Characteristics of Kingdom People
Scripture: Matthew 5:1-2
Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them, saying…
Jesus seems to be addressing two questions that people might be asking: First, who qualifies to be a citizen of the kingdom of Heaven? And secondly, what benefits will they receive?
The first question that deals with kingdom qualifications starts with a person’s character. The characteristics described in the beatitudes seem somewhat coded! For example, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” really means, “Happy are those that know they are morally bankrupt and are convinced they need God!” This coded message also means, “how sad for those who have convinced themselves that they are self-sufficient.” As we will detail in the following pages, each beatitude follows this coded message style: “happy are those that mourn, …are meek, …are hungry,…are persecuted,” etc. I don’t mean that Jesus used a coded message in order to be less than clear about His teachings, I believe He is challenging us to think and discuss these characteristics that are critical to the qualification for His kingdom!
We will also find that all these characteristics are interrelated. It is impossible for us to be “poor in spirit” but not “hunger and thirst after righteousness.” As we study each Beatitude, we need to remember they were all part of one sermon – Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. We must see them all as equally important as we integrate them into our lives!
Father, I want to qualify for your kingdom. Guide my thoughts and understanding that I might enjoy the benefits of kingdom living. In Jesus’ name, amen.