This is a guest blog post by Dan Wolgemuth. He had shared this on Facebook first. It had great impact on me and I asked him if I could share it here. He graciously agreed. Thank you Dan!
At last check there were somewhere around 20 candidates aspiring to be the next President of the United States.
In the early days of campaigning, these individuals look for ways to differentiate themselves from the crowded field. Each speech, every public encounter, and nearly all of their interactions are carefully scrutinized, evaluated and commented on.
Political philosophy and personal values are squeezed out of each written or spoken sentence. Questions swirl and answers are evaluated. Words illuminate. Speeches inform.
In the early stages of Jesus’ ministry He too gave a number of noteworthy speeches. Perhaps none more poignant or revealing than His sermon on the side of a mountain.
“Blessed…” was the first word that tumbled from His lips. Blessed.
Perfect. The first word that washes over the crowd sounds like the preamble to a political promise. Sounds like the makings of the 1928 Presidential slogan of Herbert Hoover… “A chicken in every pot.”
Of course. Who wouldn’t. Count me in. Blessed…
But then the words shift. The course veers.
Words that rub against the nature and character of power spill from the lips of the teacher. They are a bucket full of cold water in the face of a sleeper.
… the poor in spirit
… those who mourn
… the meek
… those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
… the merciful
… the pure in heart
… the peacemakers
… those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake
Not the powerful or the prosperous. Not the connected or resourced. Not the educated or influential.
Without regard to the polling data, Jesus speaks His mind… He speaks the truth.
Jesus changes the game.
Unmeasured but perfectly accurate. Untested against a sample audience. Truth obliterates preconceived ideas of what it means to be Blessed.
Jesus isn’t grandstanding or employing some “shock and awe” approach. His yardstick measures the souls of men and women; and He knows just what it means in His culture and every culture that follows to be truly Blessed. And so He speaks… not only His mind, but the mind of God.
Because ultimately, the entire fate of mankind rests in the power of this promise. Blessed are all of those who understand just how upside down; and just how perfect the message of Jesus is.
For those who wish to be…
… residents of the kingdom of heaven
… inheritors of the earth
… recipients of mercy
… viewers of God
… sons of God
No election required.