A really surprising Kingdom and its King.
|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. |
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.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew5:1-10)
Jesus re-establishes the standard of God's Kingdom and calls us to measure up. The world says going up the ladder is the most important aspect of life, no matter how you get there, and God in the beatitudes says being victimised as a child of God is a Divine Kingdoms ideal. Every kingdom has values and principles that guide its people. God bestows his richest blessings on those who are poor; on those who mourn; on the meek; on those who hunger and thirst for righteousness; on the merciful, the pure at heart, the peacemakers, and all those who are persecuted because of their faithful witness. Jesus is saying putting other people first is vital for the Kingdom of God. For us, who are in the Kingdom by Grace (Sola Gratia), we are called to see other people as better than ourselves, to attract them to the Kingdom of God.
When a person is on a Mission, everything stops and the journey to complete the mission becomes a priority. Mission is priority for the saints, for the world is waiting to receive Christ. Being poor in the spirit means a person who relies on God wholeheartedly. Mission begins with God and is about God and it ends with a relationship with God.
What are the qualities needed to strive for righteousness of God? We need to be poor in spirit, allow God's will to lead our way. We need to mourn for those who do not yet know Christ for we shall be comforted. We need to be humble and kind toward one another and the world, for us to inherit the world by having communion with God through Jesus (Solus Christus). Our goal should be righteousness. The world no longer wants to (only) hear about the Kingdom, they want to see it.
The Kingdom of God reforms our lives for the benefit of the Kingdom. Humility is the key.
Lentikile Mashoko is a husband to Tumi, a father to Koketso, Rorisang and Bohlale. He serves at Mabopane Presbyterian Church.
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