The View From the Bottom

Jesus began his Sermon on the Mount by proclaiming the Lord’s blessing on those who felt like they were at the bottom—the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, the persecuted. Those who felt as though joy had eluded them were told to rejoice. Was Jesus simply pumping them full of positive thoughts? Was he just trying to encourage them so they could make it through one more day? Or was there more?

The opening words of Jesus’ central teaching have come to be known as “The Beatitudes”—which we will simply call “the blessings” (Matthew 5:3-12). These blessings are ours if we are willing to take the view from the bottom.