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Dallas Willard argues that very few Churches actually teach how to DO the teachings of Jesus. Seemingly, many Churches only teach the teachings of Jesus, which aims at more of a cognitive comprehension than an actionary instruction. Last Tuesday I taught on the beatitudes and to be honest it was a difficult teaching for me. It was a tough youth ministry teaching topic and I totally went over the kids' heads and I didn't do a great job communicating it very simply.

The Beatitudes

Dallas Willard argues that very few Churches actually teach how to DO the teachings of Jesus.  Seemingly, many Churches only teach the teachings of Jesus, which aims at more of a cognitive comprehension than an actionary instruction.

The Beatitudes (which in Latin means blessed) are located in Matthew 5.3-9.

Blessed literally means that the human (doing the blessing) has reach the highest moral and ethical level within humanity.

Willard in Divine Conspiracy takes a deep theological and philosophical quest in order to interpret the beatitudes.

He first asks:  Who are the modern day individuals that really are the hopeless blessables?

Maybe the fat, the bad, the ugly, the old, the flunk outs, drop outs, burn outs, the murders, the thieves, the insecure, the handicap, the poor?

Although in the earthy reality we (the secular folk) bless and admire the:  the rich, the good looking, the intelligent, the drinkers, the sexers, the correctly shaped, and the ones who talk right and look right.

The Beatitudes communicate two points.

1.  Jesus took time to point out the natural beauty in everyone.  Unfortunately, earth causes people to hurt, while heaven heals.  The Kingdom of God is open for everyone, including the immoral.  Hagner argues, in the Matthew Word Biblical Commentary, that the Kingdom sets all people upon the way of righteousness, peacemaking, and inner purity.

2.  Blessing others means that you are full living.  When being a blesser means one is colliding the earthly reality against the heavenly reality.  And we all know that the heavenly reality triumphs.  It is difficult to live in the earthly reality and DO the Kingdom reality.  But to be an participant in the kingdom reality means one experiences something that is out of this world (no pun intended).

The Beatitudes don’t mean that Christians bless those who are “below us” so we feel good about ourselves.  The Beatitudes instruct everyone (Christians included) to see the beauties of what the Kingdom of God can do here on earth and everyone (not the selected) can be involved.

About Jeremy Zach

Orange XP3 Specialist | Youth Worker | MDIV | Hot Sauce Addict | Dr. Dre Beats Lover

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