The Beatitudes are a short-but-mighty collection of Jesus’ teachings. Here is how they begin:
“Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:1-2).
Let’s focus on a few of his key listeners, the disciples. At this point in the story, only four have been named: Peter, Andrew, James and John. They’ve left their family and jobs to follow Jesus.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Speaking about this very group of disciples, at this very moment in their lives, Dietrich Bonhoeffer describes them like this:
“They have no security, no possessions to call their own, not even a foot of earth to call their home, no earthly society to claim their absolute allegiance. Nay more, they have not spiritual power, experience or knowledge to afford them consolation or security. For his sake they have lost all. In following him they lost even their own selves, and everything that could make them rich. Now they are poor—so inexperienced, so stupid, that they have no other hope but him who called them.”*
No other hope but him who called them.
-They listened INTENTLY. Do we?
-They hung on his EVERY WORD. Do we?
-They filled themselves with his HOPE AND TRUTH in world that had otherwise fed them spin, dead ends, and deception. Do we?
“They have no other hope but him who called them.”
And neither do we.
By Matthew Ruttan
–-[NEW] TONIGHT (Tuesday, June 16th at 7:30pm) I’m leading a live-streamed prayer service at Westminster church. There will be special music and prayers. IF YOU HAVE a prayer request that you want me to lift up to God, reply to this email before 5pm. Just remember that anyone named needs to be okay with their name and situation being on the internet. If you’re unsure, just leave the details out. We go live at 7:30pm at https://www.youtube.com/c/WestminsterChurchOnline
–Today’s devotional is connected to my latest sermon: “Be the [counter-cultural] change.” Watch or listen here.
–*Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1959), 107.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.