Jesus gathered his disciples and began going around preaching that the Kingdom of Heaven is just around the corner. People came out to see and hear Jesus. So, Jesus got up and spoke to the people.

He said, “God blesses the poor in spirit.” The Kingdom belongs to them. God blesses those who are concerned about the state of the world. God will bless them. God blesses the gentle. They will receive all they have not demanded. God blesses those who deeply want to please God. God will satisfy them.

God blesses those who care for others. God will take care of them. God blesses those hearts are focused on God. They will know God! God blesses those who build bridges. They are doing God’s work. God blesses those who face troubles for doing right. They belong to God.

God blesses you when people talk bad about you, and undermine you, and punish you unjustly because of me. Don’t feel bad, but be glad when that happens. God will reward you. You’re in good company.

Jesus is speaking to the people who believe in him. He has been telling them that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. He is telling them what impact the Kingdom will have on them. They will be blessed!

Blessed by whom? By God! Because the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. God blesses those who are poor in spirit, and merciful and etc.

Those who are poor have no money or power to trust in, so they trust in God. Like the widow who put her trust in God. So, the “Poor in Spirit” are those who have put their full trust in God and not in Earthly things.

Blessed are those who mourn. This mourning could be for the state of the world. It may not be just for our own hurts but for injuries and pain experienced by others. Blessed are the meek. “Meek” does not mean they don’t stand up for themselves. It means that they are gentle.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.” These are the people who truly seek to know God. “Blessed are the merciful.” God is merciful and these are those who seek to show mercy to others.

“Blessed are the pure in heart.” Those who are single-mindedly focused on God and the Kingdom. “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Those who try to bring people together instead of tearing them apart.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for honesty.” At times the coming of the reign of God in people’s lives leads to persecution. God blesses those who suffer such.

Because all good people are blessed. Then comes the last blessing. It sounds like an extension of the blessing, blessed are the persecuted. But it is different, “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you.” It is not just unnamed people out there somewhere, but those looking into Jesus’ eyes are blessed.

Have you ever put your whole trust in God like someone who has no hope? You are blessed. Have you ever been concerned for the state of our society or the world? You are blessed. Have you ever put someone else’s needs before your own? You are blessed. Have you ever yearned to have a closer walk with Jesus? You are blessed.

Have you ever tried to show God’s forgiveness to others? You are blessed. Have you ever tried to live for God and God alone? You are blessed. Have you ever tried to bring people together? You are blessed. Have you ever been called names, mocked at or ignored because of your faith? You are blessed. The kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Jesus is here with us. And all who serve him are blessed.

Revelation is really a message of hope given to the church in the midst of persecution. As the early church was being persecuted, Revelation gave them hope. As Christians were being taken off to prison, or killed for practicing their faith - Revelation told them to stand firm because in the end good would prevail.

This is a message of hope in the midst of troubles. A message of hope no matter how bad things happened - God was with them.

We celebrate “All Saints Day.” The word “saint” means anyone who has been saved. If you have given your life to Christ then you are saved and you are a saint. The Kingdom of Heaven is closer than it has ever been. You are blessed! Shalom and Amen!

 

Scripture: Matthew 5:1-12