Beatitudes and blessings

n the Beatitudes, Jesus modelled for us the way in which we ought to invite one another into a state of ‘Blessedness’. First he described the nature of those who are blessed, then he described in each case the special blessing which God would pour out on them, a blessing appropriate to the grace which they had allowed God to work in them e.g. Verse 7 of Matthew 5 ‘Blessed are the Merciful, for they will be shown Mercy’. Then having invited them in by describing the lifestyle of blessedness, he says ‘Blessed are you when you are persecuted and mistreated for my sake.’ Since Jesus never did anything except by His Father’s direction, we know this is the Father’s will, that we should live as His children in His blessing.

For me, this is beautifully illustrated in Genesis 48:8-13. After many years separated Joseph at last is reunited with his father Jacob. He brings in his two sons so that Jacob can pass onto them his blessing. As I look at this, I see 5 elements of blessing:

  • First element of blessing: ‘Bring them to me, I want to bless them (touch them)’. God has made us body, soul and spirit. Too often we think it’s all in the mind or it’s all spiritual. God reminds us we are physical. He wants to take the stuff of our bodies and make them Holy. Part of the process is significant intentional touch in which the blessing of God is imparted by a man or woman themselves already blessed.
  • The second element of blessing is spoken words. Words that have content, words with God’s power. Few of us in the modern world can recall ever being physically blessed by our father or grandfather. Even my lovely dad never dared to take the authority he had and bless me. But God wants to do this. How often have we just dismissed significant words spoken over us or to us?
  • The third element - high value – you really matter! Don’t ever write off your own life as nothing. Don’t ever speak of yourself as of no account. Never describe yourself as rubbish or useless. These are the accusations of hell and when we repeat them we are reinforcing Satan’s foothold in our lives. Remember the Apostle Paul describing himself as the worst sinner that ever lived and then declaring ‘The Son of God loved me and gave himself for me.’ You really do matter.
  • The fourth element – the promise of a special future. God never made a single human being for whom he had not dreamed a special purpose of vast and eternal significance. The promises of God are not just for other people. Too often in our insecurity, we look at the promises of God and think they must apply to someone else. They are for us.
  • The fifth element – an act of commitment. In Genesis 50:15-21 Joseph speaks, to the very brothers who rejected, betrayed and sold him into slavery, words of love and reassurance. He blesses them. He was merciful to them. He acted as a peace maker and in his act of fulsome forgiveness, he opened himself up for more of God’s blessing.

This is all for us folks. God has called us into his family so that we can be blessed. The only thing that stops us from truly being blessed is our inability to receive his enormously generous goodness. Let’s determine that we will no longer hold back but we will plunge wholeheartedly into the stream of God’s blessing.

In Numbers 6:22-27, God spoke to Moses: "Tell Aaron and his sons, this is how you are to bless the People of Israel. Say to them, God bless you and keep you, God smile on you and gift you, God look you full in the face and make you prosper. In so doing, they will place my name on the People of Israel - I will confirm it by blessing them."

We are to be a people who bless others – blessed and blessing.