Tuesday after the Second Sunday after Epiphany
Scripture: St. Matthew 5:1-9 (NKJV)
5:1 And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. 2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
The opening statement in this text presents Jesus’ earliest teaching of His disciples recorded in Matthew. The majority of the Beatitudes are presented as future realities, but the second verse in our text presents the magnificently beautiful reality of Christians abiding in God’s Kingdom of Grace in the present (the here and now). The “poor in spirit” refers to those whose state is such that they look to God for everything and whose disposition is such that they do look to God for everything. The very definition of a repentant sinner who looks to Christ in faith by grace.
Through Jesus’ proclamation of the Gospel the Kingdom of Heaven is given. God in His grace is their King, and they are invited to share in His reign in the present through Jesus and His ministry. This is a gracious proclamation that continues today through His ministers in His holy Church where the treasures of that Kingdom are readily administered through Word and Sacraments. The other Beatitudes in today’s reading promise the final fruit of Jesus’ royal ministry to be ultimately bestowed in the future blessings of the Kingdom of Glory. Disciples learn from the Son’s perfect example to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God and to give God that obedience of faith and pure adoration which Jesus made possible by His life death and resurrection. In this age we hear God’s Word, and in the world to come we shall see His face.
O God, by clinging only to You and Your holy Means of Grace shall we be found to be those who have faith and thus persevere unto glory through grace. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.