I’m always amazed by whom Jesus chose to hang around. Back in Jesus’ day, there were plenty of popular, religious big-wigs to hang out with: respected leaders recognized for their insights, their roles in public worship, and their ability to attract a crowd. Jesus surely knew all about them. Yet Jesus chose to hang out with a different type of people.
Thankfully, Jesus didn’t leave us to wonder why He hung out with whom He did. All through Jesus’ ministry, He shows us and shares with us the way things work in the Kingdom’s reality, which is an even more real reality than everyday life here on earth. The Kingdom’s reality also seems to be in stark contrast to the way our own world operates.
In the beginning of Matthew chapter 5, Jesus starts listing the group of people that are most happy (or “blessed” in many translations) that the Kingdom of God is the way it is:
-the spiritually bankrupt
-people who are grieving
-those desperately looking for justice
-those who give mercy to others
-people who bring peace to those around them
-those who suffer for doing the right things
These people can feel secure because God’s Kingdom, the “real-ist” reality, is the Kingdom that will last forever, and it’s the one that truly counts.
But that also means that life here on earth is short-lived. The earthly way of life, this culture, the way humans tend to treat one another, is profoundly messed up. But, I’m guessing you knew that already.
Placing our faith in Jesus, and living by the truths of the Kingdom, can give us great hope, relief, and even happiness while living life here on this temporary, catawampus earth.
Jesus, teaching on a mountainside, gathered His odd assortment of followers, and told them what the forever Kingdom of God was really like and that it didn’t look at all like what they were expecting. It was way better. And it included them.