5 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him,
2 and he began to teach them.
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
Read more from NKJV Lucado Life Lessons Study Bible
Jesus gave this sermon (chapters 5—7) on a hillside near the town of Capernaum. Matthew presented four other great discourses of Jesus (chapters 10; 13; 18; 24, 25).
Jesus did not come to destroy the law of Moses or the teaching of the prophets, but to fulfill what they said. Jesus told us to be perfect, just as our Father in heaven is perfect.
Sacred delight is good news coming through the back door of your heart. It’s what you’d always dreamed but never expected. It’s the too-good-to-be-true coming true. It’s having God as your pinch-hitter, your lawyer, your dad, your biggest fan, and your best friend. God on your side, in your heart, out in front, and protecting your back. It’s hope where you least expected it: a flower in life’s sidewalk.
It is sacred because only God can grant it. It is a delight because it thrills. Since it is sacred, it can’t be stolen. And since it is delightful, it can’t be predicted.
It was this gladness that danced through the Red Sea. It was this joy that blew the trumpet at Jericho. It was this secret that made Mary sing. It was this surprise that put the springtime into Easter morning. . . .
It is this sacred delight that Jesus promises in the Sermon on the Mount.
Nine times He promises it. And He promises it to an unlikely crowd:
“The poor in spirit . . . Those who mourn . . . The meek . . . Those who hunger and thirst . . . The merciful . . . The pure in heart . . . The peacemakers . . . The persecuted . . . ”
It is to this band of pilgrims that God promises a special blessing. A heavenly joy. A sacred delight. (From The Applause of Heaven by Max Lucado)
How are you fulfilling Jesus’ command to be perfect before God? Do you fall short by lying, lusting, cheating, coveting, or gossiping? When you battle one of these temptations, instead of giving in, pray, sing a worshipful song, or think of a memorized verse. Praise God instead of giving in.