Meditations: SOTM6 Matt 5:3 (3)
And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matt 5:2-3 (ESV)
We must always read scripture remembering the great, unfathomable grace He came to manifest and establish. He does not begin the SOtM with demands and move on to rewards, but rather begins with rewards (5:3-10) and then goes on to teachings (5:11 – 7). And as it is hugely relevant that the Lord opens the characteristics of the beatitudes with being “poor in spirit” – it being the one characteristic which is the key to all the rest of the Sermon on the Mount – it is also hugely relevant that the Lord opens the rewards of the beatitudes with inheriting the “kingdom of heaven” – it being the key to all the other rewards, because a citizen of the Kingdom obtains access to all the other rewards. Remembering this is the opening line of one of the Promised Messiah’s opening public teachings at the outset of His ministry, “blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” almost sums up His entire ministry and of the Sermon on the Mount. The point of His ministry is to establish a KINGDOM, and at the centre of that Kingdom is a glorious KING. He came to be our King.
He never aims to do anything else in our lives other than establish and enlarge the territory of His Kingdom, the domain of His total reign, in our hearts. When conviction of sin wracks an as yet unredeemed soul, it is not an invitation to forgiveness but an invitation to having a King, Who is Jesus. When He calls us deeper into intimacy with Him, it is a call to deeper surrender to the reign of the King in our hearts, because of which we walk in deeper fellowship. When He offers healing, He offers the manifestation of His reign in our lives. It is always His Kingdom He is establishing. That is why the gospel is not actually called the gospel of salvation, or even the gospel of Christ, but the “Gospel of the Kingdom”, in which Christ is the gate, the Way, the King and in fact all. But it is the gospel of the Kingdom He came to proclaim and to bring. “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Matt 24:14 (ESV). See also Matt 9:35, Matt 4:23; Mark 1:14.
When we learn in our hearts Who the King is Who seeks to establish His reign in our hearts, we begin to get an inkling of the great paradox that it would be He waiting on us to yield our hearts, rather than simply campaigning to conquer or discarding our filthy heart altogether.
Rev 1:10-18 (ESV) I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet… Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.
Col 1:15-20 (ESV): He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
Heb 1:1-4 (ESV): Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
We must not be deceived by the image of the suffering servant, seated in meekness, teaching in gentleness. This is the King of Glory and when that disciple He loved, who knew Him well, saw Him with his eyes in a tiny fraction of His full glory he fell as though dead, the life utterly knocked out of him by the sheer heavenly majesty so far beyond what we can now imagine. His whisper roars like giant falls of water cascading from the moon to the earth; His face shines like the sun in full strength. What is mind-blowing is not what He DID do while He walked the Earth, but what He did NOT do. We think calming a storm with a word, or raising Lazarus from the dead after 4 days, were big miracles; but that was NOTHING. He said “let their be light” and a universe exploded from His mouth, birthing stars and galaxies and planets and forces like gravity and the second law of thermodynamics that would sustain them all in perfect harmony; and Job 26 says even that was the WHISPER of His power, “who then can endure the thunder of it?”. Let me tell you, Lazarus was not hard for Him! I love how Mike Bickle puts it. Jesus walking the earth for 33 years and doing NOTHING but what normal people do and then a few thousand miracles is like 10 billion 500 Tetra Watt nuclear power stations connected together, just idling – not pumping out any power at all though they could light up the universe. Just idling. Humming. Waiting. Letting off the odd “little spark” (“well, let me just raise Lazarus from the dead here”. *Spark*. “Okay guys, relax. It’s only a level 5 hurricane. *spark* “see, all gone”). That was Jesus on the earth. This King of glory, fully restrained by His own self, working out His eternal purposes through the might of surrendering all His power to the cross of His Father’s making. That is FAR more amazing than raising a few people from the dead.
And we must remember this King of Glory will judge the earth, and there will only be one judgement: did you enter My Kingdom?
Psalms 110:1-6 (KJV) – The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. 2 The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. … The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. He shall judge among the nations, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.
Psalms 2:7-12 (KJV) – I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. 8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the nations for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. 9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. 10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. 11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
Rev 19:11-16 (KJV) – And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND Lord OF Lords.
He will most certainly judge every person and every nation in that terrible day. But though He will, and those who would not have the mercy of His reign over their lives will not have mercy at all, He came to reveal the mercy He prefers for each of us.
Did you realize that while He was being nailed to the cross, at that very moment while a roman centurion was driving jagged steel nails through His palms He was upholding that same centurion’s life by the Word of His power? “He upholds the universe by the word of His power”. That man would have ceased to exist in less than a blink if Jesus had simply stopped upholding His life by the Word of His power. The nails and hammer too. What would we have done? “Zap!”. What did He do? “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”.
John 8:3-11 (ESV) – The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”
This is the King of glory, Christ Jesus, “who, though he [had all the glory of Almighty God, taking the image of God, shining like the sun in full strength and upholding the universe by the Word of His power] did not count equality with God a thing to be held onto, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born like men [though He holds the universe like a walnut in the palm of His hand, being born in the womb of a woman]. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross [upholding the life of His false accusers and torturers who mocked and beat Him like a scoundrel though He, Almighty and Holy God, came to give His own life for their sins]. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil 2:5-11 (ESV)
In every moment, we will have a Lord. We may not know it, but we will have one. It will either be the King of Glory or it will be self (who unknowingly lives under the constitution of the devil – that father of selfish, rebellion against the reign of the worthy King). We will have a Lord. Who will your Lord be?
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. 8 Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. 10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. (Psalms 24:7-10 – KJV)
To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
(1 Tim 1:17 – ESV)
Original date of work: 17 Jan 2011
By: J Goldberg