Sunday, 29th June 2014
Rev Daniel Poon
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:1-3)
For Jewish people, when a teacher ‘sits down’, it means he is telling an important message. Jesus gathered the disciples and wanted to emphasize on the message He was going to deliver. Today, Rev Daniel talked to us about the first blessing Jesus mentioned in the Beatitudes.
In ancient Greek, the word ‘blessed’ is translated to ‘Makarios’, which means ‘joy’. In here, the ‘joy’ Jesus mentioned is not simply about being happy, but also implies being joyful no matter in what kind of circumstances. During the time when Jesus was preaching this message, many people felt they live in hell everyday, but Jesus preached to them the message of heaven, the path to blessings.
For us living in the modern world, we might not feel ‘poor’ physically, but our spirit might be lacking and feels empty. Rev Daniel shared with us two kinds of spiritual states that we should be aware of:
1. Spiritual Slumber – “Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more. I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods or take up their names on my lips.” (Psalm 16:4) – so what is the ‘god’ for each of us? It might not be a certain other religion, but also money, job, power, etc. let us put our focus back to God and don’t let anything else become the idol we worship.
2. Spiritual Pride – “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29) – are we willing to admit our weaknesses and look upon God? It’s time for us to let go of what we are holding onto, and tell God that we are poor in spirit.
Then, our loving heavenly Father, will grant us the Kingdom of Heaven.