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The Beatitudes

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The truly blessed life is aligning up with the Beatitude.

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The Beatitudes

Matthew 5:2–12 ESV
And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew 5:2-12
Do you remember that after His baptism Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil. He came to reverse the curse and at this temptation He successfully vanquished the Devil’s effort. While Matthew doesn’t record the Nazareth synagogue sermon I think it is important to include Luke’s setting because he tells how Jesus came preaching the good news. It comes before the Sermon on the Mount. (ESV) And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. His message was from . (ESV) “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” This was astounding and they marvelled at His message. Matthew tells us this in chapter 4:23–25. And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. 24 So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, those having seizures, and paralytics, and he healed them. 25 And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan. He was fulfilling the prophecy. It sets the context for why such a multitude was following Him.
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
and recovering of sight to the blind,
The Beatitudes
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
I. The importance of the message. Vs.2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: We could easily miss the significance of these words. They are an expression of speech introducing a message of extreme importance. It was introducing an authoritative message of great concern. Most of your Bibles probably have a editor’s heading which we have all come to know this section as the Beatitudes. It is derived from Latin meaning happy or bliss. We have nine verses that begin with the word “blessed” μακάριος is the Greek word which can be translated fortunate, happy or blessed. It is not the will by what happiness the world understands which is superficial and transient. This a lasting deep inner happiness. These verses are paradoxical. You don’t normally associate happiness with poor, mourning, hunger, humility, and persecution. We are very much deceived by the world as to what will give us happiness. When we buy into the world’s concept we are left very empty and frustrated. We end up like a dog chasing its tail, getting no where. Nothing the world’s way satisfies. Those who seek for satisfaction in the world’s stuff come away very frustrated.
and recovering of sight to the blind,
14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. It sets the context for why such a multitude had
23 And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. 24 So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, those having seizures, and paralytics, and he healed them. 25 And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan. (ESV) And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. If you remember last Sunday when Jesus read the passage in the Nazareth synagogue the people marveled at His teaching. It sets the context for why such a multitude had
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Matthew tells us this in chapter 4:23–25. And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. 24 So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, those having seizures, and paralytics, and he healed them. 25 And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan. If you remember last Sunday when Jesus read the passage in the Nazareth synagogue the people marveled at His teaching. It sets the context for why such a multitude had
All of us want to be blessed, but the only ones who can know this deep happiness or joy are those who are drawn by the Holy Spirit to receive Jesus Christ by faith. The Lord begins in His introduction to His sermon to describe what that blessedness looks like.
The first evidence of true faith in Christ is...
II. A sense of spiritual depravity. Vs. 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” This has nothing to do with wealth. There is no blessing in poverty. This because of life in Christ becoming aware of ones spiritual sinfulness. Before new life and coming to trusting in Christ there is no sense that one is sinful. To tell an unbeliever that they have sinned against the Holy God of the universe will hear them angrily respond that they are better than other people. It is possible that they may feel guilt about violating the norms of society, but it isn’t that they have sinned against the Holy God of the universe. It is only when someone is spiritually alive that they see their spiritual depravity and a sense of sin. Then there is a sense of sinfulness. So many times I have heard the unbeliever say if they believe there is a God that they have no need God or religion. So many times I heard the words when I was in Australia, “I am glad for you mate, but I don’t need it.” But once one was drawn to Christ there was a strong sense of one’s spiritual bankruptcy that is filled by the imputed righteousness of Christ. We see this spirit in Isaiah. (ESV) In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” 4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.” (ESV) For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. It is only that theirs is the kingdom of heaven. This is the confidence that we have before Him. This is not they will have the kingdom of heaven. Their is the kingdom of heaven.
The next beatitude...
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
15 For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,
that God Son died on the cross
III. The sorrow over depravity. Vs. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” This flows in context with first beatitude. Prior to coming alive spiritually we are dead in our sinful condition with no sense that we have offended a holy God. I have said earlier that the beatitudes are paradoxical. Happy and mourning just don’t go together. That is why we know that Jesus is not talking about natural mourning. On one hand we are happy that the love is out of suffering and home with the Lord. But there is no happiness in the loss of a loved one, we have a sense of grief. We have lost someone very precious to us. Sometime the loss has been sudden and there was no suffering so we have no mixed emotion, it is raw intense grief. So that is not the mourning Jesus is speaking about. It is our sorrow over our sinful condition. It is that mourning that we receive comfort. Coming to Christ by faith we have become awaken to our sinfulness. Paul told Timothy that he was the most sinful of all. (ESV) The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. In God talks about comfort He is giving to Jerusalem. (ESV) Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. What is he comforting them for? In the next verse He tells them.2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. This is the comfort that the Lord is speaking about. The next beatitude…
6 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said:
who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
15 For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.
IV. The happy humble. Vs. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” This probably the most shocking of all the beatitudes. Meekness is not weakness. Many think being meek is lacking spirit, timidity, weak or even cowardly. Quite the opposite; it is “strength under control.”Southern horse breeders used to have a phrase—”the meekest horse wins the race.” The meek horse is the one who has most responded to his training. All his obvious and inherent strength is harnessed and brought under focused control. Moses was the meekest man in his day as (ESV) stated. Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all is people who were on the face of the earth. He certainly wasn’t weak or cowardly. He stood strong and faithful in the Lord against a rebellious and unfaithful nation of Jews. He lead that multitude out slavery and for forty years through the wilderness. This is hardly a description of weakness when you consider the incredible personal strength required to lead over a million people on a camping trip through the wilderness for forty years. Meekness is the characteristic of humility when coupled with gentleness. Its source comes from our understanding that our coming to faith in Christ is totally a work of God’s sovereign hand. We are saved by faith in Christ alone and even that faith is gift from God. It is not of our works at all. It is by God’s grace alone. . It is through Christ work of redemption alone and that our position in Him is for God’s glory alone. This reality is very humbling. We didn’t do anything to deserve it, nor could we have done anything to earn it. That births a gentleness towards others since we know that but by the grace of God we would be exactly where they are and we were there. This beatitude is taken from (ESV). But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.
The inheritance of the earth here looks ahead to reward in the coming kingdom reign with Christ, which will be the grand climax of history.
11 But the meek shall inherit the land
The next beatitude...
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
“I dwell in the high and holy place,
who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
40 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
40 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord after Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramah, when he took him bound in chains along with all the captives of Jerusalem and Judah who were being exiled to Babylon. 2 The captain of the guard took Jeremiah and said to him, “The Lord your God pronounced this disaster against this place.
40 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
A. Meekness is not weakness. Many think being meek is lacking spirit, timidity, weak or even cowardly. But that is far what it means. Moses was the meekest man in his day as (ESV) stated. Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth. He certainly wasn’t weak or cowardly. He stood strong and faithful in the Lord against a rebellious and unfaithful nation of Jews.
and delight themselves in abundant peace.
V. The hunger evidence. Vs. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” The evidence that one has been given new life and drawn to receive Christ by faith is a hunger for righteousness. My guess that the reason a new born baby wails at birth is not that he/she is slap on the butt by the physician, but the food supply is cut off. The evidence life is presence is a hunger for that which sustains life. This true spiritually. Before I was drawn to Christ I had no interest in the Bible. I didn’t have one. After I came to Him I couldn’t get enough of it. In fact I got in trouble with my boss because I was reading it on his time even though I didn’t have work. The righteousness that is mentioned here is probably not the imputed righteousness of Christ, but the desire to do what is right. The out come is the satisfaction.
and cry to her
ality
Weber, S. K. (2000). Matthew (Vol. 1, p. 59). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
the whole earth is full of his glory!”
and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,
“I dwell in the high and holy place,
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
3 Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
The next beatitude begins the fruit of life in Christ ...
4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
to revive the spirit of the lowly,
and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,
and cry to her
and cry to her
VI. The fruit of mercy. Vs.7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” This fruit is flows so naturally from those by God’s mercy have received salvation simply by His grace. We see this mercy extended through Joseph when his brothers who had sold him into Egyptian slavery came asking for food because their was a famine in their land. Joseph certainly could have gotten revenge, but he was moved to have mercy. He had come to the ability to interpret dreams by God’s grace. Through a rough pilgrimage to become second in command over all Egypt. His brothers thought that the moment their father Jacob died, Joseph would get his revenge. We see even when the brothers concocted a lie, Joseph responded in mercy. (ESV) So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died: 17 ‘Say to Joseph, “Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.” ’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18 His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” 19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. 21 So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. The opposite is seen in the unmerciful servant in (ESV). “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. 35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.” It is only that theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
and to revive the heart of the contrite. It is only that theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
to revive the spirit of the lowly,
that her warfare is ended,
that her warfare is ended,
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.
23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.
23 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. 35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”
16 So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died: 17 ‘Say to Joseph, “Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.” ’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18 His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” 19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. 21 So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. The opposite is seen in the unmerciful servant in (ESV). “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. 35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”
The next fruit of life in Christ ...
and to revive the heart of the contrite.
that her iniquity is pardoned,
that her iniquity is pardoned,
Lust
Lust
st ...
VII. The holy purpose. Vs.8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” The term Matthew used here means pure or “clean.” It can be used literally of physical cleanness, but Scripture often uses it for moral cleanness and purity. The best way of look at the word is to understand that it is the absence of impurity or filth. It implies a singleness of purpose, without distraction. (ESV) Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Any distraction or corruption a believer’s heart making that person less effective as a servant. The kingdom servant has a heart that is undivided and unalloyed. It is a heart that is not corrupted by other materials.
8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. . Any distracting or corrupting influence a kingdom servant allows into his or her heart makes that person less effective as a servant. The kingdom servant has a heart that is undivided and unalloyed. It is a heart that is not corrupted by other materials.
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
This quality is a natural by-product of the preceding blessings and character qualities. Purity of heart is not manufactured by the believer, but is granted by the God of mercy (5:7) to those who mourn their spiritual bankruptcy (5:3–4) and who seek his righteousness (5:6). When the king grants purity of heart, he gives not only judicial purity (forgiveness, absolution from guilt), but also the actual removal of corrupting impurities from the heart. This comes about through the empowerment of the believer to grow into holiness and out of these impurities.
double for all her sins.
double for all her sins.
Divorce
Divorce
There may be two meanings behind the phrase see God. First, the pure heart are unhindered in their ability to understand the heart and person of God in this life on earth and, in this sense, is better able to see God. Secondly, only the pure (forgiven) heart is able to enter heaven to enjoy the presence of God for eternity.
31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
The next fruit of life in Christ ...
Oaths
Oaths
VIII. They reconcile conflict. Vs.9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” This is the very character of God for He is called the God of peace. (ESV) For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints, (ESV) “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” This is one of names for Jesus. (ESV) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. Since this is the very nature of God, it is not surprising that those who are born of Him should exhibit that character trait. This beatitude calls believers not just to be peaceful persons but to be peacemakers, that is, to work actively for peace among people in conflict. Can followers of Christ do this? They not only can, they must, for they have experienced the peace between themselves and God that God himself made possible through the cross of Jesus Christ. Christian peacemaking includes witnessing to the gospel, but it also extends to all kinds of human reconciliation.
33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ 34 But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ 34 But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
Weber, S. K. (2000). Matthew (Vol. 1, p. 60). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
conflict.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
33 For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
6 For to us a child is born,
Boice, J. M. (2001). The Gospel of Matthew (p. 76). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
As in all the churches of the saints,
to us a son is given;
Boice, J. M. (2001). The Gospel of Matthew (p. 76). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
Would you expect these wonderful character traits to be welcomed in this world, but that is not the case. Look at this next beatitude...
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
IX. Attacked for being right. Vs.10-12“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” This for sure is very paradoxical. Be happy when you are be trashed. This last beatitude is stated briefly in verse 10, but then verses 11 and 12 also elaborate on it, changing the pronouns from the third to the second person (from “those who” to “you”). This change shifts the focus of persecution from something that is being thought of in a general way to something that will affect Christ’s followers personally. The matter is made personal in another way too, since persecution “because of righteousness” (v. 10) now becomes persecution “because of me” (v. 11), that is, because of their relationship with Christ.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” This for sure is very paradoxical. Be happy when you are be trashed. This last beatitude is stated briefly in verse 10, but then verses 11 and 12 also elaborate on it, changing the pronouns from the third to the second person (from “those who” to “you”). This change shifts the focus of persecution from something that is being thought of in a general way to something that will affect Christ’s followers personally. The matter is made personal in another way too, since persecution “because of righteousness” (v. 10) now becomes persecution “because of me” (v. 11), that is, because of their relationship with Christ.
and his name shall be called
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The persecution Jesus is talking about and for which believers are to “rejoice and be glad” is not the hostility that will come to them from the world because they have made themselves a nuisance, insulted people they are trying to influence, or been rude, crude, or fanatical. It is because they have become like Christ in his righteousness and are therefore being hated for righteousness’ sake, as Jesus was.
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
When Jesus came into the world, he exposed the evil in the world simply by being righteous, and the world hated him for it. Before he came, people could get away with hypocrisy, lying, dishonesty, and pride, because others acted the same way. But when Jesus came, those dark vices were exposed for what they are, just as light always illuminates the darkness. If a Christian lives like Jesus Christ, he or she will be persecuted. But Jesus says that we are to rejoice when that happens. Why? First, persecution shows that we are in the company of those who have been faithful before us, for they too were persecuted: “in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (v. 12). Second, we have a “great … reward in heaven” (v. 12).
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
We do not experience much real persecution for the sake of Christ today, at least not in the Western world. But this is something the early Christians understood very well and believers in many countries that are hostile to Christianity also understand today. Peter understood it, for he refers to this beatitude twice in his first epistle, where he deals with persecution: “If you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed” () and “If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed” (). Persecution is a common experience for Christians, but it is proof that we belong to Jesus here as well as evidence of those heavenly blessings we will enjoy hereafter
7 Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
Boice, J. M. (2001). The Gospel of Matthew (pp. 76–77). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
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