beatitudes in your life?
Voices from the Church
“The Sermon on the Mount describes how those who have already decided to follow Jesus (4:18-22; 5:1) are called to demonstrate the character of God and his kingdom through the character of their lives.” 3