Summary: The beatitudes--The opening lines of ’the greatest sermon ever preached by the greatest preacher Who ever lived!’ Link included to formatted text, handout, and PowerPoint Presentation.
When God Shows Thru [The Beatitudes]
The Gospel of Jesus
One Sunday as they drove home from church, a little girl turned to her mother and said, "Mommy, there’s something about the preacher’s message this morning that I don’t understand." The mother said, "Oh? What is it?" The little girl replied, "Well, he said that God is bigger than we are. He said God is so big that He could hold the world in His hand. Is that true?" The mother replied, "Yes, that’s true, honey." "But Mommy, he also said that God comes to live inside of us when we believe in Jesus as our Savior. Is that true, too?" Again, the mother assured the little girl that what the pastor had said was true. With a puzzled look on her face the little girl then asked, "If God is bigger than us and He lives in us, wouldn’t He show through?"
That is what the beatitudes are about – God showing through. It has always been God’s purpose that when He entered our lives, He would be allowed to so fill and control them that He would "show through" – that He would be visible in our attitudes and actions. Not that we would imitate Christ, or try to do the things that Jesus would do, but that Christ Himself would be allowed to live through us. The beatitudes are like a light bulb…that only shines when plugged into God’s power!
Don’t try to act this way. One preacher said the beatitudes are supposed to ‘be’ your ‘attitude’. No…you can’t pretend. Humans aren’t able to keep the beatitudes, no matter how hard they try. Nobody can be like Jesus like Jesus can. By the Holy Spirit, He has come to live IN us that He might live THROUGH us to meet the needs of hurting humanity. And when He does, others see the image of Christ shining through this veil of flesh.
Let me ask you a question: How would life be different if Jesus were to come take your place? What if He took your place in the home? What if He performed your work on the job? Teenager, what if He sat in your desk at school? What if He filled my place in the pulpit? Yet, that is exactly what He wants to do. He came to live within me to mortify the carnal works of this body, master the circumstances of my life, manifest His character, and minister to others whom my life touches every day.
Knowing that makes me wonder, does anyone ever see God showing through me. Well, if they did, I know what He would look like, for the beatitudes are a self-portrait of Christ.
• He was poor in spirit. Although He was Almighty God with all the rights and privileges of deity, He made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
• He mourned. He wept for Lazarus. He wept over Jerusalem. He was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.
• He was meek. He hungered and thirsted after righteousness. He was merciful. Measure the life of Christ by these qualities, and you will find that He modeled them all. I am convinced that this is not a description of the Christian man, but of the man Christ. And as He was while on this earth, so we become as we yield our lives to Him.
So, why should we study this today? The answer is the first word of the first verse: ‘Blessed’
Joke—the forgetful preacher: went to conference to glean good things to bring home to his ministry / heard them say that the first thing you say in your message should be attention grabbing / then he heard a preacher stand up and give an example, saying, ‘I spent many years of my life in the arms of another man’s wife.’ [the people gasped] He continued ‘…she was my mother!’ / the forgetful preacher said, oh, I’ve gotta remember that one. He got home and couldn’t wait to grab their attention Sunday morning. He said, ‘I spent many years of my life in the arms of another man’s wife.’ [dramatic pause] ‘…for the life of me I can’t remember who she was!’ Well, at least he got their attention!
So, why should we study this today? The answer is the first word of the first verse, and almost every verse: ‘Blessed’. Jesus got our attention from the get-go. We want to be blessed!
Here is what others will see when God shows thru:
I. A Happy Person
This is the first sermon recorded in the New Testament as having been preached by Jesus Christ. It begins with a promise of happiness. Nine times the voice of Jesus reached out to the multitudes seated on that hillside – people who were oppressed politically, socially, and economically – with the offer of genuine happiness.