So we come to the Sermon of all sermons. Kingdom living seems to value things we normally think of as “bad” (sorrow, failure, conflict, hunger, poverty, grief) are places where we find joy. For everyone who wants to cross off God’s command, Jesus points out how it’s not cross-offable. It’s heart, not behavior.
I’m going to focus quite a bit toward the end where he tells us to be perfect, complete, mature, full (like our Father in heaven). If you back up a few verses, He shows how the Father is kind to both good and evil people. He doesn’t need people to be “good” for Him to bless them. The Father is operating out of fullness, instead of need. So that’s our example.
My human nature wants to sort the world into two piles: those who I think will be helpful to me and those who I think won’t. The first group gets my attention, the other group gets ignored or rejected. But that’s operating out of emptiness, not fullness.
When we operate out of fullness, we can even bless those who curse us because, like God, we don’t require people to earn their blessing. Imagine looking out at the people in our day and thinking, “None of you has to earn my blessing today. I will offer it freely even if you don’t deserve it.” Seems like an upside down kind of power in that!