" You are the light of the world.
A city on a hill cannot be hidden"(Matthew 5:14).
Many people followed Jesus to hear him. He first let the people sit on the ground to make them more comfortable. They all gathered. They felt like singing a song of joy. It was beautiful weather. The leaves rustled and the birds sang. All the disciples really didn't want to miss even a word from Jesus.
Some of them were rich, and others held high positions. But they were all equal when listening to him. They had believed that the Messiah would come and release the Jews from Rome, and let them live easily and freely when the time came. Now they thought that Jesus was the Messiah. But Jesus thought differently from them.
Jesus spoke about eight blessings.
The poor in spirit
The first blessing was: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”(Matthew 5:3).
Everyone surprised at these words. They differed entirely from what the priests or rabbis taught.
At that time the priests and rabbis thought that they had a lot of knowledge and money, so they were superior. They were not willing to learn from others and were proud and didn't listen to Jesus' teachings at all. They were too arrogant. They thought that they were rich by themselves, so they shut the door of their minds and did not receive the blessing that God had prepared for them. The Bible describes them like this.
“You say, I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing...”(Rev. 3:17).
People who consider themselves rich, righteous and as having no faults, don't need Jesus at all. They think really highly of themselves. They don't believe Jesus is the only one, who can give a true happiness.
Then who are the poor in spirit?
They are the ones who feel a want inside them, think they cannot do anything righteous, so they rely upon Jesus and follow His teachings, and trust in His might. They are the ones who always ask for His help.
Jesus calls them the poor in spirit.
If we realize our imperfection and go to Jesus with a humble and meek soul, we shall live a happy life as Jesus promised.
Those who mourn
The second blessing was: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted”(Matthew 5:4).
There are many people mourning in this world. Some have lost their parents, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters so they mourn. Others mourn over disease, accidents, poverty or sins.
The Bible says that we can find comfort when we come to Jesus with our sorrows. God cares about our sadness. He loves us to death. Even when we make a mistake and agonize, He wants us to try again, and correct our wrongs.
Jesus is ready to be merciful and pardon to people who regret and feel sorrow for their sins and pray to God for forgiveness. We can get salvation by His grace.
“The Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God”(2 Corinthians 1:3, 4).
The third blessing was: “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5).
The meek are mild and gentle men. Those who cause trouble, assume airs or like to fight are not meek. The meek are courageous and strong men. They are not cowards. Jesus was the strongest and most gentle man of all.
“Take my toke 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).
Jesus did everything according to the will of Heavenly Father; He did nothing for His own pleasure. He did not get angry with people; he rather took pity on them and prayed to God for their forgiveness.
Jesus loved people. So He endured the pain of the cross to save people from sins. People who follow Jesus must be like Jesus. To those people, heaven is promised. The meek soul is to imitate and have the heart of Jesus.
“The meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace”(Psalms 37:11).
Those who thirst for righteousness
The forth blessing was: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled”(Matthew 5:6).
What is righteousness? It is living the pure and upright life God wants us to live. Persons who want to see God should have such characters. People who are thirsty for such characters are happy. God said;
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the water; and you who have no money, come buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost”(Isaiah 55:1).
Nothing can fill people's hunger and thirst fully in this world.
As a tired traveler looking for spring water, finally, finds it and quenches his thirst, the followers of Jesus can find eternal life water if they go eagerly to Jesus, the Source of life.
The Lord says today, “He who comes to me will never go hungry...” (John 6:35)
We must ask him to help us stand firmly in righteousness.
The fifth blessing was: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy”(Matthew 5:7).
What does it mean to give in charity? Loving a small bird or an animal, being kind to the weak or the poor, consoling the sick, respecting the elderly... all these are examples of charity.
God said that the person who gives to others in charity should obtain a reward.
If we are kind to the poor, God will show us kindness too. When we get in trouble, Jesus doesn't forget us and gives His grace.
We can find a refuge in His mercy.
The pure in heart
The sixth blessing was: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8).
No sin can enter the Kingdom of God. Only the pure in heart can live in the Kingdom of God.
When Jesus comes again, the impure person cannot see Him.
As we cleanse ourselves with soap, we should get God's pardon when we recognize our faults. Then God forgives our sins makes us clean again. But we should try to keep our hearts pure by thinking about Jesus and His words. Otherwise, we'll get dirty again.
We can easily fall into sin, when we are alone.
But when our eyes are focused on heaven being like Him, we will meet God in heaven.
God promised us, “Now, we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I fully known”(Corinthians 13:12).
The seventh blessing was: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God”(Matthew 5:9).
Jesus was called "The King of Peace."
His mission was to restore the broken peace again on this earth and in Heaven. The Apostle Paul said, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”(Rome 5:1).
Whoever forsakes sins and opens his mind to accept Jesus' love will take part in the peace of heaven. “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you”(Rome 8:9, 14).
Those who live for righteousness
The eighth blessing was : "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven"(Matthew 5:10).
Jesus didn't promise to the followers an easy and safe live, instead he said they would get into great trouble like Him, and this is exactly the privilege of Christians.
In history, we can easily see that Satan continuously persecuted Christians. But God's people followed His path even to death.
The Bible says how difficult the suffering was. “Our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us”(Rome 8:18).
Sometimes, we can be made out to be fools for believing in God, and be in trouble and be ridiculed. Our belief may even bring death...but God promised heaven to all these people.
Be a light of the world
When Jesus finished His blessings, he looked around all gathered people, and said, “You are the light of the world”(Matthew 5:14).
The light is enough to brighten the entire world. What does it mean that we are this light? We are scared when we are in a dark room without any lights alone. Then if the light is on, we are not afraid at all.
Why? That's because we have the light.
In the seaport, there is a lighthouse to guide the ships in darkness. A beacon helps them to arrive safely without striking rocks. Jesus called us "light". That's because as the beacon shows the way, we should lead all the people in this world to Jesus.
Light shines everywhere all the time. Jesus said, “A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” What about being a lamp of truth to the entire world?
Jesus wants His followers to shine brightly in the darkness, so he spoke in parables like this “Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house”(Matthew 5:15).
Let your light shine before men
The higher the light is, the more the around is bright. Let's shine our light of love. Not a candle or electric light. When we serve God more, we can give it more.
Lift your light of love high. This is exactly what Jesus wants us to do.
“In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven”(Matthew 5:16).
People praise the Lord through good deeds. By believing in God, when we are changed and do good deeds, that is lighting God's lamp and it can lead others to eternal life. We are to be children with light, aren't we?
Pray to God every morning to give you the light and to live accordingly. Then He will surely answer your prayer, and cheer you up.