Summary of passage: Jesus is speaking on a mountain with his disciples to a crowd (this is also known as his sermon on the mount). He says blessed are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, and the meek for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who search for righteousness, who are merciful, who are pure in heart, who are peacemakers, and who are persecuted for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
You are blessed when people insult you and persecute you because of Jesus because great is your reward in heaven.
3) According to Webster’s Dictionary, blessed means “held in reverence; venerated; honored in worship; hallowed; beatific; enjoying happiness; enjoying the bliss of heaven”.
My bible dictionary says, “When we ask God to “bless” us, we invite him to call our needs to mind and respond in meeting them.”
Synonyms would be: favored, fortunate, beautified, consecrated, endowed, granted, glorified, hallowed, holy, revered, rewarded, sacred, sacrosanct, and saved.
In Greek, blessed means “happy.”
Poor in spirit: Isaiah 57:15; 61:1; Luke 18:10-14: Those who fear God, those who submit to His power, those who humble themselves before Him, those who are contrite (penitent over their sins).
Mourn: Isaiah 61:2-3; Romans 7:22-24; James 4:8-10: Those who are sad and grieving over something, those who grieve and wail. Those who are so sad about their sins they are grieved.
Note: The word “mourn” is not used in the Romans passage; hence, didn’t help me at all.
Meek: Psalm 25:9; Matthew 11:28-29; Zephaniah 3:11-12: Those who are humble.
Note: The word “meek” is not used in either the Psalm or the Matthew passage. These only refer to the humble. The definition for meek according to Webster’s is “enduring injury with patience and without resentment; submissive.”
Hunger and thirst for righteousness: Psalms 19:7-11; 42:1, 2, 11: Those who keep the ordinances of the Lord and thirst for Him. Those who long for Him and are never satisfied.
Note: This phrase is not used in either Psalm. I found this cute website of how kids explain this phrase. Too cute! See HERE
Merciful: Matthew 18:21-35: Those who forgive their brother from their heart for sins against him. This is the parable of the Unmerciful Servant
Pure in heart: Psalm 24:4-5; Matthew 6:21-24; 1 John 3:2-3: Those who do not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. Those whose treasure is God and whose heart is God’s. Those who are like God, who hope for Jesus’ return, who are children of God.
Peacemakers: Romans 5:1; 2 Corinthians 5:19-20; Ephesians 2:15-17; 4:3: Those who have Jesus, accept him, and thus are justified through faith, are at peace with God. Those who are reconciled to God, whose sins are cancelled before Him, and thus are God’s ambassadors for reconciliation here on earth i.e. evangelize or bring peace (God) to others.
We are at peace with God through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Ephesians 2:14 says “he [Jesus] if our peace.” Be peaceful and not sinful.
Note: Reconciliation is used instead of peacemakers in 2 Corinthians 5:19-20.
Persecuted because of righteousness: John 15:18-20; 17:14; Romans 8:17; 1 Peter 3:14-16; 4:16: Those who are persecuted because they belong to Jesus and believe in him. Those who are not of this world but of the kingdom of heaven are persecuted by those of the world. Those who share in Christ’s sufferings because we are God’s children and heirs.
Those who suffer for what is right and endure those who speak against your good behavior in Christ. Those who praise God for their sufferings on His behalf.
b) No answer needed.
c) Personal Question. My answer: I need help in all of these areas and truthfully the only way I can develop these is to pray for God to work them into my heart. Otherwise, my selfish human nature will continue to be so. I need to be more merciful and righteous and pure and humble and meek and thirst for Him. I need to fear Him more and forgive others as He has forgiven me.
If I had to pick one, I would say merciful. Forgiveness is a hard one for me.
Conclusions: This lesson is definitely a 2 cup of coffee one! Set aside enough time to look up all the passages in order to grasp a deeper meaning of just how blessed we are by Jesus and God. And we didn’t have to do anything to be so! This is one of Jesus’ most famous speeches yet few could explain it to others.
I love how Matthew shifts from the third person to the second person. It makes it much more personal and intimate for me. It’s like God is saying, “YOU! Over there! Listen up! I’m talking to you!” It’s so easy in the third person when we are speaking of “they” and “them” to not include ourselves, especially in the English language. But the second person makes you wake up and realize, “Yeah, God is speaking to me!”
Facts on the Sermon on the Mount: I realize there is just not enough time to dive into the significance of this Sermon but I wished one question would have touched on it at least. This is Jesus’ summation of how to live. This is Jesus laying out the Kingdom he has brought and the important points he wants the disciples to spread.
Note he is sitting, which was customary in that time period. The students usually stood.
In Matthew 4, we see a huge crowd following Jesus so he summited a mountain so all may hear better. Yes, this speech was to his disciples, but we are all his disciples so it was meant for all.
Known as the Beatitudes, these are the attitudes or characteristics all Christians should strive for. Note Jesus speaks in the present tense. We are to have these attitudes always.
Cool Fact I am Jumping Up and Down About: The Old Testament ends with the word “curse.” Jesus opens with the word “blessed.” Isn’t that cool??? It’s the epitome of who Jesus is. Before, man lived in the curse he brought upon himself. Now, we can be blessed because of Jesus and the cross.
Jesus starts with the poor in spirit because we cannot have the others until we completely and totally rely upon him. We are nothing in comparison to God and until we recognize He gives us everything we cannot be the others. This is the place we must all begin our walk.
Then we must mourn our sin, be truly penitent, be so grieved we cry out to God for forgiveness. In return, we are comforted.
Meek is an example of lost in translation at its finest and that’s probably why a lot of us get hung up on it. Scholars are unsure what language Matthew wrote this book in but the only surviving copies are in Greek. The Greek word means someone who has power but reigns it in. The idea is strength or anger under control. The idea to submit one’s rights under authority. To be humble.
The Greek word for pure of heart meant straight, honest, and clear. Two meanings here: be morally pure and have an undivided heart in terms of your heart is devoted to God and God alone.
You must be pure in heart before you can be a peacemaker. The order here is no accident.