I am a Jesus pusher!!! Matthew is an author who writes with a fundamental goal in view. He is an evangelist writing with an evangelistic fervor. He wants to win the Israelite nation to Jesus. They must be convinced of who Jesus is. The hopes and dreams of Jewish history are focused on the Messiah. Their Messiah appears, only to be rejected and crucified by His own. It is the greatest of tragedies. Matthew plays the role of a lawyer. He piles up the evidence, building a strong case for Jesus. Jesus is the Kingly Messiah. Obviously this places the Kingdom of Heaven at the heart of his presentation. It was the core of John the Baptist’s message, the forerunner of Christ. John preached, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matthew 3:2). Jesus followed up with the identical message (Matthew 4:17). Now He presents a three-chapter discourse giving the “Manifesto of the Kingdom of Heaven!” Here lie the fundamental principles of Kingdom living and the core heartbeat of that Kingdom. It is significant that the first statement of the Sermon on the Mount contains the Kingdom’s declaration. In other words, the Beatitudes begin with the reality of the Kingdom’s presence. Now as we come to the end of the Beatitudes, the closing is a statement of the Kingdom’s reality.
The Kingdom is not a location to which you arrive; it is a relationship of merger with Him. None of the beatitudes are possible, especially the last calling us to rejoice in persecution, without a merger with Jesus. We are helpless in resource to accomplish such standards. The Kingdom is relationship with Jesus in which He and I merge together become the new creature, the Kingdom of God. I am a Jesus pusher!!!