Life-Study of Matthewby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In order to have a good nation or kingdom, there must be good people. A proper country needs proper people. Thus, in the constitution of the heavenly kingdom, the Lord Jesus firstly reveals the kind of people who live in the kingdom of the heavens.
The nine blessings in 5:3-12 are all related to the nature of the kingdom people. The kind of people we are depends upon our nature. Every aspect of these nine blessings deals mainly with our inward being, not with outward material things. Along with our inward being, these verses also deal somewhat with the outward expression. Take the example of righteousness. If you read these verses carefully, you will see that righteousness here is not merely a matter of outward behavior. Rather, it is the outflow of our inner being, the expression of what we are within. Thus, the first section of the constitution (5:1-12) deals with the inward being of the kingdom people.
In considering the nature of the kingdom people as revealed in these verses, we need to remember nine crucial words, one for each of the nine blessings: poor in spirit, mourning, meek, hungry and thirsty for righteousness, merciful, pure, peaceful, persecuted, and reproached. These words reveal what kind of people the kingdom people should be. They should always be poor in spirit, mournful over the present situation, meek in facing opposition, righteous toward themselves, merciful toward others, pure toward God, peaceful toward all men, persecuted for righteousness, and reproached for the sake of Christ. The totality of these nine words is the nature of the kingdom people.
The sequence of these verses is very significant. Firstly we must be poor in spirit, and then we can mourn. If we are not poor in our spirit, we do not have the capacity for the King to come in to establish His kingdom within our being. If we do not have the heavenly kingdom established within us, we cannot realize how negative and pitiful the whole world is. However, when the Lord Jesus is able to set up His kingdom within us and when the full capacity of our whole being, even the depths of our being, our spirit, is available to Him, we shall realize that the earth is dark, corrupt, and filled with sin. Spontaneously we shall mourn for this sad situation. For this reason, the Lord Jesus did not speak first of mourning and then of being poor in spirit. He put the matter of being poor in our spirit first. Only when we are poor in spirit can we mourn.
If we are poor in spirit and mourn for the pitiful situation of others, spontaneously we shall be meek. Even if your mother-in-law is in a pitiful condition, do not tell her so. Even the condition of your dear wife may not be very positive in the eyes of the Lord. If her heart and her interests are not for the Lord, and she does not care for the Lord’s kingdom, her situation is pitiful. You have the Lord Jesus with the heavenly kingdom in your spirit, but what about your wife? You may be in the highest heaven, but she may be in the lowest hell. Furthermore, consider your children. You may love the Lord to the uttermost, but they may not love Him at all. Therefore, you must mourn for your mother-in-law, your wife, and your children. You must also mourn for your relatives, your colleagues, and your neighbors. Where is one who is truly for the Lord? Look at the deplorable condition of the world today, including that of Christianity. The merchants care only for money, the students care only for their education, and the working people care only for promotions and positions. When we are poor in spirit, we shall surely mourn for the whole situation. We shall mourn for our environment and for the people around us.
Because we mourn for others, we would never fight against them. Instead of fighting them, spontaneously we shall be meek toward them. If you are not yet meek with your wife, it reveals that you have not been possessed by the kingdom of the heavens. This indicates that other things are still occupying you. If you have been fully occupied within by the heavenly kingdom, you will mourn for your wife and be meek with her. You will be meek toward every pitiful person. If you are a student, you will be meek toward your teachers and classmates. You will be meek toward others because you have a deep feeling within about their pitiful situation. Because you have been praying for them in the way of mourning, whenever you contact them, you will be meek.
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