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Thoughts About The Beatitudes
The Advocate of Truth
On one occasion, Jesus separated Himself from the multitude of people who had come to see and hear Him. Then He went up into a mountain where He could commune with His Father in prayer. His disciples later joined Him, and He proceeded to teach them many valuable lessons known as the Beatitudes.
Blessed are the poor in spirit
“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). To be “poor in spirit” means being poor in the spirit of self, or not to think highly of oneself. All of us must realize our need of the Father and the rich blessings that only He can provide.
Blessed are they that mourn
“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). This does not refer to mourning in the everyday sense. Countless numbers of people continue to mourn who have not been comforted.
The real lesson concerns what we may learn from Jesus’ life and ministry, and then apply those principles to our own lives.
Many years before Jesus came to earth, the Prophet Isaiah was moved by the Holy Spirit to emphasize a special mark of our Saviour’s character. Isaiah wrote, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and allow themselves to be led and taught by our heavenly Father from His word of truth. The blessing for those who diligently heed these important instructions, and who are meek and teachable, is the promise that they will “inherit the earth.”
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst
“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). We realize that Jesus was not talking about human appetites. He was teaching His disciples an important lesson concerning those consecrated Christians who “hunger and thirst” to know and to do God’s will. Every child of God is encouraged to study and meditate on spiritual things, and to apply those truths in their own lives.
Jesus said that those who search for truth and apply it to their own lives “shall be filled.” Nothing could satisfy the hunger and thirst for righteousness more than in studying the Word of God.
Blessed are the merciful
“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7). Mercy is an essential principle of the true child of God. Jesus included reference to showing mercy in His model prayer. He said, “...Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). This points to an important element in our relationship to our heavenly Father. “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (verses 14-15).
Blessed are the pure in heart
“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). Having a heart of pure intentions may be contrasted with having a merely outward profession. We will be exalted to the divine nature if we are faithful to our consecration vows. Face to face, we will see God as well as His dear Son, Jesus Christ. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (I John 3:2).
Blessed are the peacemakers
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9). In connection with acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:3-4).
Jesus’ grief and sorrow had nothing to do with His own trials. They only confirmed that He had a deep sense of love and sympathy for poor groaning mankind. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Sincere followers of Jesus are encouraged to develop similar hearts that are genuinely sympathetic toward others.
Blessed are the meek
“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). Sincere followers of Jesus must strive to be meek and teachable. Sincere followers of Jesus cannot fully appreciate the truth unless they are willing to lay aside their own beliefs and theories. They must these words of Jesus, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:1-2). Those who seek the peace of God in their lives are led by Him to repentance and consecration. This is done through the power of the Holy Spirit. They receive this special blessing through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and proclaim the truth to those who have an ear, even as foretold of the Master. “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord, thou knowest. I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation” (Psalm 40:8-10). This is evidence that we are the children of God.
Blessed are the persecuted
“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (Matthew 5:5:10-12).
Jesus wanted to explain to His people that even as He had been persecuted for His faithfulness in proclaiming the good news, so also would His followers be persecuted. When the Apostle Paul was traveling from one place to another, he encountered opposition, which he explained was necessary in his ministry. Luke was his companion and recorded the events as they developed. In Acts 14:21-22 we read, “...When they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium , and Antioch, Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:21-22).
The apostle confirmed the fact that difficult experiences will help prepare us for a place in our Lord’s future kingdom. Those who faithfully let their light shine will receive disfavor from the world.