(This is the second installation of The Awesomeness Conspiracy’s 2015 Lenten devotional on the Sermon on the Mount. Follow us to receive e-mail updates for each new post.)
When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. He opened His mouth and began to teach them.
Who is blessed?
The knocked down, the kicked at, the spit on. The lost, the overlooked, the forgotten. The soft, the tender, the pleasers. The losers. The nobodies that nobody wants to be around.
Who is blessed?
The ones who never feel blessed. The ones who think “blessed” always refers to someone else—someone richer, someone prettier, someone smarter, someone popular.
Blessed. Even these, Jesus says, are blessed. “For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
There it is again. Kingdom.
The crowds who had just experienced Jesus’ healing touch—the diseased, the sick, the suffering, the demoniacs, the epileptics, the paralytics—now being told they’re something they never thought they could be.
Blessed? Why? What has changed?
Healing. Kingdom. Jesus.
But what does it mean to be blessed? What is blessing for?
The sin of Israel had always been its insistence that it was blessed just because it was Israel. Rather than share its blessing, it coveted it.
Israel was blessed—chosen—not to rule the world, but to fulfill a purpose. A vocation.
Salt and light.
To add richness and flavor to the life of the world. To shine God’s love on its neighbors.
But when the salt has lost its flavor, when the light has been hidden, then what?
Be blessed, Jesus says, so you can fulfill your purpose.
Be healed, Jesus says, so you can live Kingdom life.
You who feel un-blessed have been restored. You’ve been touched by the Kingdom.
You’ve been touched by Jesus.
You’re empowered to be who you were meant to be.
This is good news!