GROWTH AND SUCCESS IN LIFE – Lessons Learned at the Feet of Jesus – Sermon on Mount (Part 4)
Jesus pronounced, in this His first public discourse and teaching, how to be happy and successful in life. This is happy in the deepest sense, not just satisfied from a good meal, or a winning business or life event, but a deep settled, blessed, what one author called superlatively blessed life. This is fullness consistent with our design as God’s people and in a manner pleasing to Him.
So far Jesus has established the virtues of poverty, grief, and now meekness. Doesn’t really sound like a winning combination! In lay terms, it is only when we are down that we look up. It is only when we acknowledge our need that we look to the Provider for our Needs, in the deepest sense.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5a.
1. The virtue of meekness, or poor in spirit. While poor in spirit speaks to our internal realization of our spiritual poverty, eg. Broken-hearted. Meekness speaks to my external relationship to God and to others. This is a pilgrim who devotes himself to serving God and caring for others, which is the greatest commandment. Mark 12:28-34:One of the teachers of the law(B) came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked , “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[b](C) 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[c](D) There is no commandment greater than these.”
So Jesus addresses the whole of the nature of the Kingdom of God, which leads then to inheritances in the Kingdom.
2. Inheritance in the Kingdom. In the Old Testament, the focus was physical – it was inheritance of the land – the promised legacy and covenant with Abraham. Genesis 12, Psalm 37:34. Now, in the expansion of salvation to Jew and Gentile, the inheritance of the Kingdom is both the salvation that comes in believes in Him who sent Me (John 5:34) but also a richness in faith and the Kingdom that comes from perseverance: James 2:5 5Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him
This, then, speaks to the whole race. A meekness, a recognition of spiritual need toward God and others, a perseverance in the tests of life, is the beginning, the middle and the end of our spiritual pilgrimage. This becomes wealth in the deepest sense, spiritual wealth and inheritance that does not fade away. Remember the warning in James 5:2: Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. Not such with spiritual wealth, which only comes from those seekers of God that follow these instructions. Best to you this week.
— John Moore