These Beatitude Attitudes are so contrary to the conventions of our culture that anyone who possesses them will be branded a freak. Rife with paradox, Jesus’ way catches us off guard. He suggests, for instance, that the wealthy are poor and the poor are wealthy. Winners lose while losers end up winning. Conventional wisdom suggests that this is just not the way the world works. If you live Jesus’ way you’ll be out of step with the culture that marches to a different beat. Sadly, some of the people with whom you worship every Sunday will protest the loudest.
Have you noticed that his terms like poverty, mourning, meekness, hunger, thirsting, mercy, and persecution all suggest a vulnerability, a weakness if you will? Not surprising since Jesus is nothing if not a King that chose to make his entrance here as needy and weak. Born in a barn, raised in relative poverty, homeless as an adult, riding a donkey’s back at his coronation procession, breathing his last on a criminal’s cross, buried in a borrowed cave. Paul embraced the paradox. “Though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)
These are excerpts from a book I hope to publish in the near future on the Sermon on the Mount called: What In The World? Some Moral, Social, and Politically Disruptive Implications of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.