Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Handout - Matthew Chapter 5 - The Beatitudes 1-5

The "Sermon on the Mount" describes the behavior that was expected by Jesus from each of His disciples. Luke appears to record the Sermon on the Mount from a second perspective, however, it is more likely that Luke is recording a different event altogether.

Matthew 5:1-2 - The Sermon on the Mount

Jesus, seeing the crowds, retreated up the mountain side where the disciples met him. It was to the disciples that Jesus presented the Sermon on the Mount. Eventually, the crowds found Him up the mountain, and were listening in (Mat 7:28). Jesus "began to teach them", or KJV, "He opened His mouth" indicates a solemn occasion is about to begin, a teaching about the coming Kingdom. The revelation of the coming Kingdom as given in this discourse would be a significant change from the requirement to keep the Law of Moses for the Jewish people.

The term "beatitude" refers to a state in which there is blessedness or blissfulness, a fullness of happiness and joyfulness. Keeping the beatitudes would result in blessedness and bliss.

Matthew 5:3 - The Poor in Spirit

The poor in spirit are those that are led by humility and honestly with regards to our spiritual condition of great need. Luke addresses those who are poor, as opposed to those who are poor in spirit. He was not speaking about the "homeless" as we know them today, but businessmen who had given up everything in order to follow Jesus, and had become poor by choice.

It is not an excuse for homeless people to live a life of poverty, believing that they will be blessed because of it. Scripture teaches that if one does not work, they should not eat (1Th 2:11-12, 2Th 1:1-15). "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Mat 6:33). Those that are poor in spirit are blessed because the kingdom is already theirs. Through their spiritual humility they were already in alignment with the kingdom.

Matthew 5:4 - Those Who Mourn

This is not the common mourning that we experience when someone close to us passes away, but rather the mourning over the present state of spiritual affairs. It means to be filled with regret for evil both inside of us and in the world (2Pe 2:7-9). Another way to look at this is rather than look for rewards for our supposed righteous acts, we should instead grieve our failures in the spiritual realm (Psa 119:136, Eze 9:4). In so doing we will find the mercy of God as He comforts us, encouraging and supporting us (1Jn_2:1, Joh_14:26).

Matthew 5:5 - The Meek

From Psa 37:11, evil doers will fade and disappear, but the meek will be blessed in the coming kingdom and inherit the earth that the evil have always tried to take by force (Psa 37:7-13). The "meek" wait patiently on God to deal with the evil doers and does not try to apply personal vengeance upon the evil doers. Meekness should not be confused with weakness. Jesus had no problem confronting the religious leaders and defending those who were being abused. He did so with great boldness and in your face aggression (Mat 23:27-28). Our blessedness comes from the fact that we will inherit by divine decree what evil doers have always struggled an killed for, but have never attained.

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