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 Christian must exhibit all of them. You can’t pick and choose, thinking, “Well, I’m not very meek, and as for peacemaking, let’s leave that for the pacifists. Maybe I’ll try to get God’s blessing by mourning.”

I was watching my wife make a dress for one of our daughters. I noticed that the first thing she did was to take out the pieces of the pattern, which she pinned to the material and then cut out to be stitched together. The Beatitudes are some thing like that dress pattern. Each piece can be studied and considered by itself as a useful exercise. But they all need to be stitched to gether into a single life in order to show what the complete Christian looks like.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, I want to be the kind of person you want me to be. Please empower me to be like you in every way. Amen.