[Daily Devotion] December 16th, 2015

[Daily Devotion] December 16th, 2015

Blessed are those – Matthew 5:1 – 20

The Beatitudes

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

“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 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.

Salt and Light

13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15 No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

The Law and the Prophets

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

If I had to summarize the first part of the Beatitude, Jesus’ sermon, in one sentence it would be…

“Living in a counter-cultural lifestyle is how to shine your light, and many of you miss the mark, which is the true reason of the Law.”

I don’t know how well I did, but this is the point.

Jesus is suggesting a whole new way of following God.

First, Jesus talks about a ‘blessed life.’ We all yearn to live a life full of blessings. However, if you read what Jesus is saying, the definition we have regarded ‘blessed life,’ is entirely different from Jesus’ definition of ‘blessed life.’

Second, he talks about being Salt and Light. Why did he introduce this idea, right after he mention about what ‘blessed life’ is? Is it an indication that if we do not live in this manner, we lose the purpose of our life? Is it, by any chance, Jesus challenging us to live counter-culturally?

Third, why is he talking about the Law? Is there another correlation? Was the Law intended to help us become a Salt and Light of this world, guiding us to live a ‘blessed life,’ instead of being a burden? Or was the Law established to prevent this from happening?

There must be a reason Jesus shared this message with his followers. Instead of looking at the sermon, sector by sector, wouldn’t we have to look at it as a whole?
Wouldn’t we also have to connect this message with our own live?
What is God asking us to do?
What lifestyle is he asking us to live?

May God reveal this answer to our life,  during this time of Advent.

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