1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called sons of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Grace, mercy, peace be to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Today, you are baptized. Today, Jesus has washed you in a saving flood. Today in your Baptism, you were buried with Jesus into His death so that, just as Jesus is risen from the dead, you too would walk in newness of life. Today, you have received the washing of regeneration and the renewal of the Holy Spirit.
Now and for the rest of your life, the Word of God will continually show you your sin in the Law. Hear that Word and repent. Repent and continue to listen to the Word of God. Hear the Gospel which always and continually points you to Jesus and what He has done for you. Listen to that Gospel. Listen to the word of the cross. It is foolishness in the ears of those who refuse to repent. But not for you. For you and all your brothers and sisters in Christ it is the power of God.
Jesus’ words in this text are the Gospel. Jesus is announcing blessings upon you and all your brothers and sisters in Christ here today and throughout thousands of other places across the world where these same words are being preached.
Henning, by proclaiming these blessings upon you, Jesus is speaking you and all believers into His kingdom. So Henning, and all of you here, listen to what Jesus says. By these words of Gospel, Jesus is proclaiming that you are saved.
Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus says when you have a bad spiritual life, when you aren’t praying enough, when you aren’t loving enough, when you know that you bring nothing to the table and have nothing to offer God, Jesus says you are blessed because He gives you the kingdom of heaven. Jesus has come not to call the righteous, but sinners.
Jesus says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” As you recognize that you are living in a world of sin and death, you know things are not as they should be and so you mourn and cry out to God. Jesus says that you shall be comforted because Jesus has come and fixed everything that is broken.
Jesus says, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” When you are weak, when you have no strength, when you recognize you are powerless against all the evil in this world and the evil within yourself, you are blessed. Though you are small, weak, and meek, you will inherit the earth.
Jesus says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” When you are starving for the righteousness you do not have, when you are parched in desert of your sin, Jesus says you are blessed. Christ will satisfy every hunger and quench every thirst you have by giving you His righteousness.
Jesus says, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” Because Jesus has already made you part of His kingdom, you will have mercy upon others – even though you aren’t aware of it. Jesus will continue to pour out upon you His mercy. And because Jesus has made you pure in heart you will see God.
Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” As Jesus has given you His peace, you will make peace among others. And you are blessed.
Jesus says, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” All you believers, the world is going to hate you because you believe Jesus has made you righteous. But don’t mind it. No matter what the world says, yours is the kingdom of heaven.
And so you can know that He means all these words for you, Jesus finishes by saying, “Blessed are you. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
When you take your stand upon the Word of God and others hate you because of it, Jesus says that you are blessed. God has counted you worthy of suffering persecution for His great name. It is nothing new for the people of God to be reviled in this world.
Blessed are you. Hear that again, “Blessed are you.” Blessed are you when people hate you because of what the Word of God says. In each of these Beatitudes, by saying you are blessed, Jesus says you are saved.
You will be tempted to not believe what Jesus says here. But believe it because these are Jesus’ words of Gospel to you. Scripture says (1 Cor. 1:30-31) that, because of what God has done for you, you are in Christ Jesus, “who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’” Amen.
The peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.