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Matthew 5:1-20, Beatitudes

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak
— Matthew 5:1-2a

NL Daily Devotion for Sunday, January 27, 2019

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by Dr. Kimberly Leetch, Clergy Stuff


Main Idea: God blesses all who strive to follow God’s laws of justice, peace, and love.

The beatitudes have long been a favorite passage, promising hope to the meek and mild. But it is so much more than hope for the submissive. Look at the progression of the types of people Jesus lifts up.

Incapacitated

  • Poor in spirit

  • Mourners

  • Meek

    Passive

  • Hunger and thirst for righteousness

  • Merciful

  • Pure in heart

    Active

  • Peacemakers

  • Persecuted for righteousness’ sake

  • Reviled, persecuted, and false accusations

Jesus’ promise is for people in a wide variety of life situations. Some are incapacitated, some are passive, and others are active. None are violent or antagonistic. None are oppressive or cruel. All are righteous and serve justice or peace.

Jesus invites followers to move from incapacitated through passive to active. He asks them to be a light for the world, to do and be positivity for the masses, to live according to the law, which was given as a gift by a loving God. God’s laws, when followed, promote physical, mental, spiritual, financial, and relational wellness—wellness that opens space for blessings to abound.


Narrative Lectionary Daily Reading:

Matthew 5:1-20

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught 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 receive 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 for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 ‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

 ‘You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.

‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

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