“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.
Who are the people in your life that you have deemed as significant? What about those that you have deemed insignificant?
Perhaps there’s someone at work whose praise you seek because of their influence rather than their expertise. Maybe there’s a neighbor you judge because of the way they care for their property rather than the quality of their character. It might be someone in your life whose struggle with addiction is treated like a failure rather than an illness. Maybe the one who has been made to feel less than is you. Regardless of the details, it’s part of the fallibility of the human experience to judge and place value on others.
Throughout his life, Jesus seemed unphased by the world’s idea of significance. In fact, he was regularly judged because of it—Matthew, Mark, and Luke all tell the story of a Pharisee rebuking Jesus for eating with “sinners and tax collectors.” He called fishermen to be his disciples instead of gifted rabbinical students. He was surrounded by the unclean, the disabled, those of ill repute, the ostracized rather than the wealthy or powerful. He began his ministry in a fishing village rather than a big city of influential people. The everyday people, the hurting, the outsider, the sick—those are Jesus’ people.
It is those on the margins that he is the first to offer access to the kingdom of heaven and assurance of their value in God’s purpose and plan for the world. The poor, the meek, the mourning—these are the ones that will be blessed, given the kingdom of heaven, and inherit the earth. Despite their “outside-ness,” God sees them and values them as full heirs to the kingdom. Is it simply because they are viewed as insignificant that they deserve this highest honor? Perhaps, in their marginalization, those that find themselves on the outside feel their need for the goodness and redemption of God rather acutely and therefore are most likely to delight in it.
The love of Jesus isn’t just for those that seem important to the world or those that don’t. It’s a blessing that’s available to everyone—we just need to acknowledge our need for it.
Scripture frequently talks about caring for those on the margins—the widow, the poor, the orphan—and Jesus led by example in his care for marginalized people. Where are you caring for those on the margins? If you aren’t already, consider finding a place to serve in the community. Consider serving at the Care Center, or click here to find a full list of serving opportunities.
Today marks week five in the book of Matthew. This week we’re in chapter 5. If you have a printer, visit BibleGateway.com and print out the chapter. You can use this printout all week and mark it up. If you don’t, you can write in your Bible. Next, read the chapter and ask yourself the five W’s and an H.
- Who is speaking and to whom?
- Where is it taking place?
- When did it happen?
- What happened?
- Why did it happen?
- How did it happen?