Reflections - ID‎ > ‎

A Broken Rose

posted 31 Oct 2011, 09:27 by Peter Booth   [ updated 1 Nov 2011, 02:38 ]
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." - Matthew 5:3

Matthew recorded these as the first words of Jesus' so-called 'sermon on the mount' teaching. This is quite appropriate really as it would be hard to imagine the disciples not being somewhat challenged by the end of his teaching, as Jesus said so many things which turned human thought and religious practice at the time on its head. Indeed Matthew records in chapter 7 that, "when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, not as their scribes." The disciples and crowds may have been more used to thinking along the lines of "blessed are the STRONG in spirit..." In many ways, so are we. 

To help us understand this verse better, we can look to Luke 21 and the Widow's offering. Before she gave her two small copper coins, this widow was in poverty, with very little of material worth in the world. After she had given her two small copper coins, she had nothing. The words Jesus uses to describe her poverty before and after giving the coins are different to distinguish having a little and having nothing; the word he uses to describe her poverty when she had nothing is the same word he uses in Matthew 5:3 according to the original Greek. In other words Jesus is saying "blessed are those who have nothing spiritually..." 

We bring nothing to the table in any negotiation for our salvation - Jesus did it all. We are saved purely and solely by God's grace to us through the cross of Christ - we are not saved by having a strong faith and we cannot do anything to earn God's favour. As we've been reminded of in ID, nothing we do can make God love us any more, nothing we do can make God love us any less, God will never stop loving us, and God never started loving us. 

"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." - Ephesians 2:8-9

As the old hymn goes, "nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling." We have nothing to offer to Jesus, like a rubbish broken rose that was made to be beautiful, but which was made worthless and ruined by sin. Here's a short video of Matt Chandler (context of sleeping around) - Jesus wants the rose!