From the greatest sermon ever taught at any time, any place in the whole earth for all time.
As phrased by Peterson in the Message:
1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:
I take from this that we apprentices need special training, support and affirmation. Yes, we need all this for what lies ahead of us.
3 “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
“At the end of your rope!” How many times have I experienced that. What God has taught me when in the midst IS that this is NOT the end of the rope or road. Because God is with me there in every situation I ALWAYS have a next step and as He guides I take it and beauty unfolds. “Beauty” can be deliverance from a horrible or traumatic situation.
4 “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
What comfort! When I have lost the most precious things to me, I can be comforted because I am assured that through the pain He will become more dear, more precious than in the past.
5 “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
Radical! I am accepted just like I am. I need no more because I have Him and with that I can be content. What can’t be bought is knowing Him and having the acceptance I have because I know Him.
6 “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
Contrarian thinking! Jesus is provocative! We hunger for Him and for His righteousness and blessings to show up in our lives and in the lives of those around us. I pursue Him and I pursue others that they may know Him deeper and fuller.
7 “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
I am blessed to care. I am blessed to not be so focused on self. I am blessed when I seek the good of others in my city. I am blessed and fulfilled when those in my environment are blessed and fulfilled.
8 “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
Being right with God is bliss and blessing! Jesus and the Holy Spirit is in a continual renewal process of making me more new every day. Every day can be an adventure when we know, serve and follow Him.
I see God in HIS world!
9 “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
In THIS community, pride is out the window(or headed out the window) and love dominates. I am taught by the Master that I am loved incessantly by Him and because I am I can love others and help them love others too. What a lovely place to be!
10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
Aaaah! A secret that some of my brothers and sisters know far better than I. I can’t say that persecution will never come to me or you. I know other brothers and sisters who have had it so bad (much worse than me) but, in the process, experienced great joy and comfort beyond what they ever imagined.
11-12 “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.
The ‘I do!’ is all that matters here! It really does not matter what happens to us here. No really!!! It does not matter if we know Him. He will be there with us and give us the comfort and grace to bear all! Heaven applauds and heaven cheers and welcomes us. We have such examples in Hebrews 11. How could we ever fear or fret?