Dublin First United Methodist Church
Friday, February 22, 2019
To reach, teach and serve others in the name and love of Jesus Christ



Tyler’s Take

What does it mean to be “blessed?”  I think it is safe to say that most people would say that being “blessed” means that one is fortunate or happy.  After all, when we say things like: “Have a blessed day” or “Blessings on you;” we tend to embrace this definition of blessed.  Though Jesus had a very different meaning of the term “blessed,” as we see so well in our reading for today.

In our reading, Luke 6:17-26, Jesus defines what it means to be “blessed” in a way that is somewhat confusing.  This meaning comes from the famous Sermon on the Mount (although the Gospel writer, Luke, has Jesus preaching this message from a “level place,” which is why we also call this sermon the “Sermon on the Level Place”) and in this message Jesus says that the poor, the hungry, those who weep and those who are hated are blessed.  This is where the confusion around this term comes from.

How can one be poor and also be blessed?  How can one be hungry, weeping or hated and be blessed?  This seems like a contradiction, after all, being blessed means that we are fortunate and happy… Right?  No, not according to Jesus.  As far as Jesus is concerned, to be “blessed” is to be favored or approved by God, which immediately turns this notion of being blessed upside down.  Rather than “blessed” meaning material wealth or comfortable circumstances, Jesus defines this term as living in the favor of God.

With this in mind, Jesus says that the poor, the hungry, the weeping and the rejected are blessed because they are and will be favored by God.  This means that God truly loves the downcast, values the lowly and bestows his favor on those who suffer.  Jesus also shows that those who are blessed in this life may not be so fortunate in the life to come, as these people have already received their rewards.  All of this must change the way we view and strive to be “blessed;” because the blessings that we understand are not always in line with those of God.

God has a much more eternal viewpoint of the term “blessed.”  We see this when Jesus speaks to the fact that the hurting and the hungry will only endure this pitiful status for a short period of time on earth and will be eternally blessed in heaven with all that they did not have on earth.  This is a clash of the temporary blessings of earth and the eternal blessings of God.  Blessings that will never fade and blessings that are short-lived.  We must therefore move away from our understanding of how one becomes “blessed,” because God’s notion of this term is far different and His blessings last much longer and are much greater than any blessing we could possibly receive here on earth.