If the seed is the Word of God, then one of the most precious seeds ever scattered by Jesus was in His sermon on the mount of blessing beginning in Matthew 5. Among other things, the sermon addresses who we must be, what we must do, and how what we do helps us know who we are. In this sermon, Jesus clearly outlines the principles of His kingdom by dropping seeds of truth to transform the lives of His hearers.

The first portion of Christ’s sermon implies that happiness is often disguised by what seems counter-intuitive. What we think makes us happy actually doesn’t. For the human being, there is no greater joy than the recognition of our spiritual poverty, mourning, meekness, hunger, mercy, purity, peace, and persecution. For only when we experience these things are we able to become the recipients of real godliness.

The Beatitudes are one of the clearest indicators to show the legitimacy of our profession as Christians. How can one know if one is really a Christian? Is it by their actions, their speech, their affections? Yes, but these can at times be deceiving. People with good actions can have evil motivations, and real Christians can struggle with overcoming a habit of bad speech. The Christian journey has highs and lows, which sometimes makes it hard to even know whether or not we are who we claim to be. The Beatitudes answer this question. Do you hunger and thirst for righteousness? As a deer pants for water and stops to quench its thirst even though it’s being hunted, is the love of Christ more desirable than life itself? Whatever our profession, our relationship to the Beatitudes exposes the genuineness of our claims.

The power of the kingdom of God is not found in overcoming others. It is found in overcoming self. Jesus declared that His followers are salt and light. Salt infuses itself with what it must season. In the same way, light mixes into the darkness in order for it to make an impact. So the Christian must lose sight of who they are in order to make a real impact in the kingdom of God. Selflessness, not selfishness is the fulfilling of the law. True Christians do not only focus on their own righteousness, but, like Christ, they say, “For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth” (John 17:19).