A different point of view: Matthew 5.1–12 (24 June 2020)

Bible Society's Daily Reflections follow the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, designed for those who want to read the whole Bible in one year. Each reflection focuses on one of its four daily chapters. Darllenwch rhain yn Gymraeg.

Pray

Pray

Lord, prepare me to receive your word. Clear my mind and warm my heart. Assure me of your loving purposes for me, and speak into my life today.

Reflect

Daily reflection: Matthew 5

The Sermon on the Mount covers Matthew 5–7. It's the longest block of teaching in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke), and contains some of Jesus' most challenging teaching – and his most comforting.

It begins with the 'Beatitudes', a name derived from the Latin for 'Blessed are' which begins each verse. They've sometimes been called the 'Beautiful Attitudes': like meekness, mercy and purity.

None of what Jesus praises in these verses is the kind of thing the world thinks is valuable – and that's after 2,000 years of Christian teaching. In the Roman world of which Palestine was a part, these qualities were even less respected. Power, often exercised brutally, was everything. Jesus turns all that on its head: it's the people who mourn and are persecuted, who don't seek to dominate others but are peacemakers, who are blessed.

We quite often hear rich people today described as being 'worth' however many millions are in their bank accounts. Christianity challenges the world's way of measuring worth. Jesus says God measures by a different standard. The Kingdom of Heaven keeps different accounts, and offers different rewards.

Pray

Pray

God, keep me from wanting the kind of success the world thinks is important. Help me to cultivate the Beautiful Attitudes Jesus taught.

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