The Beatitudes: Ways to Be Blessed
And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him. And he opened his mouth, and taught them. (Matthew 5:1-2)
Each of the Beatitudes begins with the word blessed. "Beatitude" is from the Latin word beatus that means “blessed.” In the first part of each Beatitude, Jesus names an unpleasant condition that might make us unhappy. Then He gives the reward for the having the condition.
The Beatitudes are found in Matthew 5 in the Sermon on the Mount. It was a custom at that time for teachers to sit with their students in a circle around the teachers' feet. Therefore, Jesus went up into a mountain so he could see the crowds and so the crowds could see him. After He was seated, Jesus opened His mouth and taught the crowd which included His disciples.
Notice that each condition has a reward attached to it. In other words, people must BE a certain way before we can HAVE the blessing promised by Jesus. Jesus outlined the condition the people would BE in while on earth in order to HAVE the blessings of God. The reward promised in each of the beatitudes is primarily a heavenly promise.
Blessed are the poor in spirit:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The Poor in Spirit
This first beatitude is that those who are poor in spirit are blessed. People must go to God as a little child who is helpless and hopeless. They must go to God broken in spirit realizing that they are spiritually bankrupt.
Not having earthly possessions has nothing to do with being poor in spirit. Some of the richest people in the world are miserable because they are poor in spirit. They make the mistake of thinking they can do everything on their own because of their money, power, popularity, and status.
In order to receive God's divine blessing of inheriting the kingdom, people must be poor in spirit.
Blessed are those who mourn:
for they shall be comforted.
Those Who Mourn
Mourning is not limited to grieving only the loss of loved ones. Blessed are those who mourn for their own sins, the sins of others, and the evil that goes on in the world. Blessed are those who have a godly sorrow for those who don't know Jesus.
Jesus taught the crowd to have a contrite spirit and not to be satisfied seeing evil run rampant in the world. Those who are so saddened by the sins of the world will be comforted. Instead of thinking you should only mourn the death of a loved one or family member, consider the following things. Then you will be comforted, as Jesus promised.
- First, mourn the way YOU have treated God. Confess your own sins and repent. Be like David in Psalm 51:10. Ask God to create in you a clean heart and renew a right spirit in you.
- Second, be like Paul and go out of your way to let OTHERS know about the risen Lord.
- Finally, be a witness for God as outlined in Acts 1:8.
Blessed are the meek:
for they shall inherit the earth.
A third blessing is that the meek will inherit the earth. Some people often make the mistake by thinking being meek is the same as being weak and thin-skinned. Meekness is the act of being gentle and humble. Jesus is the perfect example of meekness but not weakness. He was the meekest person who ever lived, but one should not described him as weak. In fact, Jesus was quite radical.
He stood up and rebuked the Pharisees and Saduccees. He turned over the tables in the temple and ran the money changers out with a whip because they were selling in the temple and cheating the poor people by overcharging them for animals they needed to be sacrificed.
Who are the meek?
- Meek people don't profess to know how to do everything on their own. They rely on God to handle their battles.
- Meek people do not profess to be so strong that they can be victorious without God's help.
- Those who are meek turn everything over to God.
If you want to please God and receive His blessings, then BE meek.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Those Who Hunger and Thirst
Have you ever felt hungry even after you have eaten? Often we make the mistake that the empty feeling we have is for more food. However, that might not be the case. The hole that needs to be filled might not be in your stomach. It might be in your soul instead. The hunger and thirst for righteousness are more intense than hunger pangs for physical food.
Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are promised to be filled with satisfaction. Jesus says we are blessed when we hunger and thirst after righteousness. Our hunger and thirst for God are satisfied when we seek Him passionately. One thing to know is that our filling is in proportion to our appetite for God.
If you are feeling empty, perhaps it is a spiritual hunger rather than a physical one More than likely, it is your soul that needs satisfaction instead of your body.
The Fifth Beatitude
Blessed are the merciful:
for they shall obtain mercy.
Because God shows mercy to us, we should show mercy to others. Mercy is what God shows us when we don't deserve it, but He do it because He loves us so much. When we sin, God still forgives us because of His mercy.
When others mistreat us, we should forgive them and show them mercy just like the mercy God shows us. According to the fifth beatitude, when we show mercy, we shall obtain mercy.
The Sixth Beatitude
Blessed are the pure in heart:
for they shall see God.
The Pure in Heart
Those who see God with a pure heart are blessed. They understand things God reveals things to them that they could never see with their physical eyes and comprehend with their physical senses.
When evil and sins block the cavities of a person's heart, he cannot see God or understand His ways. If you want to see God as He really is, let your heart be pure and not polluted. Say like David said in Psalm 51:10, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."
The Seventh Beatitude
Blessed are the peacemakers:
for they shall be called the children of God.
Peace is a fruit of the spirit found in Galatians 5:22. Those who are peacemakers are blessed because they follow Jesus, the Prince of Peace. They keep peace every place they go.
Those people are peacemakers in their homes, on their jobs, and in their communities. They know it is not important who gets the last word. They know where chaos is . . . God is NOT because he will not dwell in confusion because God is not the author of confusion.
God is the great peacemaker who offered His own Son upon the cross to make peace with the world. Those who live a life of peace are called children of God.
The Eighth Beatitude
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Those Who Are Persecuted
People who stand for Jesus are not always accepted by the world. They sometimes lose family members and friends. They are often persecuted when they live by the truth that Jesus saves.
When people live a righteous life, they are often rejected in this world, but Jesus says the kingdom of heaven is theirs. In other words, there is a place reserved for them that is better than this world could ever be.
Blessed Are You!
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Reasons to Rejoice and Be Exceedingly Glad
We should rejoice when we suffer for Christ's sake. People who live for Christ will be talked about and insulted. They will be persecuted and falsely accused of all kinds of evils because they stand for Christ and against the world. Those who rebel against God will take it out on those who stand for Him.
There is a great reward waiting in heaven for those stand for God on earth. That often minds being persecuted even unto death like some of the saints in the Bible.
- Isaiah was sawed in half.
- John the Baptist and Paul were beheaded.
- Peter was crucified upside down on a cross.
- Others were thrown into lion's dens and eaten alive.
- Others faced cruel deaths.
- Jesus Himself was beaten, crucified and pierced in the side and put to death.
When you are persecuted and falsely accused, REJOICE and BE EXCEEDINGLY GLAD for you are in great company.