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Matthew 5

September 12, 2009 Leave a comment

Matthew 5

Matthew 5-7 is called “The Sermon on the Mount” because it is a collection of teachings Jesus gave from the side of a hill. It is one of Jesus’ most famous teachings. In fact, many of the teachings here are taught around the world, even by non-Christians.

No doubt, Jesus’ listeners were shocked when they heard this. Look back through this chapter. There’s a phrase you see over and over: “You have heard that it was said…But I tell you…” This teaching was—and still is—revolutionary. Jesus came to turn our world upside-down.

It starts off right at the start. In the first section, called “The Beatitudes,” Jesus uses the word “blessed.” This word is often translated “happy.” So Jesus says happy are the poor in spirit, those that mourn, and those that are persecuted.

Excuse me, Jesus?

And you want me to love my enemies?

This is completely upside-down. How can I be happy in those circumstances? Jesus says that we will have a great reward in heaven (verse 12), but I think there might be something more.

The word “blessed” really means joyful. What is the difference between joy and happiness? Happiness is dependent upon my circumstances. In other words, I’m happy when things are going well, but when things go badly, I lose my happiness.

But joy comes from the inside, not from the outside. Jesus fills me with joy; it does not come from experiencing good times. And it doesn’t disappear when bad things happen.

In John 10.10, Jesus says that he came to give us “life, life to the full.” He came to give us the life we were meant to live. He came to fill us with joy so we could experience the reward of heaven here on earth. Jesus doesn’t promise bad things won’t happen. But a true relationship with Christ fills you with a joy that cannot be explained.

Are you filled with joy? Have you allowed Jesus to turn your life upside-down? The more time you spend with Jesus, the closer you draw to him, the more like him you become. When you do this, you will experience that joy. Pray to Jesus, and ask him to help you live your life upside-down.

 

Prayer for Today

Jesus, I want to be filled with your joy. Help me to live my life upside-down. Help me to love my enemies. Bless those who treat me badly. Help them to come to know you. May I live my life in such a way that others will see God and worship him. Thank you for your joy. Amen.

 

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4.4-7