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Who Are the Blessed?

Key References: Luke 6:27-36; Matthew 5:43-48; Romans 12:14-21; Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, chap. 3, pp. 73-75; The Bible Story (1994), vol. 8, pp. 62-65; Our Beliefs, nos. 10, 11, 14

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“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).

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We honor God when we serve people who are not easy to love.

Would you like to experience lasting joy and real fulfi llment? Would you like to feel blessed even when people are unfair to you? Let’s look at Jesus’ secret to how this is possible.

Try to imagine what it would have been like living in Jesus’ day in Palestine. Picture children’s giggles and laughter as they played outside, perhaps climbing trees, playing tag or hanging out with their friends. While mothers cooked the next meal, fathers worked at their trade. Suddenly everyone stopped what they were doing. Joyfully they began to run towards the same place. They had just received the good news that Jesus had come to their town! They couldn’t wait to be with Him and to hear what He had to say!

Jesus sat down on the warm grassy hillside, and everyone found a comfortable place where they could listen. Smiling at the crowd, Jesus began to teach. The fascinating thing was that Jesus often had surprising things to say. Today He taught about how anyone can be truly blessed. This was exciting! Who doesn’t want to be blessed? To most people being blessed means being rich, famous, smart or goodlooking. Eagerly the crowd waited to see what Jesus would say.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,” Jesus began, “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).

Wow! Now, that was unusual. Who would think that being poor is a blessing? Isn’t it a blessing to have everything? Well, often when people are really rich or famous they are not humble enough to realize that they need God. And a life without God has no real meaning or joy. Jesus was talking about those who are “poor in spirit,” who recognize their need of God and His guidance in their lives. Only those who invite God into their lives will benefi t from the blessing of His presence.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be fi lled” (verses 4-6).

Think about the significance of these words. Blessed are those who want to know God as much as they want food and water. Nothing can quench your thirst or satisfy your hunger except real food and water. Nothing this world has to offer can ever fill the deepest needs of your heart except Jesus. He is the answer if you are sad, worried, or lonely. A life filled with Jesus is exciting, peaceful, and joyful.

At this point Jesus looked at the crowd and continued, “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” (verses 7-9). Do you want to be a child of God? Be a peacemaker! Include that classmate of yours who maybe doesn’t look attractive or who doesn’t act just right. Be a friend to everyone. Then you will experience real happiness in your heart.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven” (verses 10-12).

Blessed are those who do what is right even if people treat them unfairly. Yes, it can be hard to do what is right especially if you feel you are all alone. Some may even laugh at you for taking a stand for what is right. Don’t get discouraged. Pray and ask Jesus to give you wisdom to stand firm no matter the circumstances.

Jesus also included a teaching that people today call the golden rule. Jesus said, “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them” (Matthew 7:12). In other words, Jesus calls us to treat others the way we want to be treated. Your friends may tell you to “get even” with a mean person or “ignore them.” But what if you heaped extra kindness on them when they were mean? Can you imagine what your classroom or your home would be like if everyone practiced the golden rule? Pray not just for your friends and family but for those that are mean and unfair. Jesus will give you the wisdom and power to love your enemies.

Jesus doesn’t just want us to “do good things” or to “avoid doing bad things.” He wants to change our hearts completely so we can love God and others unconditionally. God will help grow your faith so you won’t even worry like you used to. You will know that God can take care of you and He has a solution even for impossible situations. Do you want to experience real joy? Do you want to be truly blessed? Invite Jesus into your life so that you can treat others the way you want to be treated, with unconditional love!