This past Sunday, our Sunday school class spent our time reflecting on the story in Matthew 16 of when Jesus asked the disciples “Who do you say the Son of Man is?” If you are familiar with the story then you remember that Simon Peter answered this most important question by saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” To which Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.”
Jesus could have said to Peter, “Nice job Peter, you got the answer right,” but instead Jesus alerted Peter to the fact that he was “blessed” to have received the gift of revelation from the Father about the nature of his Son, Jesus.
This past week I’ve been meditating on how “blessed” I also am in having received that revelation from Father about the nature and person of Jesus Christ as well as the gift of faith to believe that revelation.
Then, on Wednesday night I met a member of our congregation in the hallway by my office and I asked how she was doing. She said she was “blessed” and proceeded to share with me several ways she was blessed. Again, I believe it is a wonderful gift when Father makes us aware of how blessed we are.
On another occasion, Jesus revealed more truth to those who gathered to hear his teaching about how a person would know if they’re blessed. And just in case you’re not sure if you’re blessed, I’ve included Jesus’ examples from Matthew 5 to help you. (And please, take your time; revelation rarely occurs when you’re in a hurry).
1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:
3 “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
4 “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
5 “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
6 “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
7 “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
8 “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
9 “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
11-12 “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.
So how about it, did Jesus’ list help you discover at least one way you are blessed? Any fresh revelations? For me today, verse 5. May it be so with you and me that we would be growing in our understanding of all the ways we are blessed!
And now, may the Lord bless you and keep you…,