Matthewby Mike Raiter
We have been shown the identity of those whom God calls ″blessed″. Now, in the second part of each verse, Jesus tells us why they are blessed. We have seen the identity of God's people, and now Jesus announces their wonderful destiny.
Just as the descriptions of the blessed refer to every true disciple, so do the promises. It is not like one of those big annual sales that offer great discounts but only on selected merchandise. No, all these wonderful promises are for every follower of Jesus.
The first and last promises are the same: ″theirs is the kingdom of heaven″ (vv. 3, 10). In other words, Jesus' disciples are blessed right now because they live under the loving rule and care of God. However, the other promises are all in the future tense: ″they will be comforted . . . will inherit the earth . . . will be filled″ (vv. 4-6).
Of course, while these promises are yet to come, in some sense we already enjoy them in part. However, we will receive them fully at the return of Jesus, when God's kingdom shall be fully established. For example, Jesus promises that we will be comforted (v. 4), but we have already received God's comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). We are told that we will inherit the earth and be called God's children (vv. 5, 9), but we know that we are already God's sons and daughters, and heirs of His kingdom (Romans 8:17). Similarly, we have already received mercy (1 Peter 2:10) and fullness (Colossians 2:10).
Let me illustrate. I have four children, three of whom live overseas. Although they are far from me, I am still their father. Of course, when we are together we can talk face to face, enjoy meals together, walk together, and play together. We are already God's children, but one day, when we are in His presence, we will come into the full experience of being a child of God.
Like tasting the entrée to a great banquet, we can enjoy now a foretaste of the wonderful destiny God has planned for His children. This sermon is both a description of God's blessed people and, implicitly, an invitation to everyone to come and enter this kingdom. God can change you and give you this precious identity and glorious destiny.
Have you begun to experience these promises of God in your life today? Can you think of some specific examples?
How can these wonderful promises of our eternal destiny sustain us through difficult times?