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The Shape of the Christian Life

Matthew 5:1-12, NRSV

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. — Matthew 5:1

  • There has been a lot of prosperity gospel being preached
  • But gospel sounds different in this Beatitudes passage, or in chapters just before when the disciples were being called
  • First 4 Beatitudes (“suffering”)
    • Poor in Spirit – “end of yourself”, taking down the mask of trying to please others
    • Those who Mourn – to “bring it all out”, to share with others
      • we are such “domesticated suffers”, in the American “Strong” mentality, and not being honest with our frustration
    • Meek – not being weak, but to channel all energy of our wild ways to Christ
    • Hunger and Thirst – to be demanding
  • Last 4 Beatitudes (“character shaping”)
    • Merciful – not just acts of mercy, but in character of merciful (like doing it willingly, not just for the sake of it?)
    • Pure (Undivided) Heart – not just acts of doing good
      • it might be the case that you have been heart-broken, that you have been in mourning (suffering beatitudes leading to this beatitude)
    • Peacemakers – different from Peacekeepers (who avoid conflicts)
      • stepping into situation of injustice, and to make it right
      • again, it might be the case that you have been heart-broken and in mourning, that you have been shaped into one who can “uphold justice without being brutally blunt”
    • Persecuted – only when you have grown and shaped into it; not being manipulated, tricked, or forced into doing things that lead you to be persecuted

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