Summary: Teaching about kingdom attributes, Jesus showed that true righteousness goes beyond the superficial teachings of the Pharisees.
The Beatitudes- Part 2
Teaching about more kingdom attributes, Jesus continued to show that true righteousness goes beyond the superficial teachings of the Pharisees.
• Today we will are into part two of the Beatitudes!
• The first four that we explored together last week were focused on underlying spiritual attitudes, whereas the final four we will explore together today center on fundamental virtues that are reflective of Christian character.
• The list of kingdom attitudes contained in the Beatitudes marked a completely different approach to righteousness, both for the Jews and for us today.
• Our primary association, when it comes to righteousness, is with actions.
• This association results from the fact that our real, physical, everyday world deals with people who can’t see our hearts.
• We forget that God is very real and sees not only our actions but also our heart.
• In the Beatitudes, Jesus’s list of attitudes deals primarily with righteous attitudes that produce righteous actions.
• Jesus is trying to grow us.
• When one places their emphasis on where Jesus wants it to reside, there will be a natural outflow to produce the right actions.
• With that thought in mind, understanding the difference between external versus internal righteousness is key to being able to implement what Jesus has been saying.
• Jesus is not negating externals.
• External actions are still essential because we are the salt (v. 13) and light of the earth (vv. 14–16).
• However, we need to be conscious of the fact that others can’t see our internals, so externals are essential.
• However, if all we have is an external show and no internal foundation for those actions, we are no better than the Pharisees who missed the point of the law.
• Imagine yourself going to the Apple store and asking to see the latest MacBook Pro.
• The salesman shows you the computer and points out all the specs, gigabytes, RAM, and other impressive tech facts.
• At this point, you’re so excited to see it in action that you excitedly ask the salesman to turn it on and let you “give it a spin.”
• To your horror, the salesman explains that the MacBook Pro is not meant to be used; it’s merely meant to be admired. “What a joke!” you would think to yourself.
• Shouldn’t it be reasonable that the latest computer not only be built to look good but also to function?
• We are no better representations of Christ if all we do is try to look good with no functionality of true righteousness going on in the inside.
• Both are important, but perhaps the onlooking world exclaims, “What a joke!” to us.
• Let’s dive into the Beatitudes today!
Matthew 5:7 (CSB)
7Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
1. I. Jesus welcomes the merciful.
• The first of the final four attributes that Jesus wants to see in Hid disciples is the attribute of being merciful!
• A merciful person is a person who shows leniency, compassion, or forgiveness, especially toward someone who has offended them.
• Boy, could to world use some of that today.
• What do we see happening today when someone is offended in the slightest? It is not mercy; it is venom.
• I saw a post where a lady was talking about how she went to the drive-thru at a local restaurant to get some food. She explained that the young girl at the window had her mask on; however, it was not covering her nose.
• Then this lady blasts on Facebook how she had not been back to that establishment again.
• Then someone else tried to defend the establishment by trying to say the incident was an oversight, and maybe she should contact the manager of the restaurant to let the manager know what happened.
• Instead, the lady said that she knew the girl with the mask below her nose was making a political statement and that the owner was probably also in on it.
• I jumped in and said, sure, we should just assume the worst of someone.
• Jesus tells us that if we want mercy from God, the very God whom we have offended by our actions, that we MUST be merciful to others.
• I cannot tell you how many times I have seen Christian treat other people and other Christians in mean, nasty, and unmerciful ways simply because they were inconvenienced over something, or they were mad at something.
• I have had it happen to me, and sadly I have done it my self on occasion.
• The kingdom principle is that if I want God’s mercy to shine on me, I need to offer mercy to others in my life.