What if the way you have understood a part of the Bible was incorrect? What if it was a passage you were so familiar with, you thought it was impossible to possibly learn anything new about it? That was the situation I was confronted with during the past couple of weeks as I prepared to preach on the Beatitudes. As someone that grew up going to church, there are few passages of scripture that are more familiar and yet as I read and studied I realized that while I was familiar I was actually mistaken in my understanding. The radical and powerful nature of the Beatitudes has completely eluded me for most of my life. In the 9 statements that open up the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is actually talking about people who are flourishing now because they are living in a state of being that lines up with God’s means of grace. They are not about receiving some future blessing, but instead about a person’s current state. But, because the Kingdom of God is not yet fully on earth, flourishing today sometimes looks like the exact opposite. It is only when we realize we are living in line with God’s design that we can see our current conditions, even when difficult, as evidence of flourishing. What was even more amazing was seeing how the OT shed even more light on Jesus’s teaching on mourning. At the end of the day I was convicted not only of the immense power of scripture, but of the possibility of a lifetime spent learning even more about what God’s word means for us today! It truly is a living and breathing word that cuts
us to the heart!