The Beatitudes of Jesus~
First, Pastor Paul began his sermon by referring to Matthew:5. The backstory of Matthew:5 is that John baptized Jesus in the river of Jordan. When Jesus descended out of the water, he heard the voice of God as if he were speaking to him in the flesh. The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove and sent Jesus into the wilderness where he fasted and prayed for 40 days. While deep in the forest, Jesus defeated Satan and angels ministered to him enlightening his journey even more so. This journey leads Jesus to deliver His most memorable sermon upon a mountaintop.
Once enlightened by his journey through the wilderness Jesus moved from Nazareth to Capernaum. Jesus taught the gospel of the Lord throughout all the synagogues and healed every disease. After that Jesus’s fame spread like wildfire. People from all over brought the sick, those oppressed by demons, and the disabled to Jesus. They were all healed thus masses followed Jesus from one city to the next.
One day, Jesus climbed upon a mountain, looking down on the crowds of people who have followed him. He told his disciples “Blessed are those” which is when he began his sermon containing his infamous beatitudes. These are not rules of how to get into heaven, but how to live having heaven on earth, Pastor Paul clarifies. All the people were hungry to know how to receive this divine blessing.
There are eight beatitudes that Jesus proclaimed on the mountain:
First is, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Meaning, anyone is welcomed in. Not only the clean and rich may enter, but also the dirty and poor. Jesus gave dignity to those who followed him so they could receive his word and feel confident in what Jesus preached. He welcomed everyone to be a part of His kingdom.
Second is, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Men were unfit to be emotional during this time period. Jesus brought them a different message of being honest with their emotions, so they can seek deep comfort to soothe their spirit. The lesson is to not bury your emotions until they are blocking your ability to receive true joy but to welcome those feelings and speak on them so that you can feel relief. When you mourn, the Holy Spirit will comfort you.
The third beatitude is, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” In this sentiment, Jesus is confronting the idea that you must rule the world with violence and power and stating that those with passions under control will rule the world. This idea was very unique to the Romans at the time who had always used war and power to conquer. But, to be like Jesus you must strive to be meek, for he had all the power in the world yet rarely used it.
Fourth, “ Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.” This beatitude is the main focus of His sermon. We need the Holy Spirit on a daily basis. The more you partake in the spirit, the more you will yearn for more of the Lord. In order to be righteous, you must make the crooked straight, and the rough smooth. You must also strive for justice in the earth, such as social justice, and equality. As long as you crave the Lord in everything you do, you will be satisfied.
The fifth is, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Jesus is always merciful. The only time he wasn’t was to those who did not show mercy. The people he was speaking to were quick to judge without mercy. You will see mercy when you need it most. A simple act of showing mercy or kindness, even though it may be imperfect puts you on a path to receive it right back.
Sixth is,” Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Pure here, means clean. And those with such a pure heart will see God. The Lord wants us to see the things of the Kingdom. Being born again gives you the opportunity to participate in what is God doing. Seeing as the Lord does, allows us to be partners with the Spirit.
Seventh, “ Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Blessed are the peace-filled bridge builders in a war-torn world, for they are God’s children. Pastor Paul exclaims, that to understand what peace in this context, we must look from a new perspective. Jesus is the prince of peace and he intends to bring peace to the world. The Romans utilized the cross as a tool of fear, exemplifying the consequences of disobedience. Jesus then used the same cross as a tool for peace, in which displayed forgiveness. Forgive your enemies and be friends. As disciples of Christ, we must model His forgiveness.
The last beatitude is, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Meaning, bless those who are mocked and misunderstood for the right reasons, for the kingdom of heaven comes to earth in the midst of many prosecutions. The blessings that Jesus bestows are the same blessings to those who are welcomed into the Kingdom of God.
The beatitudes are an internal window into Jesus and his beautiful outlook on life. They reveal exactly what Jesus was like. These guidelines uniquely capture Christ’s character. If we attempt to understand Jesus outside of these beatitudes then we will ultimately misunderstand him.
Being a Christian is not simply following rules, it is following Jesus and walking in the same path he would walk in. Something changes when you truly see Jesus and the beautiful expression of God. A shift will happen when you see yourself as a disciple of Jesus and less like a “Christian.”
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