BLESSED

Matt. 5:3 ¶ “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
What a way to start a sermon. Jesus was all about the shock value of His ministry, His words were anything but safe or what would be called today, culturally relevant. He would go right up against the grain. He came right out and said it, the way to be blessed or extremely happy, was not in the pursuit of this present age, it would be found in the pursuit of the kingdom of heaven. Right off the bat, that is a hard sell. Many people aren’t remotely interested in heaven, it’s comfort and pleasure in the here and now that they are after. Man’s wisdom would try to sneak up on people with some cultural cliche or a promise of popularity. Not Jesus, He spoke of meekness, poverty of spirit, repentance (mourning), and even persecution as being linked to happiness, or as He said it; blessedness. The way to be blessed is found by the pure in heart, they are the ones that will see God. Here are some thoughts from Barclay on this word ‘blessed’.
“That is most important, for it means that the beatitudes are not pious hopes of what shall be; they are not glowing, but nebulous prophecies of some future bliss; they are congratulations on what is. The blessedness which belongs to the Christian is not a blessedness which is postponed to some future world of glory; it is a blessedness which exists here and now. It is not something into which the Christian will enter; it is something into which he has entered. True, it will find its fulness and its consummation in the presence of God; but for all that it is a present reality to be enjoyed here and now. The beatitudes in effect say, “O the bliss of being a Christian! O the joy of following Christ! O the sheer happiness of knowing Jesus Christ as Master, Savior and Lord!” The very form of the beatitudes is the statement of the joyous thrill and the radiant gladness of the Christian life. In face of the beatitudes a gloom-encompassed Christianity is unthinkable.”
So that very thing that we are all after but not willing to admit is happiness or joy. Jesus starts His very first sermon with that word that we are after, He called it ‘BLESSED’. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.

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