June 7th, 2007

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Costly Discipleship Matt. 5:9

Thursday, June 7th, 2007

At first glance it seems that Jesus repeats himself in the 9th of the Beatitudes. Both it and the 8th deal with persecution. The difference is that with the pronoun “you” he personalizes it. One can read the 8th rather philosophically, but in the 9th it is you and I who can anticipate persecution. Further, the reward offered to those who are true disciples of Jesus are eternal in heaven. Being a Kingdom person in this world is something great, but to have eternal life and reward in Heaven is far more significant.

One of the great commentaries on the Sermon on the Mount is by D. Bonhoeffer, a modern myrtar. He was hung by Hitler for his involvement in a plot to kill this tyrant. The title is “The Cost of Discipleship.” If you have not read it, please do so. It is very powerful.

Jesus, of course, experienced persecution for living a life characterized by the qualities presented in the Beatitudes. Reflect upon the events of the last few days of his life as recorded by Matthew (Mt. 21:1-27:56) Consider how he demonstrated poverty of spirit, mourning, meekness, righteousness, mercy, a pure heart, and peacemaking. Consider how he was persecuted. Obviously, Jesus practiced what he preached.

When I consider my life, I find many times and ways that I have failed to practice what the Beatitudes teach. How about you?