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.

Matthew 5:1-2


…he began teaching the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus spoke directly to the disciples with him, but crowds of people surrounded them, listening in.

Jesus had been calling people to repent, announcing that the kingdom of heaven—the reign of God—was at hand. The Sermon on the Mount taught them what it meant to be righteous before God and to enter the kingdom. (Matthew 5-7)

The first part of the Sermon is the Beatitudes (there are a total of ten). Jesus began:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.”

Matthew 5:3-5

He told the disciples that the poor in spirit, the mourners, and the meek are to be honored. Hearing this for the first time must have been quite a puzzle. What did he mean by this? All the values they had known were being reshaped, turned upside down.

What Jesus meant by the spiritually poor were those who had humbled themselves, becoming dependent on God. The poor in spirit are those who come to God with a broken heart and a repentant spirit. Only such as these will enter the kingdom of heaven..

With this, and the other Beatitudes as well, Jesus guided his disciples—and us too—to become who God wants us to be. He is preparing us to follow his lead, to follow his example, even suffering rejection and ridicule like he did if necessary.

Imagine being one of those first disciples hearing these new ideas, Maybe you’re sitting in front of your computer, learning about this for the first time. Is Jesus turning everything you had believed upside down as well? Are you too starting to re-evaluate what’s important as you walk with him?