Monday, November 22, 2021
6 “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
7 “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
8 “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
9 “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of competing or fighting. That’s when you discover who you really are and your place in God’s family.
10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
11-12 “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort, and they are uncomfortable. So you can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.
-Matthew 5:6-12 The Message
Verse 6: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Verse 7: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
Verse 8: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Verse 9: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Verse 10: “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Verse 11: “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.
Verse 12: Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in this same way, they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Verses 3-12 studies: There are four ways to understand Beatitudes.
- They are code ethics for the disciples and standard of conduct for all believers.
- They contrast Kingdom values (what is eternal) with worldly values (what is temporary).
- They contrast the superficial “faith” of the Pharisees with the real faith Christ wants.
- They show how the Old Testament expectations will be fulfilled in the new kingdom.
The beatitudes are not multiple-choice; pick what you want and leave. It’s not meant to be taken as a whole. Instead, they describe what we should be like as Christ’s followers.
Each beatitude tells how to be blessed. “Blessedness” means more than happiness, implying the fortunate or enviable state of those in God’s kingdom. The Beatitudes don’t promise laughter, pleasure, or earthly prosperity. Blessed means the experience of hope and joy, independent of outward circumstances, is how Jesus defined blessed. To find hope and joy, follow Jesus no matter the cost.
Naturally, people were asking how do I qualify to be in God’s kingdom. Chapter 4 verse 17 reminds us that Jesus’ announcement is the kingdom was at hand, so that’s why people were asking how do I qualify. Jesus said that God’s kingdom is different from the world and organized differently, making the kingdom of heaven not have priorities like wealth, power, and authority. Kingdom people will have different blessings and benefits. The attitudes are different as well. How about you? Is your attitude is a copy of the world? Is your attitude of the world or your sacrifice of Jesus, your king?
Verses 11-12 studies: Jesus said to rejoice when we are persecuted. Persecution is good because:
- It takes our eyes off earthly rewards.
- It strips away superficial belief.
- It strengthens the faith of those who endure.
- Our attitude through it serves as an example to others who follow.
God’s greatest prophets were persecuted, so this can give us comfort. Elijah, Jeremiah, and Daniel were persecuted. Being persecuted shows, we have been faithful, while faithless people wouldn’t notice it. God rewards the faithful by receiving them to the eternal kingdom where there will be no more persecution.
Father, I never heard of the name Beatitudes until I read this passage of scripture. I heard of being blessed but never used the word Beatitudes. Thank you for engaging with me to read your Word to get a better education and let others in on what I am learning. Let us all continue to be educated on our spiritual journey. In Jesus’ name. Amen!