Rev. Alexis Johnson
February 21, 2021

Scripture: Matthew 4:23-5:12

Secondary Source: The Sermon on the Mount: A Beginners Guide to the Kingdom of Heaven Dr. Amy-Jill Levine Abingdon Press 2020


Thesis: These blessings, with power are for all of us who have decided to follow Jesus.


Making My Case

  • Jesus is talking to the four disciples he has called so far with the crowds “listening in.”
  • Biblical blessings were not just about, or even primarily about, the receiver’s comfort.  Instead, they are about the receiver’s responsibilities, identity, and power. 
  • The Common English Bible translates these as “Happy are people…”
  • Regarding verse 5, Dr. Levine says, “From these other uses, we can tell that “meek” in the beatitude does not mean “insignificant compared to you.” To the contrary, a meek person is someone with great authority, but does not lord it over others. A meek person promotes servant leadership over despotism.” Loc 547 of 2301.

What This All Means

This is a message regarding Sanctifying Grace. We have to be followers of Jesus before we even begin to attempt to live into these Blessings.

These are about finding blessing in setting aside power we could use.

See John 3:13-14. Jesus KNOWS who He is and out of that assurance, He can debase Himself without shame.

I’m applying Dr. Levine’s quote to all the Beatitudes. This is for people who willingly grieve with someone, not people who have had a loved one ripped from them.

Call to Action: Read Matthew 4:23 – 7:29 as often as possible this Lent. Consider the power you do have and what it would look like to lay it aside on behalf of someone else.

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