Who Are the Entitled (*blessed)?

Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5) puts forth who is entitled to Kingdom blessings. To be "entitled" is to give a right to. With that entitlement comes certain blessings.

Jesus says...

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called sons of God.

Blessed are they that have been persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The World mocks these and, not surprisingly, has it's own version of the be-attitudes.

The world says...

Blessed are the rich, the proud, the self-satisfied for theirs is the kingdom of this world. You will have no need for God because you are a god. You get the blessing of being envied, fawned over, flattered, and admired.

Blessed are those that please and gratify themselves for they will be happy and in need no pity. You are ruled by no one and get to call the shots in your life.

Blessed are the strong and forceful for they will get what they want. You will not have to know the pain of yielding your "rights."

Blessed are those that gather things, accolades, and power for they will be filled with feelings of superiority! An accumulation of coveting followers will fill you with a sense of worth and build your self-esteem.

Blessed are the unforgiving and those that force grievance for they shall cause destruction and keep score. They don’t have to recognize their own hypocrisy but get to enjoy the blissful blindness that self-righteous offers. They can point out the splinter in another without having to remove the log obscuring their sight.

Blessed are the dishonest and manipulative for they will have it all. They get to rule and make the rules. As a bonus, they can get away with the same behaviors abhorred and called out in another.

Blessed are the bullies and the argumentative for you win, you dominate, you walk away with the smug knowing that your opponent has been toppled. You get to feel good about yourself while simultaneously feeling pity for that poor idiot that lacks enlightenment.

Blessed are the quietly apathetic who just go with the flow for they shall never know the pain of push back or persecution.

We are absolutely steeped - like froggies-in-boiling-water – in a culture that is the complete and utter antithesis of what Jesus throws down in the Sermon on the Mount. You literally could not script the current world’s philosophy any further from Kingdom Truth! As Christians we are in danger of being swallowed up in it if we do not fight against it in our own lives.

The rewards of the world come with a steep cost - molding yourself in their image.

World - Their attitude (character) entitles you to their blessings. However, you will have to speak their words, support their causes, and demonstrate their behaviors or you will not be accepted; you will not belong. The world’s proclamation of winners and losers is repugnant and buries those that would live like Christ.

We have a choice as to our character. It can either exemplify the Lord or the world.

Jesus - His attitude (character) entitles you to His blessings. Those entitled to His blessings must have certain “be-attitudes” – the attitudes they should “be.” Each of these beatitudes entails a Christ-like character trait, mark, and goal. They are for all Christians. Jesus is telling and showing us the character of Kingdom citizens. And they will look very different from the world.

We have a choice as to the source of our blessing. We can either receive it from the Lord or the world.

All 8 beatitudes are paradoxes which is why the world cannot understand nor comprehend them; it is foolishness. The greatest wisdom this world has to offer is but a poor imitation of this profound message from the One who knows best. When we regard Jesus as King it will reflect and translate into ethical behavior and a distinctive way of daily life.

The glory of radical disciples!

None of us can say we have mastered these attitudes this side of Heaven but it is a call to continual press into them and grow.

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Who made heaven and earth,

The sea and all that is in them; Who keeps faith forever.

Psalm 146:6