Archive for June 11th, 2010

Matthew 5:1-12

Matthew 5:1-12 captures the Beatitudes Jesus taught.  There are 9 statements that all begin with “blessed are”.  Other gospel writers capture pieces of what Jesus said but Matthew has the entire list.  Jesus is in teaching mode.  Scripture tells us “His disciples came to Him…and He opened His mouth and taught them”.  Jesus invested in His disciples.  He spent three years with the 12 yet He didn’t expect them to get it all by osmosis.  He was intentional about teaching them.  We sometimes miss this point.  Especially as fathers.  God has given us the responsibility to teach our family.  That begins with our wife.  We are to teach and disciple her.  When is the last time you spent intentional time teaching your wife God’s truth?  When is the last time you even talked about anything spiritual with her?  God has given us as men the responsibility to lead in the home.  Some of you may get upset with that but it is God’s design – not mine – so take it up with Him.  I probably would have done it the other way around since it is often the women who step up in the area of spiritual things.  Look at how many of the teachers in Sunday school, youth groups, VBS and other religious activities fall onto the shoulders of the women.  Sad statement guys about our failure to step up and lead.  And I am convinced our world shows that result in spades.  We also are called as fathers to teach and disciple our children.  To train them up in God’s way.  When is the last time you had devotions with your kids and taught them how God expects them to live?  This is another area where just being around you won’t cut it.  We have to be intentional and verbalize it.  We have to tell them how to live.  Then we back it up by showing them and modeling what it means to be a Christ Follower.  Oh that we would follow Jesus lead and example and open our mouth and teach our wives and kids.

So what did Jesus tell them?  Nine blessed are you statements – many of which run against the common culture of the day.  He tells them to be “poor in spirit….meek….hungry and thirsty for righteousness….merciful…..pure in heart…..peacemakers…..persecuted…..reviled”.  The list is not really what we might have chosen to seek.  Yet as we are obedient to Jesus’ teachings here – the verses also speak of the outcomes.  And they are awesome.  The promises delivered here are fabulous.  Check some of them out: “theirs is the Kingdom of heaven…..inherit the earth….shall see God….shall be called Sons of God”.  Wow!  Talk about stuff worth pursuing.  Jesus is obviously serious about this stuff. He offers some amazing results when we learn to follow and do things God’s way.  But He tempers it a bit in verse 12. He talks about our “reward is great in heaven” but also reminds us that “they persecuted the prophets”.  So it isn’t all peaches and cream.  There will be tough days as we live out God’s call.  People won’t understand it.  They won’t appreciate what we do.  They will resist our attempts to follow Jesus’ instruction.  We need to prepare and remain committed to following His course.  It is what God intends for us.  There is no other option!

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