Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed…”. (Matthew 5:1-3a)
I always get a little chuckle when I hear the phrase, “Too blessed to be stressed.” Especially in the middle of this pandemic. So this micro-sermon starts a short series on the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:1-12. Today I want to consider what it means to be blessed.
Some preachers wax eloquent on the Greek word translated as blessed (makarios) saying it can be translated “happy”. And while that’s true, pretty quickly we soon find happiness isn’t what’s on Jesus’ mind. Just a quick scan of the verses dissuades such illogical thinking. How many mourners or martyrs are simply ecstatic to be grieving or persecuted to literal death?
I think the key to understanding true blessing is the oft-overlooked opening words that precede the Beatitudes. We are blessed simply having Jesus present and openly communicating with us! What a marvel to have God himself sitting with us! How amazing to know that our Lord deigns to speak to us, sinful mortals that we are! To be blessed is to have God’s presence and Word active in our lives. From this simple starting point, our Savior can speak blessing into any situation we face, as we’ll soon discover in reading the Beatitudes.
Gracious Savior, thank you for blessing me simply by being with me and speaking to me. Amen.