The beatitudes introduce the Sermon on the Mount.
Matthew places the Sermon at the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, to emphasize Jesus’ authority as the teacher of God’s people. Jesus comes saying “repent ” for the kingdom of God is near. He calls his first disciples from the task of fishing to the task of fishing for people (verses 18-22).
He takes this opportunity to show the disciples what this new kind of fishing looks like. He showed them that preaching the good news of the kingdom of heaven to people and manifesting its power. The presence of this kingdom of heaven will liberate. Jesus then climbs a mountain with the crowd and sits down in the posture of a teacher encircled by his newly-called disciples. They are the primary targets of his instruction in the principles of life in the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessedness, is a key principle of embracing this life. This is the refrain that runs throughout this passage, those are blessed who are poor in spirit, who mourn, who hunger, who are meek and thirst for righteousness, who are persecuted. “Blessed” does not mean “happy,” or “holy”. “Blessed” refers to a fortunate state of life.
Jesus calls us to be a part of a radical kingdom.
This includes a radical vision as well. The kingdom of heaven infiltrates our lives and is always present. We can continue proclaiming the good news and fishing for people at great cost to ourselves,. We must continue fighting oppressive powers in Jesus’ name. We can suffer for the sake of Jesus and the gospel, with the assurance that God has the last word. When we see people receiving the word of God, and finding freedom and healing in Jesus’ name.
“I don’t know how but I know WHO!”
Grace and Peace, Pastor Nelda
Reverend Dr. Nelda Barrett Murraine is Pastor at First United Methodist Kennedale 229 W 4th St. Kennedale, TX 76060