What is the good life?
Several years ago, Jonathan Fields began asking this question to entrepreneurs, artists, and authors, like Brene Brown and Seth Godin. While there were some common themes that came out of these interviews, no one person said exactly the same thing.
Despite the variety of responses, no one associated the good life with being poor, mournful, and meek. But if you asked Jesus that very same question, that’s where he’d start. How do I know? Because his famous Sermon on the Mount begins, “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” (Matthew 5:3-5).
The disciples didn’t have to ask the question. The crowds didn’t have to ask the question. Jesus already knew that deep down, this is the question we all ask. Fields, known for his “Ten Commandments of Epic Business,” may have trademarked The Good Life Project, but that’s really the sub-title of all our biographies.
Now, Fields describes the Project as a movement, a community, and a set of shared values, among other things. When Jesus went up on the mountain and began preaching “the gospel of the kingdom,” he was starting his own movement. He was introducing the community of humanity to the community of divinity. And Jesus started it all off with the values of spiritual dependence, grief over sin, and, unlike Godin’s answer, submission to God’s vision of good.
But what is really counterintuitive is not these characteristics in and of themselves. Instead, it's the way that Jesus came, not inquiring about the good life, but declaring the good life. “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). Jesus brought the good life. Jesus is the good life.
The beatitudes are not the qualifications for meeting Jesus, but the result.
For more #JesusUncut, watch Darrin's message “The Blessed Life” on Matthew 5:1-12.