How did Jesus flip what it means to be blessed?
Games, they say, are good for us to develop social skills as well as teaching us to understand rules and boundaries. For some, being the banker in Monopoly guarantees them a greater chance of winning as they may not always follow all the rules! My children have worked out that in Cluedo, you can tell which card someone has by where they put a mark on their answer sheet.
Mario Party 9 on the Wii console turns the rules of the games on their head. Where a character would normally have to avoid being hit, the reverse mini-game means the character that is hit first wins! How confusing is that?
In Matthew 5:17, Jesus makes it clear, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them.”
The religious leaders of the time had made rule-following the standard. They had excelled at it. They had judged harshly those for whom had broken the Law. Some had profited handsomely by selling sacrifice offerings in the temple. Jesus’s words in Matthew 5 began the beginning of him turning the understanding of connections with God around, just like the reverse mini-game. Those Jesus called blessed were those who the system and society would have called cursed. Jesus flipped what it meant to be blessed.
Our challenge this week is to think of those tough times we have faced in our lives and ask God how he could bring blessing form these. If you would like prayer or support during a difficult season, please let someone you trust know. If you have received a blessing through a difficult time, ask God how you may be a blessing to others who are facing similar situations.