Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Periphrasis (Matthew 5.1-12)

Good morning all,

The word of the day is “periphrasis.”  I remember when I first started reading the Bible.  I was very overwhelmed because I did not understand a lot of what I was reading.  My church group leader and people that helped me through those first years reminded me that I did not have to understand everything.  So, when I asked them about some verses that I might be able to understand pretty clearly, even not having been a Christian for a very long time, I was directed to the following passage.

Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
~Matt 5:1-12

My question is: do you make the Christian life more complicated than need be?  I think sometimes we get so caught up on trying to understand things and go deeper with God that we forget that the Christian life is all about simplicity.  As we see in today’s passage, Jesus had no need for periphrasis speech, but instead a simple and succinct set of commands would suffice then, and end up being some of the most widely read verses in the Bible even to date.  My prayer is that you keep your relationship with God simple.  Don’t make more of it than necessary.  Allow God to work with you on his time and agenda.  That’s how you grow fast as a Christian.

Praying for you,


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