Jesus most likely gave these teachings primarily to the twelve disciples, but the crowds were present and listening. Much of what Jesus said referred to the ideas that had been promoted by the religious leaders of the day. The disciples, the closest associates of this popular Man, might easily have been tempted to feel important, proud, and possessive. However, Jesus told them that instead of fame and fortune, they could expect mourning, hunger, and persecution. Jesus also assured His disciples that they would receive rewards, but perhaps not in this life. The Beatitudes describe how Christ’s followers should live. Each beatitude tells how to be blessed. To be blessed means more than happiness – it means to be favored and approved by God. According to worldly standards, the types of people whom Jesus described don’t seem to be particularly blessed by God. But God’s way of living usually contradicts the world’s. Am I creating my reality & feelings with the world or with Christ?

PRAYER – Jesus, the world has taught me repeatedly to fight for my rights and privileges. But You continue to remind me – my reward in life, I may never see this side of Heaven. Help me to be content in wherever You have me and in doing whatever You would have of me for Your glory. In Your precious name, Amen.