Hovering over the Beatitudes this morning. Simple laws of the kingdom. Laws concerning what renders someone blessed, what makes someone happy. Not laws as in edicts to be followed in order to reside in the kingdom, but laws as in dynamics which are at play for those who have been brought into the kingdom. Kind of like the laws that govern the natural, these are the laws of cause-and-effect in the supernatural.
Poor in spirit? Blessed . . . for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mourning? Blessed . . . for they shall be comforted.
Meek? Blessed . . . for they shall inherit the earth.
Hungering and thirsting for righteousness? Blessed . . . for they shall be satisfied.
Merciful? Blessed . . . for they shall receive mercy.
Pure in heart? Blessed . . . for they shall see God.
Peacemakers? Blessed . . . for they shall be called sons of God.
Persecuted for righteousness’ sake? Blessed . . . for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Reviled and persecuted? Blessed . . . for your reward is great in heaven.
And what catches my attention in particular is the last beatitude. Or is it the last two beatitudes? Said differently, are there nine beatitudes or actually eight with the last one repeated for some reason.
And if the last beatitude is actually stated twice, how come? Could it be that the kingdom law of persecution is repeated at the end in order to, at least in part, provide a key to understanding all the Beatitudes?
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven . . . ” ~ Jesus
(Matthew 5:11-12a ESV)
“On My account.” That’s what I’m noodling on. Is that the key that the unlocks the promised blessings in God’s economy?
Is the last beatitude repeated in order to shed light on a foundational truth for all the beatitudes? That not everyone who suffers for some righteous cause will see the kingdom, but for those who do so because of Jesus. Who do so “on My account.”
That not everyone who mourns will know comforting, now and into eternity, just because they mourn. But the promise is for those who mourn for the sake of Jesus.
The kingdom of heaven not necessarily assured for anyone and everyone who is contrite in heart and broken in spirit regardless of the reason or motivation, but for those who are poor in spirit on His account.
Meek because of Jesus? Hungering for righteousness just as He is righteous? Merciful in His name? Desiring to be pure in heart for the sake of Christ? Peacemaking in order to emulate the One who made peace for us? Then blessed are you. Happy are you. For the life of Jesus flows through you. The dynamics of the kingdom are in you. And the promises of blessing are for you.
I don’t know. Maybe there are two persecution beatitudes. But I’m chewing on them this morning as though they are one. One great promise revealing one important key to how the kingdom of heaven operates. And that, “on My account.”
Blessed always on account of His grace. Blessed only for the sake of His glory.