Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Final Beatitudes

When the Biblically-literate hear the word "beatitude", they almost always think first of the opening of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. And for good reason - this series of blessings pronounced by Jesus is the introduction to his gospel, and works as a very brief summary of his teaching ministry. Volumes have been written analyzing these beatitudes (and the rest of the sermon), and it would be well worth your time to master this passage of scripture - and especially to live it out.

But as we've been going through Revelation over the last year at church, another set of beatitudes has stood out. Seven times in this book, Jesus pronounces a blessing on his people. Given the importance of this book as the capstone of God's revelation and the presentation of our hope in Christ, I think these blessings are worth more than a little effort to meditate on. Here they are; read, think, and discuss.

(Rev 1:3) Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.

(Rev 14:13) And I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Blessed indeed," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!"

(Rev 16:15) "Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!"

(Rev 19:9) And the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb." And he said to me, "These are the true words of God."

(Rev 20:6) Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

(Rev 22:7) "And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."

(Rev 22:14) Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.


Robert said...

These are the blessings we need to be focused upon. Talk about an eternal viewpoint! Think of how horrible the persecution is going to be in those times and it talks about them being blessed. Hopefully people will think of this whenever they are upset about conditions we deal with today (political, social, etc.) and think about the blessings to come in our eternal life.

Meaghan said...

'cause, ya know, deodorant marks on your robes are a big no-no.