– Stanley Hauerwas
I remember standing on the edge of a large natural amphitheater, with the Sea of Galilee very close in view. Green rolling hills, birds overhead, and imagining the words of Jesus from the “Sermon on the Mount” being spoken.
Specifically, the “Beatitudes“. I will post those verses at the end of this post, because I think it’s important to think of them, along with these words. It’s important to realize this is not a list of “actions & rewards”, such that we might strive to be (poor in Spirit, mourning, meek, etc.) in order to be Blessed.
Jesus was not speaking these words as a way of “transforming” or even “offering a new or alternate” reality. Jesus was revealing what actually IS reality. He was doing this with his entire life/being/death/resurrection/etc. To live for myself, or for many of the things this world has to offer offers a “false” sense of reality.
In His message to the crowds, He was describing reality in a way most of them had never heard before. He was also telling them what life may be like for those who recognize this reality. It will probably lead you to a place where you find yourself poor in Spirit, mourning, meek, hungry and thirsty for things to be made Right, etc…and if so, “Good!!!”
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. 8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely F31 on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.