1 Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him,
2 and he began to teach them, saying:
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 be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
These words were spoken after the calling of the Twelve. Sort of an orientation to the Kingdom of God. Significant that Jesus doesn't talk about dreams for the future. He emphasizes the heart of God that every disciple must have.
1. God Desires Humility
First four beatitudes deal with our attitude towards God.
World tells us humility is weakness. Pride, confidence are keys to success. God hates pride, wants us to remain humble. Sets up our lives to bless us with humility (aging, parenting, etc.)
1 Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the LORD promised on oath to your forefathers.
2 Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.
3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.
4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years.
5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.
When we're confident all is well, we're weak. Spend our lives trying not to need God (prepare for everything). What do we put our confidence in? Results, preaching, wisdom, planning, etc.
God wants us to seek humility. Blesses us when we humble ourselves (fruit). Do we prefer humility, or worldly confidence? When are we most comfortable?
2 Corinthians 12:10
That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2. Relationships Demonstrate Humility
Last four beatitudes deal with our attitude toward others. Paul highlighted Timothy as a humble man.
I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare.
How did Paul know Timothy cared about others? He watched him in the fellowship. We all struggle with being task-oriented. When we go to church sometimes we go with a long list of things to do. We think we're so unselfish, giving and serving all the time. Actually most of the times, we're seeking our own interests. Trying to get everybody to do what we want them to.
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.
15 Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.
16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
18 Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
Does this sound like us in the fellowship? Do people always say, "we're so busy". We need to be known as Timothy having genuine interest.
God desires humility. Relationships demonstrate humility. Let us build our lives on this foundation.