Jesus’ Manifesto

Matthew 5:1 “And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him.  Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying……”

What was it that brought Jesus such acclaim from some and such rebuke from others?

When Jesus stood to preach His sermon on the mount, He delivered more than just some good tidings or feel good stories—Jesus delivered a public declaration to all who would follow Him. This manifesto had depth of insight and yet was hidden from those who were but casual observers. The richness of Jesus’ edicts were reserved for His faithful ones—the ones who would seek Him with all their hearts.

For those who but only brush over the impact of Jesus’ revelation, they will be left skeptical and doubting, but for those who hear the voice of God on the mountain….and follow Him, theirs will be the Kingdom of God.

To all who would follow…

To all who respond to Jesus’ call, they will be called blessed.

Matthew 5:3-5 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.”

What is it that typifies a follower of Christ?

Does a believer need to bring great wealth or incredible faith to Jesus that they might be blessed? If so, how few would be chosen.

The greatest men and women of God I’ve ever met are those who are poor in spirit. They know they are destitute before Christ, their helplessness makes them vulnerable but also accepting. It is this position of lowliness that makes them mighty, it is the strength of the Lord that radiates from their lives and in so doing…others can see Jesus.

The broken know they have nothing in which to bring to the King, and in their mourning He comforts them, and shows them love.

The meek carry an attitude or quality of heart whereby a person is willing to accept and submit without resistance to the will and desire of someone else. God’s strength becomes their strength, He leads them as they submit to His authority. The meek find themselves in God’s will and in so doing will inherit the earth.

To all who would obey….

Recognizing the greatness of God is to be obedient to His call. Jesus made it clear that His people would love Him through obedience.

Matthew 5:6-8 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.”

The righteousness of God has been established by His perfection. To those who love Him, they too desire His perfect qualities as well. This perfection could not be found in the Law of God, is became impossible to achieve. For those who hunger and thirst for His righteousness, Jesus desires to fill them. When a follower of Christ comes desiring Him only, Jesus fills them with His perfection and satisfies the requirement of the law. Walking according to God’s law as those made perfect is but a demonstration of love, not of duty.

The same mercy that God showed His people, is the same mercy Jesus’ followers show others. The attributes of Christ spills over the cups of those who have been filled, that others might partake. These Kingdom people bring a richness and blessing to the earth like no other.

Purity was a sign of holiness, it became representative of the sacrifice at the Temple. Jesus’ pure sacrifice for His people became the symbol of Christ in us. The pure in heart set themselves apart for service in God’s Kingdom, as a sacrifice unto Him. The sacrifice of love becomes a fragrant aroma that ascends into the throneroom of the King. If you’ve ever experienced the pleasure of God for sacrifice, you’ll never want to go back ever again. This sweet communion between the Savior and His people is the closest we can get to Heaven on earth right now.

To all who would give….

What can those who came with nothing, give back to the King?

Matthew 5:9-10 “Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

The same Peace that Jesus brought to His people, is the same peace they can give to others. There is nothing God’s people possess that Jesus did not give them first, there is nothing God’s people possess that they should keep to themselves. The message of the gospel doesn’t always bring peace, but often discord and anger. The peace of the gospel is issued to those who would receive it, a peace made possible between God and man, through Jesus’ redemptive sacrifice. One day the world will the fullness of this peace and Jesus will reign.

When God leads His people, persecution is not unexpected. The world hated Jesus, it will therefore hate His people. When the saints of God follow Him in righteousness, the world will having nothing by which to accuse. The tragedy of the loss of life through persecution is only a brief interlude to God’s redeeming glory.

Matthew 5:11-12 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

For those who partake in the Kingdom of God, they will be found in good company. Many have gone before in faithfulness, and many have continued the legacy of God’s love. These all share in what it means to be citizens of a Kingdom that is not of this world, with a King that has already won the war.

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