These words begin Jesus’ most famous sermon or teaching, the Sermon on the Mount. His ministry had various aspects: teaching in the synagogues, healing people, casting out demons, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God.
The Sermon on the Mount is counter intuitive: how is a person blessed who is poor in spirit? How can those who mourn be blessed? Blessed are you when you are persecuted…? That does not sound like a “blessed life” by most standards.
Jesus challenges our human judgments and points us to the ultimate fulfillment of the law–himself. Along the way he urges us to look in the mirror and examine our heart’s intentions. We need his righteousness to enter the kingdom of heaven, and we truly need his love and his grace to live as peacemakers in our world. Listen & enjoy!
P.S.- an excellent resource on the Sermon on the Mount is John Stott’s commentary in the Bible Speaks Today Series, located here.