Posts with the tag “evan-gear”

Thoughts on the Beatitudes (16) - Evan Gear
by Maggie Breckenridge on November 3rd, 2022
 Matthew 5:11-12 — 11Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." This last of the beatitudes seems almost a repetition of the one before it. Christ again pronounces his dominical blessing upon the persecuted...  Read More
Thoughts on the Beatitudes (15) - Evan Gear
by Maggie Breckenridge on October 27th, 2022
Matthew 5:10 — Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Here it seems Jesus is telling his disciples that if they lead a righteous life, they will be persecuted. For the sake of their righteous deeds people will chase them down. While this is true, I would like to draw out more fully the meaning of this. To do so, it is helpful to see someth...  Read More
Thoughts on the Beatitudes (14) - Evan Gear
by Maggie Breckenridge on October 20th, 2022
Matthew 5:10 — Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.This week I would like to emphasize something that characterizes every one of the beatitudes found in the Sermon on the Mount. In each blessing that the king pronounces from that mountain there is a reference to the recipient of such blessings. I know that that is to state the obvious. ...  Read More
Thoughts on the Beatitudes (13) - Evan Gear
by Maggie Breckenridge on October 13th, 2022
Part XIII:Matthew 5:9 — “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” In the last installment I made much of swords and warfare in a verse about making peace. I assume that some of you may be wondering exactly what such warfare looks like. I hinted at the content of the war by referring to the sword which our Lord himself wields. It is not mad of steel; it does not cut flesh...  Read More
Thoughts on the Beatitudes (12) - Evan Gear
by Maggie Breckenridge on October 6th, 2022
Matthew 5:9 — “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Peace, there are many ways to take such a word and therefore there are many ways to make peace. The Scriptures teach us that there is a type of peace that the world understands (see John 14:27). We may call it false peace. It is a thing as old as, at least, the time of the prophet Jeremiah.He rebukes the purveyors o...  Read More
Thoughts on the Beatitudes (11) - Evan Gear
by Maggie Breckenridge on September 29th, 2022
Part XI:Matthew 5:8— Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God James opens his letter to the church describing what he calls a double-minded man (James 1:8). Such a man doubts when he prays. He is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind (1:6). Such a person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord (1:7) for he is a double-minded man, unstable in...  Read More
Thoughts on the Beatitudes (10) - Evan Gear
by Maggie Breckenridge on September 22nd, 2022
Matthew 5:7 — Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Mercy.We hear this word quite often. We use it in prayer and in pious conversation. But if we were asked to define it could we?So much of our Christian discourse is full of this sort of thing — the use of language that, when pressed, we really don’t understand. So, what is this thing called mercy? How shall we define it?I have h...  Read More
Thoughts on the Beatitudes (9) - Evan Gear
by Maggie Breckenridge on September 15th, 2022
Matthew 5:7 — Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.Mourning, meekness, hunger, mercy — these are the characteristics of one who is blessed. They build upon one another. The one who mourns his sin in light of the holiness of God — who has learned to compare himself to heaven’s standard — such a one will be a meek person. And the one who has thus learned meekness, who has seen his ...  Read More
Thoughts on the Beatitudes (8) - Evan Gear
by Maggie Breckenridge on September 8th, 2022
Matthew 5:6 — Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. I mentioned Abraham in the previous devotion. His life is very familiar to us but what we often fail to notice is the fact that his life is largely spent in between the pages of Scripture. The man lived to the ripe old age of 175 years (Gen. 25:7) and we know details of what roughly equates to two...  Read More
Thoughts on the Beatitudes (7) - Evan Gear
by Maggie Breckenridge on September 1st, 2022
Matthew 5:5 — Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. The meek. That word is a bit foreign to us, is it not? I cannot remember the last time I either heard it used or used it myself in a sentence. It is one of those Bible words which we have become familiar with in the context of church but no longer use in reference to the “real” world. So, the verse – this statement – loses some ...  Read More
Thoughts on the Beatitudes (6) - Evan Gear
by Maggie Breckenridge on August 11th, 2022
Matthew 5:4 — Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Why might we mourn?We may mourn for many things. We may sorrow over loss and difficulty in this life. We often shed tears because an opportunity is lost, or our team was defeated, or because the supper is cold. We cry over our own folly and the tarnished reputations that they earn. We are sad to lose esteem before men. From th...  Read More
Thoughts on the Beatitudes (5) - Evan Gear
by Maggie Breckenridge on August 4th, 2022
 Bear with me as I draw out one last bit from the first of the beatitudes… Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. The poor have the reward of their poverty (such an odd thing to say, for it is gift not earnings) the kingdom of heaven now. There is, present tense, the kingdom. Another way to translate it would be, “of them is the kingdom of heaven.” That is, they are i...  Read More
Thoughts on the Beatitudes (4) - Evan Gear
by Maggie Breckenridge on July 28th, 2022
Matthew 5:3 — Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven…Before moving on to a meditation on the second of the Beatitudes, I would like to lingerfor a moment longer on verse 3. This first pronouncement of blessing expects the presence of two realities in our world. Jesus speaks to us of poverty and kings. Clearly, he does so with assumption that we will have some sort of ex...  Read More
Thoughts on the Beatitudes (3) - Evan Gear
by Maggie Breckenridge on July 14th, 2022
Matt. 5:3 — Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.The king, exalted high on the mountain, opens his mouth and, in judgment, speaks hisauthoritative word.What does he say?How does he speak to the gathered mass of humanity? In condemnation? No, but inbenediction. He, like the great high priest emerging from making atonement for thepeople of Israel, lifts his voice to pr...  Read More
Thoughts on the Beatitudes (2) - Evan Gear
by Maggie Breckenridge on July 7th, 2022
Matt. 5:2 — And he opened his mouth and taught them…This verse and its context form a refrain in a children’s song that runs through my headas I read it. I can hear my children sing the words, “he went up on a moutaaa-iin, he satdown, and he opened his mouth…”The emphasis is on that last bit, he opened his mouth. It may seem like a little thing but itis profoundly important. Jesus does not merely ...  Read More
Thoughts on the Beatitudes (1) - Evan Gear
by Maggie Breckenridge on June 30th, 2022
WEEK 1 - JUNE 30, 2022Matthew 5:1 — Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down,his disciples came to him.The beatitudes form the introduction to that portion of Matthew traditionally referred to as“The Sermon on the Mount.” It is called that because of this verse. Here we read of thesetting of the scene. This is the context of the whole of the sermon. Jesus seated upon amo...  Read More

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