Jesus’ Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12), the introduction, preamble, to Jesus Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:13-7:29).
Have you ever wondered why Jesus was so popular? Why did thousands of people reach out to Him, to listen to Him, and to follow Him? It could not have been easy for them as they had to follow on foot over dusty roads.
From the beginning of His public “In-person” ministry, Jesus taught that everyone was “blessed” (which is what the Beatitudes speak to). Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, spoke about God’s “blessings” He was bringing to the world, to all people. When that sermon was over, Jesus walked down that mountain - to live the “blessedness” He spoke about. Jesus went “in-person” to meet people where they were. People living in the, brokenness of sin, with little to no hope, and definitely not feeling “blessed” by God and others.
To make a long story short, when all the people who flocked to Jesus during His life, did not want God’s “blessed” status, by not understanding Him, maybe mostly because of hearing, and listening to, the loud religious and secular voices denouncing Him; the world crucified the Beloved and “blessed” Son of God. What did Jesus do? He continued to “bless” them by saying, while being murdered on His Cross, “Father, forgive them. They do not know what they are doing.” That was why so many continued to flock to Jesus after His death and resurrection, because of the witness of Jesus’ disciples. They knew God’s “In-person blessedness” was real.
That is the same “blessing” the “God-In-Person” Jesus continues to bring to our broken world through the gift of God’s Holy Spirit. Why? Because there are way too many negative views about Jesus, God, and religion in general (sadly, and rightfully so, because of the way many people use Jesus, God, and religion to make people feel NOT “blessed”).
You are invited to St. John’s this Sunday to come and hear the “good news” of Jesus, God, and religion which says, unashamedly and unconditionally, you are “blessed!” Why? Because you are a C.O.G./P.O.W. A “Child of God” a “Person of Worth.” Why, again? Because God created and blessed you in “God’s image” of Love, not the world’s image of exclusion and hate. Come join us as we Flock to and Follow Jesus’ way of blessing and love for all.
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