NT 131: The Beatitudes (2) – In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ’s Kingdom Manifesto, we find a lifestyle so deeply rooted in Christ-like character that it exposes our modern day substitute of Christianity. From the handful of followers who first heard his message to the 2.2 billion Christians alive today, the followers of Jesus were to be the salt of the earth, the city on a hill, the force that would heal and transform the world. Christians now form 33 percent of the world’s population, but beyond the impressive numbers, how successful has this faith been? What are its prospects for the future? And if Jesus were to return to Earth today, would he recognize his teachings? After two millennia, would Jesus recognize what is done in his name today? The Sermon on the Mount is not a code of ethics, it is a description of Kingdom living. The Beatitudes are nothing less than the essential characteristics of the Christian person. This is the person who is truly happy, for he or she has earned God’s smile upon his or her life.