Pastor Wing So preached from Matthew 5:1-3 this Sunday: One of the underlying themes in the movie "Saving Private Ryan," is the question, "What is the meaning of life?" At the end of the movie James Francis Ryan asks his wife, "Was I worthy of the sacrifice of a man's life? Was my life meaningful?" In the same way, the beginning of Matthew 5 tells us the way to live a meaningful life worthy of Christ's sacrifice.
Before we get to that though we want to look at the quality of Jesus' delivery of the sermon. First, Jesus sat down. This is a very Jewish way of teaching, and his sitting down meant that what he had to say was very important. It was an intimate way of teaching. What he had to say was a dignified utterance and authoritative.
Jesus then speaks of the qualities of a blessed life. "Blessed" in the Greek was a word used to describe the social status of wealthy individuals, above the cares of lesser folk; the condition of the Greek gods; a state of well-being and contentment. In Jesus' teaching, all can experience this type of blessedness because it is a joy and contentment not based on outside circumstances but on the inside.
The first step towards this type of blessed life is to be poor. No one wants to be poor but it is only when we realize our poverty that we realize our desperate need for God. In our day and age, pride is a problem in our society. We are happy to say that we are self-reliant. But to really know the blessedness of Christ, we have to be humble and realize that it is in our poverty of spirit and only in the power of the cross we are saved.
Are you taking the first step to a meaningful and blessed life?