Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Handout - Matthew Chapter 5 - Beatitudes 6-10

Matthew 5:6 - Those Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness

The terms "hunger" and "thirst" bring to mind strong desires. Those who strongly desire righteousness will be blessed (2Co 5:21). Iin the coming kingdom righteousness will be the standard (2Pe 3:13). The promise of righteousness as a standard for the coming kingdom presents a strong contrast against the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. Theirs was an external show, while that of Christ is of internal character (Mat 23:25-28).

Matthew 5:7 - The Merciful

The term "mercy" can be expressed as forgiveness for the guilty, and as compassion for the suffering and needy. With forgiveness we are merciful when we treat someone without judging according to the strict letter of the law (2Co 3:3-6). Mercy is not something that is applied to circumstances that arise, but rather defines a person's character (Mat 6:14-15). Servants of a merciful God should also be merciful. Those who are blessed are those who develop mercy as a personal characteristic that guides interactions with others, including their enemies.

Matthew 5:8 - The Pure in Heart

Israel's religious leaders teach outward appearance, and Jesus is teaching inward character. The beatitude presents a conundrum, for the heart is said to be desperately evil (Jer 17:9, 2Co 5:21), but it can be cleansed. David takes the initiative and goes to God asking for forgiveness for his sin with Bathsheba, and asks God for a clean heart (Psa 51:10). Purity of heart comes through faith (Act 15:9). These who bring their hearts before Christ for cleansing by faith are blessed because this clears their vision of who Christ is and what the character of His Kingdom will be. Contrast with Mat 13:14 (Mat 13:10-17). There is also a future blessing that comes into play as well. In the future, we will see Jesus as He is, the dark glass will be no more (1Jn 3:2-3).

Matthew 5:9 - The Peacemakers

A peacemaker works out peace instead of aggression. Jesus was not considered a peacemaker by those He opposed, rather He was seen as a troublemaker. Jesus Himself even claimed He did not come to bring peace (Luk 12:51). So it is clear Jesus did not mean that we should have peace at any cost, and indeed, not at the expense of God's truth. So what peace is this beatitude speaking of? Jesus was referring to peace between God and Man. He was the ultimate peacemaker by His death on the cross (Col 1:19-20, Eph 2:14-16, Act 10:34-36, Rom 5:1).

Glasscock states: To accommodate heresy, blasphemy, immorality, or other behavior attitudes and characteristics that are contrary to God's revelation in the name of peace is to totally ignore this teaching in its context. Christ demonstrates how to be a peacemaker.

The beatitude is saying that those who bring peace between God and man will be called "children of God" and rewarded (Rom 8:18-24). What this means is that at the inauguration of the kingdom, those that are "children of God" and peacemakers will be recognized and acknowledged before the congregation, and given a greater reward (Heb 11:24-26, Rev 22:12).

Matthew 5:10 - The Persecuted

Peter gave this same encouragement to his hearers in 1Pe 3:14, 1Pe 4:14. The key to this beatitude is "because of righteousness" (2Ti 3:12). We will be persecuted because of the name of Jesus (Joh 15:18-20).

The blessing that results from experiencing persecution and remaining righteous is their part in the inheritance in the coming Kingdom. That kingdom will come, and we will go into it, and our enemies will be destroyed.

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