Summary: Now, I want to tell you that there are some great teachers out there, but Jesus is the Master Teacher! Old E.F. Hutton doesn’t have a THING on Jesus – when Jesus talks, you better listen! So listen up!
The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth
I heard a story at the yesterday that I just could not keep from sharing with you –
An old Florida farmer decided to visit a pond in the back of his property that he had not visited in a long time. As he neared the pond, he heard voices shouting and laughing with glee. As he came closer, he discovered a bunch of women were skinny dipping in his pond.
He politely made the women aware of his presence, and they all went to the deep end of the pond. One of the women shouted out, “We’re not coming out until you leave!”
The farmer replied, “I didn’t come down here to see you skinny dipping. I’m just here to feed the alligator!”
Will you bow with me for a Word of Prayer?
This morning, I would like for you all to open up those beautiful books you have in your hands – God’s Word – if you will open with me to Matthew Chapter 5. Matthew Chapter 5 verse 1:
“Now when He saw the crowds, He went on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him, and He began to teach them saying,
‘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 Sons 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.’”
I want you to notice something – right off the top – in verse 2 it says, “He began to teach”. Now, I want to tell you that there are some great teachers out there, but Jesus is the Master Teacher! Old E.F. Hutton doesn’t have a THING on Jesus – when Jesus talks, you better listen! So listen up!
Being the Master Teacher that He is – Jesus understood the importance of not starting off with negative stuff – instead, He starts off on a positive note – He begins by teaching about the power of living a life of righteousness and the BLESSINGS that it brings to the life of the believer.
Those old Pharisees taught that righteousness was an external thing – all a matter of following a bunch of rules and regulations – saying and doing (or appearing to do) the right things for all the world to see. If you fast enough, if you pray enough, if you read your Bible enough, then baby, you are RIGHTEOUS!
Jesus, on the other hand, knew that Christian character and righteousness flows from within.
Jesus tells us in verse 20 of this same Chapter “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of Heaven.”
The main theme here is righteousness – where we need to be careful as we examine this… is that the religious leaders had an artificial, external righteousness based on the Law. The righteousness Jesus is describing comes from the HEART. We have to look inward – into the heart –
The Pharisees are concerned with the little bitty, nit picky, details of CONDUCT – but they neglect the major matter of CHARACTER.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Oh man, that preacher is coming at me with some weak Willy’d stuff this morning – here comes that turn the other cheek stuff!
To be poor in spirit means to be HUMBLE. The kingdom of heaven belongs to the humble! You don’t have to have a weak backbone or be a walking matt in order to be humble! The world’s views and attitudes rest on self-praise and self-assertion –
We’re not looking for a bunch of phony baloney humble pie either – to be humble is to be honest with ourselves – to accept ourselves and to try to be ourselves to the glory of God.
“Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.”
When you sin, do you mourn over your sin? Do you grieve because of it? Or do you hide it – try to cover it up? When my children come to me in true sorrow over something they have done that they know is wrong – I comfort them. I don’t Lord it over them – if they come in false humility, with insincere motives – things are different – but when I see sincere brokenness over what they have done – I comfort them.