Perhaps it was a sunny and pleasant day when Jesus saw the people come flocking to Him. He found a nice elevated place where they could all see and hear Him well. As He sat down, His disciples drew in close and He began to teach. But the words that Christ uttered that day are still remembered as remarkable. (See Matthew 5:1-11)
Jesus´ sermon that day although poetic in a way, goes quite contrary to our nature. Sure, we were taught by parents and teachers to try to be good people. But here Christ was calling all sorts of blessings upon the kind of people who cry, who are of low self-esteem, the humiliated, ones who feel themselves without justice, the simple-hearted and overly compassionate. He went out of His way to describe a sort of people who today we try hard not to be.
Now when we hear this sermon, we normally recognize a warm sensation inside to think that our Savior takes into account these poor souls, but how many times do we let those words judge us? How often do we get down on our knees and look away from ourselves and towards Jesus to hear His verdict on the condition of our heart?
Probably the gravest problem within the churches today is the change that we have placed upon the importance of things. We try to measure everything these days as to how much pertains to us and what value it can have for you and me. But anyone who has read much of the Holy Scriptures should easily be able to see that this is incorrect.
We do play our small part in this picture of God´s great plan for the human race, but the emphasis is and should always be upon God. God made, God works, God redeems and God saves. He does all not for your pleasure even though as a bi-product you may be greatly rewarded. God does all these things for His pleasure and He is right in doing so.
Whatever God does is sure to bring back to Him honor, glory and praise. God is love and for that reason all can feel the warmth, but only that warmth which returns again to bring back to Him His due reward, will be standing in the correct place.
Therefore when Jesus raves over the kind of people we usually have pity upon, it is because these are the kind of people who really bring Him this kind of glory. These hurting and burning souls need their Savior and their God. They find themselves in a world which is painfully outside of what was promised them.
There are some still today, who refuse to puff themselves up. There are people who do not make the Bible, religion and the teachings of Jesus measure up to themselves. These people are not looking for happiness and a comfortable life here without that blessed closeness to their comforter. The people described in Jesus´ famous sermon are desperately trying to have a part in a different world where all things are correctly adjusted to and bowed to our Maker.
Perhaps we could still learn today to reject this current popular attitude of taking everything for ourselves. Maybe we should imitate those suffering ones our Savior described and stop making everything bow to our judgment of the value or pleasure we can get out of it for us.
When we are able to attain some of those attributes that Jesus mentioned, and when we are that serious about our need for Him, then there are some wonderful promises that He spoke of, which will apply to us as well.
As Jesus sits to teach us, let us all pull in close and pay close attention. There is much to learn, even today. For sure you will feel the excitement and the warmth of that moment as those did that day on the mountainside.
Good day to you,