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Jesus Creed

The beatitudes, Jesus’ blessing of specific kinds of people, twice promise the kingdom: I include them all, since the first and last beatitude are kingdom:
3 ?Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,for they will be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

1. Both the poor in spirit and the persecuted for righteousness are promised the kingdom.
2. The promise in each beatitude is not so much a present benefit but a future benefit that promotes hope in the person. Which is not to say the hope doesn’t make a difference in the now, but it is still future.
3. This kingdom is future … how far off we can’t tell, but it is future.
4. “For righteousness” refers to those who suffer at the hands of others because they live righteous lives — that is, they are people whose character and behaviors conform to the will of the king (as taught by Jesus). (Notice again that Jesus and kingdom are inseparable.)
5. What is that kingdom? Let me take a stab: God’s society where the injustices of this world will be undone. Is it heavenly or earthly? I would say “earthly” but “ideal.”

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