The Beatitudes are an amazing picture of the kingdom of God that needs another look.
Let me list the picture.
- The poor in spirit
- Those who mourn
- The meek
- Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
- The merciful
- The pure in heart
- The peacemakers
- Those who are persecuted
If you gave a portrait artist 8 aspects of what someone looked like, they could give you a pretty good picture of that person.
Here Jesus gives us 8 invisible aspects of a proper Christian. I sense this is a person who I would like to meet. Would you? Would you admire such a person? What’s more, this person appears to be a friend of the weak and down trodden. They are strong in the softest of ways. Jesus meant this for all of us, really? Jesus does not here seem to be speaking of a subset of Christians. His goal is never to chain us down, but rarther to set us free. So what does he have here?
Deeper water is that Jesus announces woes for people who are the opposite of this in Luke 6:24-26.
These Beatitudes Are an Amazing Picture, Can We See?
What would such a community look like? Could it reach the lost? Yes, I think it could change the world. Jesus just wants to make us be that awkward way? Or is this what the kingdom of Heaven is like? Is this our future? Paul the Apostle was not like this. Was he? Barnabas may have been, but was that by personality? Should Paul apologize for not being like Barnabas? So is Jesus simply saying these people who the world does not often value are actually blessed in the kingdom of Heaven? See also A Guide to Gaining Humility.
Perhaps many of us do not want to be like that person. I see that person as not me. I know that my kids need me to open my heart and be more meek, merciful, etc. Furthermore, especially we men all need to consider this picture more closely. We do not need to become women. We need to be strong and have a gentleness that can warm the world.
I see that this person that Jesus described must caste their hope on the Kingdom of God as the only power that can save them and their loved ones. We all need to know dependence on God more. It is our future.
May God help us all to seek these things in our heart and in our lives when they fit with what God has for us at that time.