Reading: Matthew 5:1-12
Blanks: comforted, mercy, God, rejoice
Similar Words: meek – gentle; mourn – regret, sad; persecute - annoy persistently, bother
(1) These are 8 kinds of blessings or 8 kinds of blessed people that Jesus talks about today.
But it seems that we can say that these are eight steps toward our spiritual growth, or spiritual maturity, too.
That is, as we get to know Jesus, we may grow like this, following each step.
It is possible. So, let’s think about it.
1. For example, Jesus said that the first blessing is like this:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
We may understand it like this.
Our spiritual growth starts when we become spiritually hungry, or when we feel poor in spirit.
In other words, when we want to know Jesus, we start to grow.
Next, Jesus said the second blessing is like this:
2. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
We may understand it like this.
As we get to know Jesus, we may start to regret the fact that we didn’t pay attention to Jesus before.
As we become closer to Jesus, we wished that we have known this Jesus sooner.
We might regret that we didn’t pay attention to God enough.
We might wish that we have lived a different life.
We might feel sorry for our wrongdoings.
We might feel sorry for our spiritual laziness.
We might feel sad about this.
We might wish that we have used our life for God more.
Feeling like this, we may return to God.
(1) Then God may say to us:
“That is ok.
I am happy that you came back.
I will restore your lives.
I can bless you now even more.
Let me bring you to the right places.
Then you will flourish there, and be more useful.”
Like this, God may welcome us and make us live more fully.
(2) So, like this, let’s think about following each blessing as well.
3. The third one is like this:
This blessing may explain that when we experience God, our hearts will start to change.
You will become gentler.
You will become more generous.
You will become more kind.
You will become more patient.
That is, as you get to know God, you become like God.
You become like Jesus.
You become more and more like Jesus.
(1) Then what would happen?
People will get to know God through you.
Even when you don’t know, you will show them who God is.
God may speak to them through you.
They will learn more of God.
They may learn to listen to God.
Then they may make good decisions based on God’s will.
They may learn to do the things that God is pleasing and blessing.
4. Then as Jesus trains you a bit more, you will understand what is truly important.
You will choose to do what is right.
You can do what is right, because God lives in you.
You will do some good works.
You can really help people
(2) For example, you may try to create a society where everyone is welcome.
Or you may pray in order to include everyone into your circle of love.
Or, you may try to create a peaceful atmosphere wherever we go.
Because you want to have peace, you may help people to live peacefully.
Then you may find yourself living your life making the world more peaceful.
5. Next, doing that kind of ministry, you may become more merciful.
You may become merciful to yourself and become merciful to others.
You may become merciful, because you understand people and you understand God.
6. Next, the more you grow in Jesus like this, the more Jesus inspires you to think pure thoughts.
Jesus inspires you to think good thoughts.
Then as you think pure thoughts, you help Jesus to make this world pure.
When you think good thoughts, you help God to live in you.
When you think pure thoughts, you help God to help you to live a holy life.
So, you may examine your hearts, to maintain your heart pure.
Jesus may also empower you to think pure thoughts.
7. Next, you may understand what kind of world God wants to make.
That is, you will wish for peace.
You will pray for peace in this world.
You try to make peace in this world.
First, because you your find inner peace in Jesus, you understand about peace.
Because you feel peace in your heart, you cherish this peace.
You want to help people to experience this peace.
Then when people find this peace in their hearts, because of you, they will also live for peace like you.
And when these kinds of people increase in our society, there may be peace.
8. Next, you may grow even more.
You may gain some more understanding.
Living for Jesus and speaking for Jesus, you may be even willing to suffer awhile.
You know those who didn’t like the teachings of Jesus might not like yours, either.
So, you may experience some kinds of persecution.
Some people may complain about you.
Some people may lie about you.
Some people may insult you.
(1) But even in those times, you will try to build peace.
You will choose to create peace, even when you suffer.
You will bless those who persecute you.
You will try to bless them, like Jesus did.
Then because of you, the ideas of Jesus will be spread.
Because you know how much God loves everyone, you want them to live in peace and you love to build the true peace in this world.
But you also know that in order to create peace, you need God.
(2) So, you pray.
You pray for peaceful relationships and peaceful societies.
You pray for peace between denominations and between religions.
You pray for peace between nations.
In this way, you will help the world to find peace.
You will help the world to find the right path.
You will help the world to understand what is important.
You will help the world to experience God.
You will help the world know Jesus.
(3) So, the more you know Jesus, the more you may live like this.
The more you get to know Jesus, the more you may live like this.
Then you will see the good result of your life.
And because you seek the happiness of this world like this, you will also find happiness for yourself as well.
Then, at the end, you will truly rejoice, knowing that you have lived a good and blessed life for the glory of God.
Let us pray: