The Beatitudes are a wonderful part of Scripture (the beginning of Matthew 5) that chronicle who will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus gives blessings to 8 different types of people (the poor (in spirit), those who mourn, those who are humble, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and the persecuted. A lot of the time people take these “traits” and attribute them to theirselves in some type of flawed, work’s righteousness type of way. For instance, they will say things such as “I’m poor, so I know that God will bless me because he loves the poor,” (Not to say that God will not bless someone who’s poor, but this is no way to earn the blessing of salvation), or “I’m humble, so I know I’m going to Heaven” (as if Heaven could be earned by personal humility). I’ve written this to give a short explanation of the Beatitudes and what/who Jesus was referring to.
“And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
•Yes that is those who are poor in spirit and not just financially poor. God couldn’t care less about your social/economic status (in terms of salvation, as in he will not save you just because you are broke). What he cares about is the status of your heart. If you are rich in pride and boast of your “independence,” then you don’t need God forgiveness through Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of Heaven is not yours. (Revelation 3:17-18)
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
• This isn’t about people who are sad and are depressed, that comes with this broken world. This is about those who mourn over their own sin and the brokenness of this world and long for change through Jesus Christ. Those who seek after Jesus will be comforted and God will never fail them. Though they weep, their tears will not be in vain. (Revelation 21:4)
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
• That is those who are humble and see their need for God and not prideful in their character or sense of self-sufficiency. These people recognize that they are sinful and they need to be forgiven by God through Jesus. (Proverbs 11:2, Proverbs 16:18, James 4:6)
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
• This is a call for those who hunger and thirst for true righteousness. This isn’t just about social reform through political means/policies, etc. this is for those who want to be renewed and who want a new life. These are for the people who want to inner change and to be truly righteous in God’s sight and to be cleared of their guilt. This is for those who want to see God’s righteousness shine on earth, as well as be a part of that process. (Revelation 21:6)
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
•These are the people who are not quick to condemn others for their sin, because they realize their own moral failings and need for Jesus. These people don’t want to condemn the world, but instead, they mirror Jesus in John 3:17 and want to help save it through the Gospel.
(James 2:8-13, Matthew 7:1-2)
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
• This is talking about those who have had their sins forgiven by God through trusting their spiritual well-being into the hands of Christ along with his life, death, burial, and resurrection, understanding that this is the only sufficient means by which their sins can be cleared (As no human being is “pure in heart” except children and those who have mental disabilities that restrict them from knowing right and wrong intuitively. Other than that all human beings are wicked and suffer from sin. Only Christ can save them and begin a new work in their hearts.) (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
• This verse is talking about those who make peace through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not those who only want world peace or promote “good vibes.” This verse also discounts those who do social work and advocate for peaceful community/global relations. Without Christ, all these causes are (in the entire scheme of things) useless as the world is a fallen place and will remain to be so until Christ returns. Not to say that doing these things are good, they just won’t earn you a spot in Heaven. Only Christ can do that. Without him working with the world to make it a better place is tantamount to trying to clean up a muddy mess on the floor by trying to rearrange it. In the end, the floor is still filthy with mud. (Isaiah 52:7)
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
• This is taking about those who will suffer for advocating for Christ and living for the glory of God in a sinful world. Jesus said, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Matthew 12:30) Truth is highly exclusive and as a Christian, all your life you will have people opposing you, your message, and your God. Sometimes this opposition will be violent and you may lose your life because of it. Jesus said that he sends us out as “sheep among wolves” (Matthew 10:16). What this verse means is that though you face opposition in this life, you should not be afraid/consumed with fear because the Kingdom of Heaven is yours and no one, not death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities (demons), nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, or government faction, nor nonbelievers, nor any other religious group will be able to take that away from you and the love of God will forever be lavished all over your life. (Romans 8:35-39) They can kills your body but they cannot kill your soul. (Matthew 10:28)
“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
•Self explanatory, nuff said. 🙂 (Romans 8:18)
(The Beatitudes are from Matthew 5:2-12 ESV)
From this, it can be seen that Jesus was referring to a Believer, someone who trusts fully in him. These aren’t rules that allow you to earn your way into Heaven, but spiritual descriptions of those who have already been given the gift of Heaven through grace through faith in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). These characteristics should also encase our lives and influence the way in which we both live and love.
God bless you dear Reader and thank you for Reading. Sincerely,