The Beatitudes (Matt. 5:1-12)
When Yeshua (Jesus) saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying…: What a beautiful picture of the truth that our Lord and Savior is seated in heaven above all rule and authority. As His disciples, we come to Him and He teaches us with all the wisdom and knowledge that He possesses. What a gift!
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Who are the poor in spirit? They are the needy, the hungry and the humble. We are the poor, spiritually and emotionally. Knowing that truth we remain humble. We recognize our need for God. We hunger to be more like our Messiah. Yeshua tells us that walking in these truths we are truly blessed. Ours is the kingdom of heaven. Heaven belongs to us. It is from there that God reaches down to meet the needs of our poverty. As we seek to know God more fully we will see His plan for our lives unfold. Humility is the gateway for the blessings of the kingdom of heaven to pour into our lives here on earth. One day we ourselves enter that glorious realm.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. God knows all about our pain. He knows about our sadness, the depth of our grief and the emotions that are brought about from our experiences of death. Not only does He know and understand those feelings, He blesses us with comfort during dark and difficult times. Trust the Lord and know that He is good. His comfort will wrap around our hearts like a warm blanket, bringing peace to replace the daggers of the pain of grief. God is there with us, to comfort us, His children, with the comfort that only the Love of our Heavenly Father can bring.
Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. The gentle, or the meek are those who know the truth about their human state. They know that they are weak and like sheep, left to their own ways they will surely go astray. Because of this knowledge of the truth they have learned to honor others in humility. They have learned not to seek their own way, but God’s way. To accomplish this they must rely on God’s strength, guidance and wisdom. God then teaches them to be quiet in body, soul and spirit. This quietness is displayed as gentleness. It’s a quietness that says I can do nothing apart from God, yet His life living in and through me allows me to do all things. Because of this quiet dependence on the Lord, God promises that they shall inherit the earth. Nothing shall be impossible for the likes of these. They are truly blessed.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Desiring righteousness says we want to be in right standing with God. God equates faith to righteousness. Are we walking in faith in God today? We must hunger and thirst to be right with God in all areas of our lives. This will result in holiness in our lives,and there we find complete contentment in Messiah.
Desiring to be obedient to God, through the study and application of His Word, allows Him to fulfill promises that we will be blessed. When God sees our desire to be like Him in righteousness, He smiles on us. Not only does He smile, but He promises that blessings will flow into our lives. When we’re hungry or thirsty we don’t ignore those feelings. We must fill our desires. Similarly, we mustn’t ignore God’s instruction that we’re to hunger and thirst for righteousness. We must do everything we can to take active steps that move us to live righteous lives in the sight of God. These things involve both small and big things that the Holy Spirit will show us, if we’re listening.
Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy. We’re not to look at our brothers and sisters in the Lord with a negative spirit of judgment. Our task is to look for each other’s good qualities before focusing on the negative things that the Lord is working on, in each of our lives. In this way we are being merciful, which will allow God to pour out His blessings of mercy into our own lives. We need to believe the best about each other. By doing this we’ll be able to be compassionate with each other. Compassion has many faces depending on the situation, but at its foundation is Love, the highest goal for all our relationships.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Being pure in heart involves our willingness to know the truth. If we’re willing to know the truth about ourselves we need to constantly check the motives of our hearts for doing things. When God shows us impure motives we’re to ask for forgiveness and desire to be changed. With this desire comes purity, which brings the highest blessing into our lives. We shall see God! We see God in many ways. We see Him now on earth as we take time to fellowship with Him in prayer. We see Him acting in situations in our lives. We see Him in our relationships with other Believers. We see Him as we worship Him in Spirit and truth. Yet now we only see dimly, but then face to face! What a glorious day that will be when we stand before our God in heaven without spot or blemish, being able to see Him fully because of the purity that we have achieved in the resurrection of Messiah!
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. God desires that we always seek peace and not strife in every relationship, and every situation. That’s His will for us as His children. He wants us to reflect His nature and receive all the blessings that come by being sons of God. What an inheritance the children of the Creator of the universe are entitled to. It’s an inheritance that comes from desiring peace. The first step to receiving that peace is by our confessing Yeshua as Lord and Savior of our lives. In doing so we have peace with God. It is only then that we can begin to operate as peacemakers on the earth. His life will live in us and through us, bringing peace to the wars in our own soul. We can only give what we have. With eternal perspective pray for the peace of Jerusalem, a name that means ‘vision of peace!’ One day Jerusalem and her people will know peace, through Yeshua Sar Shalom, the Prince of Peace. Oh, how blessed they will be on that day, walking in their birthright.
Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. As we desire to walk in the righteousness of God persecution will come. Persecution is evidence of the battle that we find ourselves in as Believers. It’s a battle between good and evil. It’s a battle for souls. The good news is that all battles belong to the Lord. In our battles we’re to follow Him, trust Him and not be surprised by the battles. We will have them. Thankfully God has encouraged us that as we meet persecution all that belongs to the kingdom of heaven is ours – God’s peace, God’s glory, God’s victory – how blessed we are knowing this truth!
Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. When we walk with the Lord the pride of unsaved people will cause them to speak evil against us and the Lord. God promises us that when this happens we will be blessed. We’re to ignore the evil words. They are lies. People who are unsaved do not know the truth about Yeshua, the Gospel or God’s plan for the ultimate rule of His Kingdom on earth, and in our lives. These words especially hurt when they come from our own family. Yet God instructs us to rejoice and be glad in these difficult times because we will have a great reward in heaven as a result of our experiencing persecution on earth. The persecution is evidence that people can see that we are following the Lord. Therein lies our promised blessing! Rejoice and be glad!
How does this study of the Beatitudes encourage you and what does it teach you about the Kingdom of God?