We hear it all the time. We hear it in church, in interviews with sports and movie stars, and we hear it a whole lot around the Fourth of July.
“I’ve been blessed.” “We’ve been so blessed.”
But what does it mean? What does it mean to be blessed? Usually we associate it with plentitude. It means that we have a lot of something: money, property, health, talent. Certainly, in that sense things haven’t changed much over the past 2,000 years.
Ask any first-century Jew at the time of Jesus who the blessed people were in their community and they would have shared with you the conventional wisdom of the day —
Blessed are the ruthless, for they are wealthy.
And blessed are the wealthy, for they have lots of stuff.
Blessed are the Romans, for they have power.
And blessed are the powerful, for they get what they want.
Today we might add some blessings that are peculiar to our own time and place in history —
Blessed are the college-educated, for they get the good jobs.
Blessed are the attractive, for they get fawned over.
Blessed are the arrogant and the ignorant, the mean and the petty, the shallow and self-absorbed, for they get their own reality TV shows.
Every age and every culture has its own understanding of what it means to be blessed and they are all, surprisingly, similar. Almost all of them involve fame or power or wealth — or sometimes, all three.
Jesus takes all of this and stands it on its head. Jesus re-defines what it means to be blessed in the Beatitudes….Matthew 5:1-12.
Read Matthew 5:1-12 and see what Jesus says to YOU about being blessed.
IF YOU SAW THE SIZE OF THE BLESSING COMING, YOU WOULD UNDERSTAND THE MAGNITUDE OF THE BATTLE YOU ARE FIGHTING!