Summary: Note: This sermon is inspired and provided by "City On A Hill" which owns the rights to the movie, "I Can Only Imagine". Much of the sermon structure is theirs, and it's been edited toward my personal preaching style as well as the personal illustration
MATTHEW 5:2-12 (Third and Final “Imagine” series)
At the beginning of this series, we talked about how Jesus rooted his identity in being a loved son of God. Because Jesus lived out of the identity God gave him, he was propelled into the purpose God had for him.
All of us, at one time or another, have lived out of an identity other than a child of God.
You may have placed your identity in your job, in your family, in your community, or even in what other people have said about you.
Some of us have even identifed ourselves based on a sin that rules or once ruled our lives.
Let me tell remind all of us again today:
WHEN WE PLACE OUR IDENTITY IN ANYTHING OTHER THAN JESUS, WE ARE IN NEED OF REDEMPTION.
Redemption means to restore something that is lost or lacking.
Ephesians 5:1-2 says,
“FOLLOW GOD’S EXAMPLE, THEREFORE, AS DEARLY LOVED CHILDREN AND WALK IN THE WAY OF LOVE, JUST AS CHRIST LOVED US AND GAVE HIMSELF UP FOR US AS A FRAGRANT OFFERING AND SACRIFICE TO GOD.”
The Apostle Paul shows us here that Jesus, in his humanity, was how God intended mankind to be from the beginning. Jesus is the perfect man.
That’s why the bible calls Jesus the 2nd Adam- the one that exemplifies what humanity was meant to be.
The Bible makes it clear, if you want to be restored to who God made you to be, you need to walk as Jesus walked.
You might ask- how is that possible? How did Jesus, through His life and words, show the world the personality of God?
Let’s turn out your Bibles to Matthew 5:2-12 as I set up this section of scripture.
This section of scripture is called the Beatitudes (or beautiful attitudes).
It’s the beginning of a large part of scripture referred to as the Sermon on the Mount.
Jesus gave this sermon to his followers to teach them what it means to become the person God made them to be, or in other words, to become restored.
This section of Jesus’ teaching is made up of eight statements that reveal how God describes someone who is blessed.
We hear the word “blessed” thrown around every day, but most specifically, our culture identifies a blessing as something that you are given.
If you are given a bonus, you are blessed.
If you are given a child, you are blessed. (well, only some of you would say that)
If you are given a spouse, you are blessed. (again…only some of you would say that)
All of us have a desire to be blessed because this idea means that we will be more than we were previously, or have more than we did before.
While that is true, even of what Jesus is about to describe, it doesn’t look the same way we might imagine in our lives.
Here is what Jesus says when he describes a blessed person:
“BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT, FOR THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO MOURN, FOR THEY WILL BE COMFORTED.
BLESSED ARE THE MEEK, FOR THEY WILL INHERIT THE EARTH.
BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS,
FOR THEY WILL BE FILLED.
BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL, FOR THEY WILL BE SHOWN MERCY.
BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART, FOR THEY WILL SEE GOD.
BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS, FOR THEY WILL BE CALLED CHILDREN OF GOD.
BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO ARE PERSECUTED BECAUSE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS,
FOR THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
BLESSED ARE YOU WHEN PEOPLE INSULT YOU, PERSECUTE YOU AND FALSELY SAY ALL KINDS OF EVIL AGAINST YOU BECAUSE OF ME. REJOICE AND BE GLAD, BECAUSE GREAT IS YOUR REWARD IN HEAVEN, FOR IN THE SAME WAY THEY PERSECUTED THE PROPHETS WHO WERE BEFORE YOU.”
Matt 5 talks a lot about being blessed. The word “blessed”, makarios (mak-ar’-ee-os) in Greek, literally means someone in an enviable position to receive God’s incredible favor and grace. In other words, those of us who have received the incredible grace of God through salvation are given the enviable position of eternal life, thus we are already blessed.
One of the big ideas we see in this section of God’s word is this-
Jesus wanted his disciples then, and now us, to realize in God’s kingdom:
A BLESSING IS NOT SOMETHING WE ARE GIVEN, IT IS A STATE OF LIVING.
If Jesus is the perfect example of how God intended for man to be, the Beatitudes are Jesus’ definition of who God intended you to be.
And living blessed is simply the result of a life walked with Jesus.
- You could have nothing material in this life, but you have Jesus and because you have Jesus you are blessed.