When God became a man He spoke to men in a way completely contrary to the world in which they lived. Which motivational speaker today would begin his message with, “happy are the poor,” or “happy are those who mourn?” Such ideas would be laughed at and of course rejected.
Poverty is not desired in the world, nor is mourning, humility, hunger, mercy, purity, peacemaking, or persecution, and yet the Son of God said, we would be happy if we were all those things. Only peace is desired, and yet the world is so devoid of it; who then desires to be a peacemaker? No, we live in a world contrary to all Jesus said, and so what did Jesus mean when He said that we would be happy if we were poor and persecuted?
There can only be one answer for Jesus’ message, He must be directing us to look away from this world, its kingdoms, and all that it offers to a heavenly one:
Where poverty of soul is the reality that brings the true riches of heaven,
Humility is in keeping with who we are in light of what God is,
Where mourning is the natural response to the acknowledgement of our sins,
Hunger is for a righteousness this world knows nothing about,
Mercy the outpouring of a heart that has been forgiven,
Purity the reaction to seeing the world for what it is, and no longer wanting to compromise with it,
Peacemaking only comes from a heart filled with peace, where desire has been replaced with fulfillment,
And persecution is expected, because the one who receives Jesus’ message no longer embraces this world and all it offers, but is content to go against the tide.
This is the message of Christmas, and of God who left the glories of heaven, embraced the sufferings of this present age, to bring a people of His choosing to His heaven, and share with them His glories yet to come!