Jesus wrapped the Beatitudes in an interesting literary construction known as inclusio. Bracketing the list in this way shows it was not intended as a grab-bag of positive attributes, but was a description of the person you will become in Christ. Jesus began the passage by saying “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” He later ends the passage with the very similar “Blessed are the persecuted for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” The kingdom of heaven belongs to the persecuted and the poor in spirit. Both descriptions must apply to the same people as do each of the other qualities. I want you to notice that the other blessings are all future: each reading, “they will be…” This promise of possessing the kingdom of heaven is present tense. The other qualities are being developed within us. The other blessings are our sure future reward. But today, even though you find yourself poor in spirit, persecuted and beat upon by life, if you belong to Christ the kingdom is already yours.