Jesus spent His ministry flipping what culture tells us on its head. During His Sermon on the Mount, He preached some counter-cultural truths that still astound people today because they stand in direct contrast to what the world preaches. Things like, the meek shall inherit the earth. In Matthew 20:16, He says, “So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few are chosen.”
The hierarchy of heaven runs in complete opposition to the world’s proverbial ladder. On earth, we elevate celebrities and lavish wealth and accolades on athletes. Meanwhile, the tireless efforts of our nation’s teachers and those in the trenches working for non-profits often go unnoticed. All the while, God is whispering a different narrative.
But I heard a whisper / As heaven bent down / Said, ‘Child, don’t you know that the first will be last and the last get a crown.’
The Beatitudes carry good news for those feeling the weight of their brokenness. (Matt. 20)
Are you poor in spirit? The kingdom of heaven is yours.
Are you mourning? You will be comforted.
Are you hungry and thirsty? You will be filled.
There is a promise for every hurting heart. And every promise is fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ.
Jesus began His earthly ministry by giving us these Kingdom statues. Therefore, He must have thought these were significant promises we would need to be reminded of again and again. We don’t live by the rank of today’s society. In God’s eyes, we are all equals. Sinners. Saints. Every single one of us. And He invites us to live by the Kingdom’s standards here and now, today. He’s calling us to be merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers and men and women of righteousness.
Jesus is turning everything upside down. The first shall be last. Can you hear Him whisper?