7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
- Only those with a pure heart and clean hands have access to God – Psalm 24:3-4
- Who created the pure heart and the clean hands?
- Psalm 51:10 – Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
- We are blessed with a pure heart because Jesus says we are.
- In today’s America what equals a pure heart? Quit smoking – good cholesterol LOL – doing the right thing.
- What is the promise here for those with a clean heart? To see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
- Peace = God’s shalom – A oneness with God
- Forgiveness & Reconciliation between Christians
- To share the peace of God which transcends all understanding
- Before communion when the pastor says “The peace of the Lord be with you.”
- And when we do the ‘passing of the peace’ around the congregation.
- 1John 3:1-3 – sons / children of God
- Hope in God = faith
- Hebrews 12:10-11 – even if you don’t feel peace, you are at peace with God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Jesus is telling them that they will be persecuted
- Remember one thing – this is persecution for righteousness – not about being persecuted for being a jerk.
- Isa 52 – 53 – The suffering servant song
- Jesus was persecuted for our sin … by us.
- He was pierced for our transgressions … by his wounds we are healed
- Modern day examples – the woman in the Sudan who was sentenced to death for being a Christian and marrying a Christian.
- “Meriam Ibrahim, 27, was convicted on charges of “apostasy” — the crime of abandoning or renouncing a religion.”
- ISIS to Iraqi Christians – convert or die.
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
- “against you falsely on my account”
- They aren’t mad at us – they are mad at Jesus
- If they hated Jesus they will hate us.
- Walk up to a stranger and say “hey, I was just talking to a friend of mine about Jesus – what do you think?”
- Confess Christ alone today as a military chaplain and see the fallout.
12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
- Rejoice always – this is not new for you
- It’s a long line of persecution before us.
- Persecution has been going on for a long time to God’s people.
- What does it mean if we do not face any persecution?
- But through all of this – rejoice.
The Beatitudes were all gospel – who we are in Christ. The rest of the Sermon on the Mount is all Law … what God wants from us.
Salt and Light
13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
- Why the example of Salt? What were the uses back then? Today?
- Salt preserves
- Salt also draws out flavor in food. We should be drawing good out of people.
- Salt has a purpose and so do we. Serving is our purpose – our mission … don’t lose it.
- The main thing is that we have a purpose and when that purpose is gone or becomes ineffective, we are no longer useful to God’s work.
- Notice that Jesus didn’t tell us to be Sugar of the Earth. We aren’t to be sweet so everyone likes us.
- We are to have a more productive use.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
- Light attracts some … like moths
- Light also makes some hide … like cockroaches.
- See John 1
- Where are we salt & light – here in class or out in the world in our everyday life?
15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, 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 who is in heaven.
- Somehow our good works show the glory of God to others
- Does our light show off our good works?
- Anything the Christian does is to give glory to God and to point others to this same saving Lord.
- We are like reflectors of the light – Jesus is the true light who shines on us.
- Like the moon reflects the light of the sun.