I was reminded of the scene in the Gospel of John when the teachers of the religious law brought the adulteress woman to Jesus and said, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” Jesus replied to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Of course none were without sin and one by one the accusers dropped their stones and left.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
This means to be humble in spirit. To know you are not good enough on your own.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
To grieve your sins or the sins of others. To truly feel anguish over things that go against God’s will.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
To be gentle and kind.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
To give everything you have to be holy and perfect. We cannot achieve perfection but we can give it our best shot.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”
To show forgiveness and compassion. None of us deserve mercy. We are all messed up.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
To do for others without self-satisfying motives. To love unconditionally.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
Those that don’t argue, don’t slander, and don’t cause strife or conflict. Show love to your enemies.
Can we read and digest the beatitudes and still have a condemning heart towards those that do evil? Regardless of what the crime was that the man committed in the news story, our hearts should go out to the criminal and his family. Imagine what must have happened to him in his life, most likely in his early childhood that has influenced him. More than likely, unimaginable things happened to him that were never reported or discovered. Because of his choices as an adult to be involved in pornography and drinking, the seed that was possibly planted in him years ago grew into what the world now sees.
Never underestimate the spiritual battle taking place in our lives between good and evil. What we draw near to will draw near to us. What draws near to us will influence our decisions and choices. We should never have hate in our hearts for men that do evil. Men that do evil are being influenced by evil itself. We are to love the man but hate the one that has dominion over him. Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
To be a Christian, to be a disciple of Jesus, we should have a heart like Jesus. Even though ‘evil’ people don’t deserve God’s blessings while on earth such as food and clothing, He gives it to them anyway. We are to do the same. We are to love everyone despite what they do or how they fail us. Matthew 5:43-46 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?