3 “Happy are people who are hopeless, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
Jesus spent His ministry preaching and teaching about the Kingdom of Heaven. Also called the Kingdom of God, it is God’s reign, as Jesus taught in the Lord’s prayer, “on earth as it is in heaven.” In this teaching, Jesus is talking about salvation and the transformation of the world, from sin and death, starting with each of us.
This first Beatitude from the Sermon on the Mount represents a paradox. At first glance, it doesn’t say, what we think it says. It seems to be saying if you’re hopeless, you should be happy because you will be rewarded with the Kingdom of Heaven. How could being hopeless be a happy way to live? It isn’t and it’s not what Jesus wants for us. Jesus is teaching us that what the world values and glorifies, is the opposite of what is pleasing to God. God wants us to have contrite hearts.
To be hopeless, or as other translations say, “poor in spirit,” is to be in a state of total spiritual poverty. It’s when we stand before Holy, loving God, humble ourselves and admit that there is nothing that we can do to buy, earn or deserve God’s unmerited grace. We realize we are bereft, empty, completely hopeless without God’s grace and God’s loving forgiveness and salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus. We know we aren’t worthy, broken, we confess and repent. God’s grace seeks us out, opens our hearts, and transforms us, as we give our lives to God and receive Jesus as our Savior. We go from hopeless to happy!
This beatitude has a promise attached to it. This isn’t a promise where we have to wait to see it fulfilled. This is a promise for right now, and into the future, acceptance into the Kingdom of God through Christ. We become followers of Jesus and have been given a place in God’s family in the Kingdom of Heaven.
by Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
This teaching of Jesus encourages us to celebrate and be happy. God loves us so much that we are redeemed and set free through Christ to love and serve others in God’s Kingdom right now.
Today, meditate on the extraordinary gift of God’s love for you and your salvation through Christ, the promise of the Kingdom and the happiness it brings.
Prayer: Holy and Loving God, thank you for your grace and love and the gift of salvation through Jesus. May we always be happy remembering your promises. Amen.