Sometimes God’s logic just doesn’t make sense to me. Well, most of the time, if I’m being honest. I read the Bible, and I try to understand why He does what He does, why He allows what He allows, and sometimes I think I can grasp the fringes of His thoughts. But I can’t grasp them completely. And that’s a good thing.
If I always knew what God was up to, I wouldn’t need to trust Him. And believe me, I need to trust Him. He’s brought me down such crazy roads and insane adventures to get me where I am in my life right now that I don’t really want to know what’s out ahead of me yet. He’ll tell me when I need to know.
But that doesn’t bring a lot of comfort for people who do want to know, who do want to understand why God makes the choices He makes. It can be scary sometimes, especially if you don’t know God well. But one of the ways we can get to know God is through Jesus and what Jesus said while He walked on Earth. But don’t start thinking that Jesus made more sense than God did.
Today’s verses are Matthew 5:1-12.
One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach them.
“God blesses those who are poor [in spirit] and realize their need for him,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are humble,
for they will inherit the whole earth.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,
for they will be satisfied.
God blesses those who are merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace,
for they will be called the children of God.
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.”
Most people have heard of the Beatitudes, even if they don’t know that they’re actually called the Beatitudes. Frankly, this particular passage of Scripture, I think, should be called Life Lessons that Contradict Everything You Know About the World. Isn’t that true?
If Jesus is saying that God will bless the humble and the mourning and the persecuted, that doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. Those people are miserable, aren’t they? And why does it say you should be happy when you face all sorts of evil? What sense does that make? It’s just because people were nicer back in the day when Jesus said that, right? This bit of Scripture was only relevant during Bible times.
Well, if that was the case, it wouldn’t be in the Bible at all, because everything in the Bible is current and relevant and useful for 21st Century living and beyond.
Generally what I’ve experienced is that people don’t think applying these principles to life will actually work. They’re antiquated platitudes from a bygone age, and you can’t live your life so naively. These statements Jesus made so long ago are so against common sense that there’s no way they could ever be effective. But nothing could be farther from the truth.
The Beatitudes portray the attitudes of a Christ-follower the way they’re supposed to be. And our reaction to the Beatitudes shouldn’t be that Jesus’ statements are so out of date, it should be shock and outrage that our world is turned so far upside down. God’s wisdom goes against what the world says is right, and that’s because the world is broken. God and the World are never going to agree. They can’t, because they stand on opposite sides of the line.
If we try to make the world’s reason and logic fit with God’s reason and logic, we’ll just end up confused. They can’t both be right. And since we are just as broken as the world, who says God’s logic has to make sense to us to begin with?
Jesus showed us how to live a life diametrically opposed to the world’s wisdom. He didn’t go along with the popular crowd. He didn’t agree with the politicans or the religious elite. He agreed with God. And you were free to love Him or Hate him, and He wouldn’t change. He still hasn’t, and He isn’t going to.
Just because you can’t understand why doesn’t mean God is wrong. It just means God is bigger than you are.