Who Gets What

David Bast

READ : Matthew 5:5 What sort of person comes to mind when you hear the adjective meek? I think of Clement Atlee, the British politician Winston Churchill described as “a sheep in sheep’s clothing,” and “a modest little man with much to be modest about.” Jesus pronounces a blessing on the meek. If you want to enjoy God’s favor, then meekness is one of the qualities you have to strive for. But meekness isn’t what we often imagine it to …

Joy in a Minor Key

David Bast

READ : Matthew 5:4 What kind of sorrow is “happy sorrow”? Jesus does not narrow it down to one particular type of mourning. He says simply, “Blessed are those who mourn.” There is something wonderful about the fact that God’s blessing rests upon people who are sad. God’s comfort is promised to sufferers, not the carefree. The Beatitudes are primarily concerned with our spiritual condition, not our emotional life. Just as the poverty about which Jesus spoke in the first …

Blessed Proverty

David Bast

READ : Matthew 5:3 We don’t generally include “the poor” under the column of things labeled “Blessed are.” We’re much more used to associating wealth and success with blessing. For us poor is bad. We link it with failure. When we apply it to people, it’s usually a term of sympathy or even reproach. “Poor old Joe,” we say. Or, “Oh, that poor woman!” And, “You’re a poor excuse for a man.” But Jesus says the good life begins with …

The Complete Christian

David Bast

READ : Matthew 5:3-12 Jesus begins his sermon by pronouncing eight blessings, known collectively as “The Beatitudes.” When he says, “Blessed are. . . .” eight times over, what Jesus means is: “These are the attitudes and actions of the type of person who is pleasing to God.” Jesus is not saying that there are eight dif ferent kinds of people, each of whom can earn God’s approval by exhibiting a different sort of behavior. These Beatitudes are comprehensive. Every …

The Good Life

David Bast

READ : Matthew 5:1-7 What sort of pictures come to your mind when you hear the words “the good life”? For most of us the pictures would include beautiful houses with manicured gardens, tennis courts and swim ming pools … sleek and gleaming automobiles . . . lavish feasts of rich food and drink . . . expensive clothes . . . frequent trips to places like Hawaii or the Riviera. But I’m thinking of the good life in an …