Mt5 1-12 – Nothing Like This World

I’m supposed to be resting, this being the second of my current cold. But having spent the previous weekend with (and my school website) I thought that it’d be appropriate to begin (again) a little “bible” time (it’s a balance thing, really… something I haven’t had of late). Somewhere someone is going to find the humor in that.

Matt. 5:1-12 The Beatitudes
The world will not be as it is now, according to the wisdom of how things are done now. In the kingdom of heaven it will quite backward from how we do things. It isn’t the aggressive, self-satisfied, market-conscious who will be blessed. They may have goods in the here and now, but in the kingdom of heaven that will go to the pure in heart, peacemakers, merciful, shy (not boastful), sad and poor. Jesus is turning the world upside down. The values that gets one ahead are not the ones that will count in the kingdom of heaven.

I had some difficulty with the phrase “poor in spirit.” To me that would seem to mean literally those with scant spiritual resources, which is a bit confusing. Luke quotes Jesus as just saying “poor” without adding “in spirit.” The NIV commentary makes the point that whereas Luke keeps things in the “upside” world motif (poor here, rewarded in heaven), Matthew’s “in spirit” can be understood as those who are aware of their spiritual need, that we’re all destitute without God’s grace, so it’s more than merely being poor, but being aware of being poor in God’s eyes, and the wonderful thing is that the promise is that those in such circumstances will be rewarded. It’s a different world indeed. JBB

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