Who is blessed in the Sermon on the Mount? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Eschatology has brought us to looking at Jesus as king in the Gospels starting with Matthew and we’re looking at the Sermon on the Mount. If Jesus is stating His role in this sermon as laying down a new way of living, then who is it that He is going to include? The fascinating idea here is that Jesus goes for the ones that society rejects.
There’s a funny little saying that speaks of God’s choice in the Jewish people and says, “How odd of God to choose the Jews.” It goes on to say, “But odder still are those who reject whom God chose.” In choosing the Jewish people, God did not choose a grand and prestigious people. He chose an old man who while rich did not have an heir and through him began His plan.
Like Father, like Son. When Jesus goes through and announces His citizens in the Kingdom, He picks the ones that are rejected. The rich and elite are not mentioned in this list. The Pharisees and Sadducees are left out. Jesus welcomes the ones that are even outcasts in Israel.
We see this in His life in the Gospels. Who does Jesus choose to hang out with? Prostitutes and tax collectors. Most of his apostles are fishermen and other common men including one of those tax collectors. We don’t know of any of them being part of the elite.
Actually, all of these people will also get what they want. Are you mourning? You’re going to be comforted. Are you hungering and thirsting for righteousness? You’re going to get it. Are you one of the downtrodden, the meek? You’re going to get the whole world.
This is a major contrast to the Roman Empire of the time who would want the best of the best in their kingdom. Paul’s commander who had him flogged said he paid a lot of money for his citizenship. The Roman Empire didn’t take being a citizen lightly. You had to show you had earned it. In Jesus’s kingdom, it’s those who know they have not earned it who are the most worthy.
Think you’re not good enough for the kingdom? You’re right. You’re not. Jesus welcomes you into the kingdom if you come to Him. You don’t have to really do anything to enter the kingdom except acknowledge that Jesus alone can get you into it and come to Him for that.
This part does culminate in persecution. I want to save that for another time. It requires its own focus, but for now, I simply want us to remember that God has a habit of picking those who the world rejects. He hasn’t changed.