UNDERSTANDING THE BEATITUDES
is part of a unit of delivery material which is in five distinct parts that includes blessings, ethical instruction and teachings between Jewish Tradition of 'religious works' and the confirmation of the teaching of Jesus in order with the Old Testament, but inwardly and not externally.
The Beatitudes are blessings declared by Jesus upon those whose lives exhibit particular qualities or characteristics.
Blessings are spiritual and material benefits given by God to be enjoyed. God is the source of all blessings. The fear of God brings blessings, as does obedience.
These teachings are part of some Kingdom Laws, full of majesty and power for the Citizens of the Kingdom, commonly referred to as The Sermon on The Mount held on the slope that rises above Capernaum, North Galilee. There is much depth in The Sermon on The Mount in its entirety.
However, The Beatitudes is a declaration of blessings. The New Teaching, like the old was given from a mountain, though Jesus being far superior to Moses.
The followers who heard this teaching included the original apostles, many disciples, all true believers, but larger crowds than His students were there to and hear Him speak of simple ideals and requirements. One who is truly rich is one who is wise, upright, humble, obedient and faithful. Those who humbly acknowledge their need of God's help will enjoy everything in the Kingdom of God. Those who are sorrowful because of the power of sin in the world will have their sorrow turned to joy.
Those who pursue their own ambitions will not be those who want God's will to be done, nor will they be satisfied.
People who realise the greatness of God's mercy will give mercy and receive more from God. Those with a pure heart with no hidden motives try to please God and not themselves.
It was the custom that Jewish teachers be seated while educating others so Jesus sat, while He taught the Ethics of The Kingdom of God, for Christian discipleship. These qualities come not from human energy but are given as a gift of God's favour to those who believe and trust Him, and His teachings are for all people today.
These blessings are in a certain order on purpose, for spiritual understanding and betterment. The first four and 'blessed sayings' are composed of the ideal heart condition and attitude of mind for Kingdom citizens. The later present actions from that disposition.
They are character traits set forth for both present and future blessings of the people who rely on God's graces and mercy.
The Beatitude point away from empty tradition of humanity toward the power field Kingdom lifestyle. Kingdom values are expressed in action. Jesus, who is the Truth, promised blessings. He is the Teacher of The Church and offers the grace of God's rule into human experience and deliverance from both human and spiritual bondages.
The Beatitudes Gospel of Matthew
5:1 Now when he saw the crowds, he went
up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he
began to teach them, saying:
3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
The Beatitudes unveil God's Kingdom power. They call to people's character and personal application of life to serve and witness, to obey, to renounce anger, to have physical and mental purity.
The word blessed
means more than happy and refers to ultimate well-being and spiritual joy for those who share in the salvation given graciously by God, which cannot be earned.
Matthew 5:3 "Blessed
are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Poor in Spirit
is the contrast of being proud and self-reliance. It is spiritual deficiency, one who needs divine help, and acknowledges that they are dependent upon God, The Father, The Source of All Things. The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who recognize in their hearts their need for God.-as opposed to self glory, self-ego, and does not want help from God.
are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."
Those that mourn
for their sins, failings, grieve because of man's disobedience before God and are remorseful over evil that is rampant, will have all tears wiped away from their eyes. They are not self- pleasure seeking for gain.-as opposed to self-seeking, self-pleasure, and self-gain.
are the meek, for they will inherit the earth."
is the goodness and grace of God, and is not an attitude, but a disposition of humility before the Awesome Almighty God, and believers who are to inherit the earth (fellow heirs with Christ, who will be exalted over all things, life and death, present and future), for they know they are dependent upon Him and are not defiant towards Him. Meekness is not weakness, but a composed strength.-as opposed to pride, self-centered and boastful.
are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will
All who hunger and thirst after righteousness
long to do what is just and right in their lives are satisfied with joy and peace in The Holy Spirit and have a close fellowship with God.-as opposed to self-righteousness, judgemental and care for self-gain.
are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy."
Compassion and mercy
is given to people by the Grace of God, so all who were condemned sinners because of God's mercy are now disciples of Christ who are able to be merciful and forgiving.-as opposed to caring only about self, completely self-orientated, revengeful and selfish.
are the pure in heart, for they will see God."
Pure in heart
is the right motive and the right attitude. God will not hide Himself from those who are single-minded towards Him. With the right attitude Christians can love God and their fellowman. The Holy Spirit purifies and renews us and prepares us to see God.-as opposed to wrong motives regarding competitiveness for self-gain and compromising own self-value.
are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God."
are at peace with God. They are The sons of God instead of children of God for it shows maturity, and have been reconciled to him through the Blood of Jesus and continue to reconcile others with God, themselves, and each other. God is the author of harmony and of agreement.-as opposed to disharmony, aggression and taking revenge. 10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." 11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you". Those who are persecuted for the sake of Christ, for the sake of righteousness suffer solely because they uphold God's standards of Truth, His Justice, His Morality and refuse to compromise the Word of God with the pressure of being in vogue and popular with the current trends of the world. Great is their reward in heaven.-as opposed to compromising for self-interest, and self-preservation. These blessings are pronounced by Jesus on those whose lives exhibit the characteristics and qualities different from the popular worldly values. Those who direct all their efforts making life better for themselves, will, in the future suffer sorrow and eternal loss. People may make plans, but it is God who determines the outcome, for God knows a person's unseen motives and controls events according to His purposes. It is important and necessary to bring into plans that are made. Jesus taught as One having authority and not as the ordinary Jewish Teachers of Scripture.
To a Jew, The kingdom of Heaven was a kingdom ruling the nation of Israel's earthly boundaries, by their expected messiah. Although all of Jesus' followers held this view in mind, it went uncorrected and the idea was not wrong but incomplete.
God seeks a relationship, personal covenant partners, a bond with each individual human being, now, in this present time. Those in God's family reflect His true character and prove themselves true citizens of His Kingdom when they stand with Him against wrong doing, even if they may suffer themselves for doing so.
The disciples were not wrong to expect a coming earthly kingdom that would be for a time when the whole world would be ruled by The Messiah, and the disciples today anticipate the same.
|SCRIPTURES Matthew 5:1-12.
QUESTIONS 1] What does quality of attitude have to do with citizens of the Kingdom of God? 2] What does 'the poor in spirit' mean? 3] If meekness is not an attitude, what is it? 4] Why are some Christians persecuted?
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