Beatitudes

Mat 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Mat 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Mat 5:6 Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Mat 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Mat 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Mat 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called sons of God.
Mat 5:10 Blessed are they that have been persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:11 Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

A. The “blessing” of the beatitudes.

The word “blessed” stands central in the beatitudes.
What does this word mean?

The word blessed come from the Greek word: Makarios 3107

The word means:
A prolonged form of the poetical μάκαρ makar (meaning the same); supremely blest; by extension fortunate, well off: - blessed, happy (X -ier).

There is a history behind this word.
It first came to be used in the secular world to describe a person that was great.

  • Its earlier meaning appears to be limited to outward prosperity.

It was used in relation to being rich. So they applied this word to both kings and royalties.

Later this word was even used to describe the dead:

From hence the lesson learn ye.
To reckon no man happy till ye witness,
The closing day; until he passes the border,
Which severs life from death, inscathed by sorrow.

Happiest beyond compare,
Never to taste of life,
Happiest in order next,
Being born woth quickest speed,
Thither again to turn,
From whence we came.

Then there was the philosophers concept:

  • They connected a moral meaning to it.
  • The conception rises from outward propriety to inward correctness as the essence of happiness.

In all of this, from Socrates onward, virtue depends primarily upon knowledge, so that to be happy is to know.

  • They did not connect it to the Biblical concept of sin.

The Biblical use of the word lifted it into the region of the spiritual.

  • This in distinction to the merely intellectual use of the word.

In the New Testament this word is used almost exclusively in relation to Gods approval founded in righteousness which rest ultimately on the love of God.

  • Thus the word passed up into the higher region of Christian thought and was stamped with the Gospel signet and laden with all the rich significance of gospel blessedness.

Shaking itself loose from all thoughts of outward good, it becomes the express symbol of “a state of being” identified with or from pure character.

Behind it lies the clear cognition of sin as the fountain-head off all misery and of holiness as the final and effectual cure for every woe.

We have heard a few words ringing.

  • Supremely blest.
  • Fortunate.
  • Well off.
  • Great.
  • Rich.
  • State of being.

And that is what this word then means.

  • It has to do with who you are.
  • It has to not so much to do with an emotional feeling, but far more with your character and the end-result thereoff.

Because:
It speaks of a joy that comes in spite of pain, sorrow, grief and tears.

Barklay: It describes that joy which has its secret within itself, that joy that is serene and untouchable and self contained. That joy that is completely independent off all the changes and changes of life.

So, this word has to do with the concept that when we are poor in spirit, when we are meek, when we are pure in heart etc. we come into a state of being that the Lord Jesus describes as blessed.

B. The beatitudes speak of a joy in spite of pain.

There is a great difference between the words joy and happiness.

Joy:

  • Intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness.
  • The expression or manifestation of such feeling.

Happiness:

  • Enjoying, showing, or marked by pleasure, satisfaction, or joy.
  • Being especially well-adapted; felicitous: a happy turn of phrase.
  • Characterized by good luck; fortunate
  • Cheerful; willing: happy to help.

The word “happiness” has the root “hap” which means change.
This word has much to do with what life brings you, it has to do with these things that makes life liveable.

The word joy has to do with an intense feeling of being who you are.
This is not change, no this has everything to do with choice.

Compare John 16: 16-24

In these verses we read about a joy that comes to them that seek Jesus. Those that are seekers of Him will find the great pearl and fill their heart and life with a joy that is complete.
A joy that speaks of finding our true identity, a joy that speaks of finding our true place in life, connected with Him that is the giver of all good things. (James 1: 17)

Phill. 4: 4

In Christ there is a real reason to rejoice, in Him we find salvation, in Him we find the true light, life and truth. He sets us free and through him we are free indeed.

When we consider the beatitudes we see something interesting. We see a paradox.

Paradox:
A seemingly contradictory statement that may nonetheless be true: the paradox that standing is more tiring than walking.

One exhibiting inexplicable or contradictory aspects: “The silence of midnight, to speak truly, though apparently a paradox, rung in my ears” (Mary Shelley). An assertion that is essentially self-contradictory, though based on a valid deduction from acceptable premises.


The Christian life is a life of paradoxes.

A. The paradox of life and death.

  • The one who died will live again. (Koll. 3: 1-4)
  • Death to the earthly and life to the spiritual.

B. The paradox of identity.

  •   Loosing and gaining. (Matt. 16: 24-26)

C. The paradox our inner and outer man.

  • Decaying and renewing. (2 Kor. 4: 16-18)

D. The paradox of distribution.

  • Life is given when life is taken.
  • Christ. Rom. 5: 5-8.

So are the beatitutes, some speak of the paradox.

  • Poor and rich.
  • Tears and comfort.
  • Meek and inherit.
  • Hunger, thirst and being filled.

This is the essence of the Christian life, we loose ourselves so we gain the true life. (Gal. 2: 20)
In the Christian life it is that we become smaller and God becomes bigger, we go through a transformation (Rom. 12:1-2) that leads us to higher ground, it leads us to be identified with the sufferings of Christ.
But like Christ was lifted (Phill. 2: 1-13) we will also be lifted to the new heavens and the new earth (Rev. 21, 22) and that is the true blessedness of the Christian life.

Some speak of joy in spite of pain.

  • Merciful.
  • Pureness.
  • Peacemakers.
  • Reproachment and persecuting.

Some of these matters are often difficult.
It is not always easy to be merciful, it is not always easy to be a peacemaker and even harder to be persecuted for the things that we stand for.
Many Christians have gone before us, many have died horrible deaths, (Hebr. 11: 32- 40) many of the early Christians were burned at the stake.
Yet, they knew that there was something better awaiting them. They knew and were assured by faith that God would deliver them.
Yet, the pain for them was real.

C. The beatitudes calls us to higher ground.

It is an invitation to a spiritual revolution.
What the beatitudes do for us is to call us to higher ground. It calls us to be different, to be holy, it calls us to live like Jesus. We are to be conformed to the image of His Son. (Rom. 8: 29)

It calls us to put to death our members that are on the earth. (Coll. 3: 1- 10)

It calls us to be the citizens of light, it calls us to be loyal and true citizens of the kingdom.
(Coll. 1: 13-14)

It is easy to understand that Jesus was talking about a spiritual kingdom. One that was not of this world. (John 18: 36)

See also Matt. 4: 23-25

  • The gospel of the kingdom.

It all shows that Christians have become the ownership of someone else. Translated from darkness to light. Translated from the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of His dear Son.

It is a kingdom whose borders do not pass through lands and cities but through human hearts.

It calls us to be the salt and light of this world.
Matt. 5: 13-16.

  • The salt of the earth.
  • The light of the world.

Salt keeps food from being insipid and preserves it from corruption. Both these functions are performed by Christians for society as a whole. A little more salt (true followers of God) would have preserved Sodom and Gomorrah from destruction (Genesis 18:32).

The world at large little realizes the debt of gratitude that is owed by the whole race to that relatively small percentage who truly walk in the commandments and ordinances of the Lord.

Are we ready for this journey with the Master.

He calls us through Christ, who will follow?

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