A Quick Look at the Beatitudes 

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).

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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,

Noah 🙂

Why He is Called the “Great Physician”

A tragedy that has befallen people is that they think that they are too sick and sinful for Christ to heal them and change them.

“And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them. And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”‭‭ (Luke 5:29-32)

In this passage, the Pharisees (the Jewish religious leaders at the time who were righteous according to man’s standards but not God’s) were criticizing Jesus because He was dining with people who were seen by society as despicable and unworthy. Tax collectors (though still hated today by some) were different back then. In those times, the tax collectors (who were also known as “publicans” at the time) were Jews that worked for the Romans and were used to collect taxes from their fellow Jews. They were seen as treacherous traitors and instruments of oppression. Then aside from the tax collectors that Jesus was dining with, there were the sinners. “Sinner” is a more general term that can refer to a myriad of things. This ranges from prostitutes, drunkards, those who have sex outside of marriage (and other purveyors of sexual immorality), liars, thieves, or anyone else who just didn’t measure up to the Pharisees’ man-made, religious expectations and standards. These people were marginalized by the Pharisees and were judged instead of poured into or helped. 

They questioned Jesus because, what self-respecting man of God would dare dwell with such societal filth? Jesus then replies with the famous, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” Let’s do a small word study of a few words in Jesus’ iconic answer shall we? I’m going to focus on three words. These words are “well,” “sick‭‭,” and “repentance.” The Greek word here used for  “well” in the original is hugiainó (ὑγιαίνω). This word meant those who are “pure, sound. and uncorrupted.” The Greek word used here for sick in the original manuscript is “kakós” (κακῶς). This word translates to being “miserably ill/wrong/evil.” The Greek word for repentance is “metanoia” (μετάνοια). This word translates to “a change of mind.” So Jesus’ answer could also be translated as “Those who are uncorrupted, pure, and sound, don’t need help, but those who are miserably evil. I did not come to call those who are righteous, but sinners  to a change in mind.” 

With this perspective, we understand that Jesus’ healing power is unnecessary and useless to people who believe that they are “perfect” or “well off.” He came for those who are in need of change. He wants to save sinners, not pet those who believe that they are righteous when they are not (the great and prideful). “But aren’t these people also sinners?” You may ask, and the answer is yes, however, there is a fundamental difference. The difference lies in pride v.s. humility. God hates human pride. Scripture says that “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6) Human pride seeks to 1up others in an attempt to put oneself on top and he revered by others at the bottom. Pharisees were full of this. Jesus told the Pharisees:

 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.” (Matthew‬ ‭23:27‬) 

On the outside the looked good because they did so many good religious works, however on the outside they were filled with death. Their insides stunk with religious formality, pride, and prejudice. Their hearts were hard with it! So though they measured up to man’s standards, they failed to meet up to God’s standards. There are many more examples of this being shown by Jesus (read Luke 18:9-14 whenever you get a chance), however, I’m going to segue into my main point. 

A tragedy that has befallen people is that they think that they are too sick and sinful for Christ to heal them and change them. In other words, a lot of people think that they are, simple, too screwed up to come to Jesus and be accepted by God. Because they don’t meet up to man’s standards, they assume that they cannot meet God’s standard for salvation. I often hear things such as “I need to get right before I come to Jesus” or “I’ve done too many bad things.” I just want you to know that whoever you are, you are never too screwed up to come to Jesus. That’s a lie. Christ offers a sanctuary– a home for the misfits, those misunderstood. 

He gives belonging for those who don’t fit well into society, those who are crushed by the pressures of living in this world, the marginalized, the hated, those who are spiritually poor, those who aren’t satisfied with what this world offers them, people who aren’t stable, the anxious, those who fear tomorrow and are oblivious of today, and those who are seeking a better tomorrow and that seek meaning beyond this side of reality that consists of death, decay, suffering, and evil. He offers a renewed life, a new heart with new desires, an infinite abundance of love that guides to truth (Him), and His mercies are new every morning. They don’t call Him the “Great Physician” for nothing. He heals the broken! You don’t clean up to come to Jesus, you come to Jesus to get cleaned up so that you can see God! 

It doesn’t matter what you have done in your life. The world may not forgive you, but Christ will. The world may not help you, but Christ will. The world cannot renew you, but Christ will. The world cannot save you, but Christ will. Don’t put off Jesus and His gift of reconciliation to God, eternal life, and a new earthly life because you fear that your sins are too great or for temporary pleasure. The point of Him dying on the cross was to save people. Perfect people don’t need saving, helpless people. God only helps those who can’t help themselves, those who understand their true circumstances. You may think that what you have is honor when you resist the Jesus and the Gospel, however, this is a form of pride and unbelief (a lack of faith). You believe that your sin is too great for God to handle and that you can handle yourself and that this makes you more righteous. No, this is not true but a lie. Jesus said this concerning the Kingdom of God and it’s people : 

“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 receive 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 others 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 they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

‭‭(Matthew‬ ‭5:3-12‬)

Paul said this concerning the Church:

“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”‭‭ (1 Corinthians‬ ‭1:26-31‬)

The qualification for receiving the salvation is not being morally perfect. Is you were perfect, then you wouldn’t need salvation. The Gospel was not made for morally perfect people because they don’t exist. Those who realize this, and understand that they fall short of God’s standard for moral perfection, but want to be reconciled are the ones who Jesus died for. These are the people that the Good News of God’s saving grace was made for. In order to receive salvation, all you have to do is seek to turn from the current lifestyle that’s holding you down and seek Jesus. Whoever truly comes to Him, He will “by no means cast out.” (John 6:37) Even the Pharisees could have been saved if they weren’t so full of pride that they resisted the Gospel. 
Thanks for reading dear Reader, God bless.

Sincerely, 

Noah