With His spontaneous authority and willingness, Jesus Christ dedicated Himself to the people.
He preached to them, specially to the simple and humble. He lived with them, specially with the depressed, poor and sinners. He served them specially the sick, rejected and oppressed. He proclaimed His Good News, specially to the common. And He sought to bring hope to the whole community.
Jesus Christ never worked for His glory but, for the glory of God the Father. He acted to reveal the Heavenly Father’s salvation and Kingdom, to fulfill His will and to prove His love.
While the prophet Malachi ended the Old Testament with threat and a curse “… Lest I come and strike on earth with a curse.” (Mala.4:6) Jesus Christ began His New Testament with Blessedness.
In his Gospel, chapter 5-7, St Matthew presents Jesus’ sermon on the mountain which is one of Jesus’ blocks of teaching and a famous speech and statement of the ethics of God’s Kingdom. And It is His longest and the most complete one in the Gospel.
Jesus developed Moses’ Law and opened a brilliant era in the human history. He opened a New Testament, the Testament of grace and mercy. He prescribed both Man’s internal motives and his visible conduct.
On the mountain where Jesus chose to preach His Sermon, – possibly because it is calmer and more restful place, noticeable that many important events in the Bible took place on mountains such as Moses’ receiving of the Law and the transfiguration, – He was seated according to the habits of the important teachers and the great philosophers at that time. His twelve disciples came near Him because they were His followers for love and learning. And he was surrounded by the multitudes who mostly followed Him for cures. Then Jesus opened His mouth to pronounce the words of life and to teach. Though He addressed His teaching to the twelve, the crowds could listen to His teaching whereas no bounds were put for them.
Later through His disciples, all His Church received His idealistic spiritual knowledge.
Jesus taught with solemnity and wisdom marked by authority, courage and clearness. His teaching was from above, given to Him by His Father.
Jesus began His sermon with blessings as the great high priest used to do. He descended from Heaven to bless us. All Men on earth are invited to be blessed by Him. Those who are blessed by Him are blessed indeed.
The sermon on the mount is the Messianic moral and ethical proclamation; and the blessedness i.e. the Beatitudes form its introduction and first type.
The Beatitudes included nine types of people: The poor in spirit, Those who mourn, The meek, Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, The merciful, The pure in heart, The peacemakers, The persecuted for righteousness sake, In addition to those who are reviled, persecuted and lyingly spoken against for His sake.
The influence of the beatitudes went farther than the mountain and beyond the countryside of Galilee. It extended to the world as their light shone everywhere. The beatitudes were short sayings in the meantime, they were vital rules which brought astonishment to their hearers. The crowds expressed amazement at these new teachings which were genuine thoughts and principles: Moral disposition, virtues and their rewards, privileges of righteous people who commit themselves, change of moral and social understanding from negative conditions to positive blessed conditions. Jesus refreshed the spirit of the people and He restored in them their spiritual energy and activity .The beatitudes were designed to correct the ruinous mistakes of a dark world. Jesus gave the generations vital truth and fundamental bases for good godly life.
They were designed to remove despair, depression and discouragement and to be replaced for hope, comfort and happiness. They were designed to call the souls to Christ and to make way to His doctrine, teachings and His words of life to the human hearts and minds. They were designed to settle reconciliation, harmony and fellowship between God and Man.
The faithful response to God’s revelation is the path that leads to blessedness. The word “blessed” means more than “happy” as it refers to the ultimate God’s grace and salvation. It is distinctive spiritual joy of the Kingdom of God. Jesus showed and assured the characters of those who are meant and entitled to blessedness. Each type or character of blessed people represents a principal grace. And each future promised blessedness is expressed to suit the nature of the character and the recommended action and the praised duty.
The spirit desires what is contrary to the sinful nature. Those whose spirits are pure sow godly thoughts and moral righteous conduct-seeds; therefore they harvest blessedness and joy.
In conclusion: God is the source and spring of our blessings, gifts, happiness and grace through o Jesus Christ.
He transfers us from sorrow and suffering to comfort and rest, from bitterness and despair to joy and hope, from hunger and thirst to fullness and satisfaction…..
We are the recipients of God’s joy. He guides us to the road of salvation and virtue of His Kingdom. God loves us, and His will is that we live blessed and happy. So, we in our turn, are to put Him as our priority and the centre of our life. Our love for God should advance any precious thing and any one else.
Let’s have the attitude to meditate always on the beatitudes in a manner that we feel and practice the depth of their joy in the circle of our daily life experience.
Let our hearts, minds and souls praise the Lord and not forget all His benefits given freely to us to enjoy.
Let our hearts, minds and souls thank Him as He redeems us from the pits of soil and crowns us with His love, mercy and blessedness. Amen.
“The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage.” ΘΟΥΚΙΔΙΔΗΣ
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