When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
“He began to speak, and taught them.” I’ve read this passage many times but have always glossed over the first couple of verses and never caught the words “and taught them.” On Sunday, Pastor Greg pointed out that Jesus is teaching us here. He saw this as a perfect teaching opportunity. I don’t know why I hadn’t made that connection, but I should have picked up on the fact that one of the greatest gifts God gave us is the ability to learn.
Every day we learn. Early on, we work on our ABC’s or our multiplication tables. We learn our states and capitals and work on sentence structure. Then, we move our focus to studies of a career path. We buy a house and scour Consumer Reports for appliance choices. Our family expands and we research birthing methods and pediatricians. We make decisions about elder care and assisted living facilities for our aging parents. Every day we learn the things that we need in order to grow and be the best version of ourselves.
As Pastor Greg spoke about in the children’s message on Sunday, Jesus wants us to “Bee” life long learners. And in these verses, he is teaching us the meaning of being a called person of God. He wants us to continue to learn compassion, mercy, love and integrity. This is not something that ends after we graduate or hit a certain benchmark. These are things that we continue to work on until we reach our greatest reward, eternal life in heaven. Jesus doesn’t want us to stop learning. The people we interact and the situations that arise daily are perfect reminders to keep working on our calling.
Gracious Father, thank you for sending your perfect Son to be our Teacher. When days are hard, remind us that we can learn something from each situation. Show us the good you have meant for our lives and give us the endurance to persevere to get our reward. In your mighty and saving name. Amen.
Written by Julie Anderson
Julie Anderson is a member of Sheridan’s Devotion Writing Team. She works part-time as Sheridan’s Children’s Music Coordinator where she is passionate about teaching children to use their musical gifts to praise God. Julie is married to Scott and counts her greatest honor as being mom to Adrienne, Eliot and Elise.