“When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.”
After hearing Pastor Greg’s message on Sunday about being blessed, I researched what kinds of things people post to social media using the hashtag “blessed.” I typed #blessed into my Instagram search bar and was given 117,274,885 posts that I could scroll through.
I happen to love Instagram and have fun scrolling through the pictures and captions of my actual friends, as well as people that I follow for fun but will never meet in real life. As I looked through some of those “blessed” posts, I saw flawless women with smooth skin, selfies of girls with intense makeup and unnatural facial expressions, breathtaking seascapes from fancy hotel balconies, people showing off their backsides and flat stomachs, commercials for high class automobiles and jobs that offered $3,000 per week pay. I saw so many images of what people thought made them beautiful, successful, trendy, powerful and blessed.
After reflecting on the words that we’re studying in Matthew, I wondered what pictures Jesus would have shared with the #blessed collection if he had Instagram. Would he “like” those 117,274,885 posts? (To be fair, they all weren’t so vain and egotistical. Many were fun and cute with puppies and babies!)
What pictures would go with his complicated words from Matthew 5?
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 be shown 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 because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”
Pastor Greg reminded us that God’s blessings come through hard times. God’s blessings are tied to following His will and doing His work. Even, and especially, through times of financial struggles, sickness and facing pushback when standing up for what’s right. Blessings are found through the things that we like the least.
Show us your strength when we are weak.
Show us your love when we are forsaken.
Show us your mercy when we have sinned.
Then we will know what it means to be blessed.
In your precious Son’s name,
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.