Bible Society of South Africa

After the elections, let’s talk about a new kingdom - 3 June 2024

By Ewald Schmidt

Bible text(s)

The Sermon on the Mount

1Jesus saw the crowds and went up a hill, where he sat down. His disciples gathered round him, 2and he began to teach them:

True Happiness

3“Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor;

the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them!

Matthew 5:1-3GNBOpen in Bible reader

South Africans had gone to the polls in the country’s general elections on 29 May. For months before, posters of political parties and leaders had been plastered on lamp posts, while advertisements ran on the radio, enabling politicians to enjoy exposure to the public in order to make their agendas known. Many divergent opinions were expressed regarding the outlook for the country’s future.

The one thing that stood out for me was the search for hope that every human being had. Every individual seemed desperately in search of a better future for his/her loved ones.

Our Lord Jesus came to this world in one of the darkest periods of history. He came to bring hope, and an alternative way of living. In the province of Judea, in the mighty Roman Empire he sat down on the banks of the Sea of Galilee. He taught about discipleship, and the kingdom of God. This month we are going to explore a part of the Sermon on the Mount, which is found in the Gospel of Matthew, chapters 5-7.

The key to citizenship of the kingdom of God is given to us in Matthew 5:3. We are blessed when we discover our dependency upon Christ. Genesis 3 provides a lesson in humanity’s attempt to live independently of God. Humankind chose to live outside the sovereignty of God; we chose to be the masters of our own destiny. This choice has had a very tragic outcome because we were not created to live without a relationship with God. Outside of his will, a cruel world exists filled with selfishness, envy, and hatred.

When Christ came to this world, his mission was to share the love of God with us anew. He came to be the bridge between God and man, to repair the broken relationship that we had with God. After all, we were created to live close to God, to be followers in Jesus’ footsteps.

This became possible when we accepted Jesus as our Saviour, when we handed over our lives to lordship, and made the decision to follow him as his disciples. The beginning of this new life, the start of our journey of faith happens when we hear him calling us to follow him by name.

Jesus came to bring Good News, the Gospel, that God loves you and me. That is what Jesus meant when he said we are poor in spirit. You cannot do anything more to deserve the Father’s love and you cannot buy it. It is given freely by grace, accepted with faith.

When we hear his call and surrender the thrones of our hearts to his lordship, the miracle of rebirth happens. Where Jesus is Lord over our lives, a process of healing and restoration starts, he gives us hope, and a new reason to live with gratitude.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for coming to this world with the message of God’s love for me. Thank you for calling me by name to follow you. I am poor in spirit; I have nothing to contribute to my salvation. By your grace, I am saved, and with your Spirit’s guidance and strength I will follow where you lead me. Thank you for a new life, filled with your blessing. Amen

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