I know I am getting out of order here. I was just lying in bed – it is about 10 minutes to 12 on Friday night, and I was mulling.
Now let me be clear. I have studied through and taught through the Beatitudes probably more than any other passage in the Bible. It is my favorite by far. I have notes dating back decades from preparations for this little piece of scripture.
But tonight – closing in on the middle of the night – I am trying to get to sleep, and the phrase “Theirs is the kingdom of heaven” is rolling around in my head. This phrase that is calling me to my laptop to put down my thoughts doesn’t even belong in my mind right now. I mean we are right smack in the middle of the beatitudes, and this phrase bookends the passage. I suppose I could stick it at the end of the chapter, but there is an urgency I sense in its placement right here.
What if “Theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” rather than meaning they gain entrance into the kingdom, as in, the poor in spirit get saved, what if what it means is the poor in spirit and the peacemakers for that matter, get the kingdom of God? What if those who are broken before God are not just given a ticket for St. Peter to punch, but they actually possess the entire kingdom. What if we are not just someday going on a long trip to visit a great place, but we actually have ownership. And not some sad 52nd part like a timeshare, but we are on the deed, of the kingdom of heaven.
Isn’t that what Paul was talking about when he said we are joint-heirs with Christ? (Rom 8:17) Doesn’t that line up with us being seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus? (Eph 2:6) Doesn’t the very fact that the Holy Spirit is in our lives as the “deposit guaranteeing our inheritance” illustrate this? (Eph 1:14) Or how about this outrageous bit from Daniel:
‘But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.’ – Daniel 7:18
So I have a question for you, Lord. How should this look in my life? What does it mean for me to be in possession of a kingdom? And not just any kingdom, but a heavenly kingdom, Your kingdom!
I dare you to ask God that question.
Let me know what He shows you.