Matthew 5 Reflections
Posted on 26 Mar 2019 by Penny Lai
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
We recently went through the above passage, recorded by Matthew and spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ himself, at CERC. The Beautitudes (as the passage is commonly known) teaches about what true blessedness really means. For myself, this was a good opportunity for some introspection about my own understanding of blessedness, and on a broader topic, about the kind of attitude I should have as a disciple of Christ. I found this exercise to be helpful, and would like to share some of my sentiments in hopes of edifying others. In particular, my reflections had me wondering:
- Am I poor in my spirit, such that I would not be able to live another day if God is not my God?
- Am I mournful when I see that this world is what it is everyday—eating good food, laughing over one another’s silliness while they recount memories from the past, playing simply because they simply enjoy each other’s company, proposing and getting married—and know deep down in my heart that they are all dead set against God and His rule?
- Am I meek, such that I would refrain from using my power or influence to lash out against those who have hurt me in vengeance, or using my charm to get people to like me, or using my capability to reach success on my own, knowing the opportunities that await me out there?
- Am I those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, such that I do not need anyone to cajole me to actively pursue, passionately, the will of God today and every other day, because I simply cannot wait for a multitude of people to know God and worship Him?
- Am I merciful to the ones who do not deserve my mercy, having known how much I’ve been forgiven and loved by God when He could have struck me dead for hating and harboring bitterness against God’s people for their imperfection, and for absolutely hating myself and my life for my own imperfection?
- Am I pure in my heart to be single mindedly devoted to the truth when it comes to rebuking my sister for her wrong and at the same time knowing that she will never trust me the same again, or when I have to be the ‘nasty’ one to point out the truth that no one can see or dares to say in that meeting? Am I pure in my heart, such that I would not be defensive when my wrongs are pointed out, or such that I won’t secretly feel justified when I see that the person I don’t like is being scolded by another for his or her failure, or such that I won’t retreat into being a defeatist, despite knowing how I’m not as good as the other person.
- Am I a peacemaker, such that I would relentlessly pursue the peace that can only come from God’s righteous rule, even though I know that I can have no peace in a conflict-avoidant home or workplace or culture, to the point of raising conflict for the sake of this peace?
- Am I those who would be willing to be persecuted for righteousness’ sake because God’s will, God’s rule, and the truth of God’s son being King are more important than my pain, my struggle and my hurt? Am I those who are willing to fight for others to accept the rule of Jesus as their King, and would not back down, despite persecution?
Am I like Jesus?
I am not.
But I WANT to be.
Because I WANT to be in the kingdom of heaven where only God rules.
Because I WANT to know the comfort, the riches, the satisfaction, the mercy, the sight of God, the status of being called the son of God that only God can give, and that the world can NEVER EVER give in all its promise for comfort, riches and satisfaction.
That’s how much I’ve learnt from that CERC sermon.