To be really blessed - 23 August 2019

Ben Fourie

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3 (NIV)

A new phase in the ministry and preaching of Jesus started in chapter 5 of the Gospel according to Matthew. In verse 2 we read that He started his task as a teacher. From now on he would be Rabboni. He wanted his followers to understand what his message was all about. In chapters 5 to 7 he delivered what is called the Sermon on the Mount. In this he explained many things, especially how the Law that was well known among the Jews should really be interpreted. His teaching is not so much about transgressing the Law but against hypocrisy. He did not come to cancel the Law but to fulfill it.

The Sermon on the Mount starts with eight beatitudes. There is a ninth one in verse 11 but it has a different tonality. The word that is translated as “blessed” can also mean “very fortunate” or “it goes well with”. The same idea is present in Psalm 1:1. The essence of the beatitudes is that we are blessed or it goes well with us when it is not about the literal interpretation of the Law but when it is about the God of the Law.

To be blessed means to know that I am not always so smart as I think I am, to know that I have sinned, to know that I am poor and naked before the Lord. It goes well with us when we cry over our sins and know we will be comforted. I am not blessed when I have won the argument with my spouse, my child, my employee, but I am blessed when I am willing to humble myself. To be really happy and blessed is when the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing, and when we are seeking God's kingdom and his righteousness first and foremost.

Prayer: Please help me to live in such a way that I can enjoy your blessing every day. Amen