Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up on the mountain, and when He sat down His disciples came to Him. 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 obtain 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 men 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 men persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5: 1-11
I started writing this blog to try and bring encouragement to its readers. And somewhere along the line I had forgotten to write about the Beatitudes, which is a major oversight on our journey. In these simple statements Jesus gives comfort and assurance to all who heed His words. No matter what troubles, headaches, pain, suffering and discouragement come your way, you are not alone because Jesus has you in the palm of His hand. You are loved unconditionally and your place in the Kingdom of Heaven, both in this age and the age to come, are guaranteed.
Just take a quick look at these promises, “theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” and “they shall be comforted.” Jesus says, “they shall inherit the earth,” “they shall be satisfied,” and they shall, “obtain mercy.” Then He presents the greatest blessings by announcing, “they shall be called sons of God,” and they shall, “see God.” Think about these for a moment and marvel at the wonder of it all.
In this day and age when it seems that evil wins out over good so often, it is nice to remember that God has not abandoned those who trust in Him. We may find ourselves being victims from time to time in this world, but that is never the end game in the kingdom of heaven. The really good news is that these promises are not just about the future, but we can walk in assurance right now because of Calvary.
God is in control of this world and all that happens. Even though Satan thinks he rules the world and rages and roars like a lion seeing whom he may destroy causing strife and war, he is defeated and powerless against the grace of God in our lives. God’s ultimate plan for this world will be worked out and all will end just as He says. Notice in verse 2 Matthew writes, “He opened His mouth and taught them.” In ancient times a king never spoke directly to his people, but always through a herald. This person was the confidant of the king and spoke his commands and teachings to the people because the king was considered too majestic to speak to the common man. Jesus, however, as God of the universe, needs no one to speak on His behalf. He speaks directly to the people.
While we are on the topic it is interesting that the same pagan kings that thought they were too majestic or godlike to entertain speaking to their subjects lived, according to the culture of their day, on a heavenly mountain where they sat on a throne surrounded by their legions of semi-gods and ruled over the affairs of man. In Matthew we see Jesus goes up into a mountain, sits down with His disciples and teaches. This placement of Jesus was not lost on the people. They were seeing God of the Heavens not sitting on a throne in a far away sanctuary on a heavenly mountain, but God come down to them sitting in their midst speaking words of comfort and joy to their aching hearts.
Jesus was not dispensing legal requirements as Moses had done on the mountain, but was presenting grace for all who suffer in evil times. One other thing to mention, in verse 8 Jesus says, “blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Think about this for a moment, “they shall see God,” what a promise. But, the irony of the statement was if the people had opened their hearts and accepted the words of Jesus that day they would have known they were seeing God right there and then on that Mountain side.
The God of the Universe loves us, and He calls our names to salvation; no strings attached. God is pure love and He proved it at Calvary’s cross and He longs to pour His blessings out to us free of charge. In times of confusion and threats of war we need to listen for His voice, because it is in His words that we find assurance and security for the problems that await this old world.
By the way, if you want to see the seven things God hates then check out Proverbs 6:16-19