Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said,
“God blesses you who are poor,Luke 6:20
for the Kingdom of God is yours.
At church this morning, the young man in front of me had a baseball cap with the word “Blessed” stitched across the front of the cap. I hear that word a lot around people associated with churches, but I wonder how often we are truly blessed?
In the opening verses of the Sermon on the Plain found in the sixth chapter of Luke, Jesus begins with the words above – Blessed are the poor. Is being poor a prerequisite for being a part of God’s kingdom? While people who are in need may be more likely to be dependent on God, I think the point is here that those of us who recognize our own poverty outside of Christ, we can be blessed by trusting in God in response.
In spite of whatever wealth or status you may have obtained today, how do you view yourself in God’s kingdom? Jesus’ parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector paints a vivid picture –
Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’
“But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”Luke 16:9-15