By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
Jesus transitions from the humble and content being blessed in their suffering and mistreatment, to the righteous being blessed in their desire to live a virtuous life.
Matthew 5:6 (ESV): “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
A person who seeks righteousness is not going to deal in unethical transactions. This will ensure they are well respected by their contemporaries. A righteous person is not going to mislead others or make decisions that benefit them at the expense of others. They are going to esteem others greater than themselves and they are going to protect the innocent.
Isaiah 33:15-17 (ESV): He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, who despises the gain of oppressions, who shakes his hands, lest they hold a bribe, who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed and shuts his eyes from looking on evil, he will dwell on the heights; his place of defense will be the fortresses of rocks; his bread will be given him; his water will be sure. Your eyes will behold the king in his beauty; they will see a land that stretches afar.
The life of an immoral person may appear to be fun on the outside, but they are often living in paranoia. They cannot trust those they interact with because everyone is unethical and dishonorable. An unrighteous person is not concerned about the wellbeing of others and ignores evil when it benefits them. This may benefit a short-term life on earth, but it will not bode well for their Judgment. Jesus expects the righteous to be willing to put their interests aside for others. When we do this, He will provide us protection. As our Savior, Jesus will ensure we are made whole. He will restore us from all we lose while on earth.
Matthew 18:18 (ESV): Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
If our focus is solely on preserving whatever life we have gained on earth, we will be unable to partake in a reward of the righteous. The righteous are righteous because God is righteous. For that reason, if we do not live a life in-line with the word of God, we are not righteous and cannot inherit His kingdom. By living a selfless life, we show our faith and trust in God. When we make decisions motivated by greed or fear, we are showing God we do not believe in His ability to provide for us. And as the apostle Paul said in Hebrews 11:6, “without faith it is impossible to please God.”