We are ready now to move forward with our study of the Beatitudes. Our goal is to grasp Jesus’ kingdom vision of the people we should be, that we might live organically or naturally. When we do this there is no need to be consumed by other’s perceptions. Our righteousness must exceed that of the Pharisees so we become conduits for the purest representation of Jesus possible. He doesn’t need us to be perfect. In fact, as the Apostle Paul reminds us, His strength is seen in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). But He does need us to be honest, and to pour ourselves out in humble submission for the sake of the lost.
The Beatitudes are a kingdom reality check. I am convinced Jesus’ words made His disciples’ heads spin as they tried to understand how they could possibly live out these ideals in their daily lives. They are the proverbial “shot over the bow” for every Christ-follower. It is ironic that something promising so much happiness should also require fearful obedience.
We must accept the fact kingdom blessings are serious business. In our culture we are led to believe joy should be easy and free of pain. It shouldn’t require commitment and sacrifice. Perhaps this is why the joy people seek never lasts.
Take courage! You are about to be blessed! I promise you any temporary discomfort you feel will be worth the journey. It may take a while for you to fully disembark the train of spiritual industrialization. Our goal is still to win the world for Jesus, and to make more disciples with great urgency. But I believe you will feel better about the mission as Jesus takes His rightful place. He is the 100% Jesus. To the extent His perfection finds its way through our tainted lives, we will touch our world with His grace.