“And seeing the multitude, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them saying, ‘Blessed…’” Matthew 5:1-3a
“Blessed.” What a wonderful way to begin a sermon. I have often wondered what the multitudes thought when the very first word they heard of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount was, “Blessed.” Today we often use that word to express how we feel when we’ve been blessed outwardly, but the word Jesus used was not that sort of blessing. The word Jesus used would have caused every ear to open, every eye to turn and every heart to receive what He was about to say.
The Greek word Jesus used for “blessed” is “makarios.” Homer and Hesiod spoke of the Greek gods as being happy (makarios) within themselves because they were unaffected by the world of men who were subjected to poverty, disease, weakness, misfortune and death. This is the kind of happiness God desires for us - an inner satisfaction and sufficiency that does not depend on outward circumstances or relationships. This is the type of blessing Jesus offers those who trust Him.
It is when Christians experience this type of blessing that revival comes. Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones said, “If you read the history of the church you will find it has always been when men and women have taken the Sermon on the Mount seriously and faced themselves in light of it that true revival has come. And when the world sees the truly Christian man, it not only feels condemned, it is drawn, it is attracted. Knowing this truth, let us consider it that we may see what can be. For it not only states the demand; it points to the supply, the source of power. God gives us grace to face the Sermon on the Mount seriously and honestly and prayerfully until we become living examples of it and exemplifiers of its glorious teaching.”
This Sunday morning we begin our series “Summer on the Mount” with an introduction message titled “A Radical Sermon by a Relational Savior.” At the onset, I would ask that we all take the Sermon on the Mount very seriously, honestly and prayerfully in order that we may become living examples of it. How can we do this? Here are three things we can do. Firstly, seriously take time and read Matthew 5-7 before this Sunday and continue to read it once a week as we go through it. Secondly, honestly take time as you read it to examine yourself and ask God to reveal to you how much you need Him. And thirdly, prayerfully ask God to give you the power to be exemplifiers of it before you leave home every day. If we commit to doing this, we will be blessed in every way.
This Sunday is Potluck Sunday. What a perfect time to invite someone to church as we begin the Sermon on the Mount and spend time in fellowship afterwards eating together. Please take some serious time and pray for people you might invite that they might be blessed in every way.
God bless you all and see you on Sunday!