Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Blessed Life - A Study of the Sermon on the Mount

In our study of the Sermon on the Mount, happening on Sunday Evenings at 7PM, we have reflected on the words of Jesus concerning His Beatitudes. In the Beatitudes, found in Matthew 5:2-12, Jesus makes nine statements that start with the word “Blessed.” The word literally means “happy, fortunate, blissful.” Here it speaks of more than a surface emotion. Jesus was describing the divinely bestowed well-being that belongs only to the faithful. The Beatitudes demonstrate that the way to heavenly blessedness is opposite to the worldly path normally followed in pursuit of happiness. The worldly idea is that happiness is found in riches, merriment, abundance, leisure, and other such things. The real truth is the very opposite.

The Greek word for blessed, makarios, was the name of an island off of Greece—the Makarios Island. It was known as the blessed island because it was self-contained. The residents didn’t need to leave the island in order to get their needs met. The island offered everything that they needed. The natural resources of the blessed island were so thick, so rich, so fruitful, and so productive that everything they needed to enjoy their lives was already built-in. The inhabitants of the island were self-sustained and self-contained without having to run to another island to get their needs met. The blessed island provided everything they needed.

All the stuff you get is outside of you. The new car, the new house, and the new money are all fine … but they are all extra. They are a bonus. In the biblical world of being blessed, you should be okay being on the island. Just being in the Kingdom with the King ought to put you in a blessed location. One of the ways you know that you aren’t blessed yet in the biblical sense of the word is that you got to keep leaving the island to have fun. You need more than your relationship with God to have peace. You crave more than your communion with the Father to have joy. The blessed person finds their sufficiency with Him.
Is your joy today in Jesus or in material things? Are you dwelling on the island of blessedness with our Lord, or do you find yourself leaving that island in a vain search for happiness?

May God strengthen our faith to see the joy that can only come from Jesus, and may we invite as many as we can to the island,

-       Bro. Dave 

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