I wanted to put special emphasis on this chapter so I am going to be going over the first part separately from the rest of the chapter and most likely will break up the chapter in a few other parts. This is the first portion of the Sermon on the Mount. Every Christian’s life goal should be to exude these qualities and walk in the image of these things. This is Christ giving us a guide on our inner character. So this is one of the most important section of the Bible.
1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:Matthew 5:1 KJV
First thing to point out again, chapters in the Bible did not exist in the original text it was all just one piece normally. The text was divide for easy quotation and divided into verses to further that goal. So when it starts with And think of the events previously mentioned in Chapter 4.
25 And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.Matthew 4:25 KJV
Matthew uses a string of 9 “ands” in a row so we are only going back one. Alright so, here we see a multitude of people have gathered in numbers to see Jesus and hear him preach. Now pay close attention to this. Jesus goes up into a mountain, and when he was set; kathisantos (καθίσαντος), literally means sitting down, his disciples came up the mountain to be with him.
The following sermon was given to his disciples and not the multitudes. He wanted the character of his disciples to be upright, so this following portion is given by extension to all disciples of Christ, aka Christians. This is also to denote that we should not expect this from non-believers and anyone acting outside of these qualities should be looked at as non-believers. All Christians should desire these qualities and exude them naturally. I am not suggesting we don’t faultier. However I am suggesting that we should study these and put forth our true best efforts to become these.
The make up of the following are a promise, something to exude, and a result of exuding that quality. These are things that should naturally form within us as Christians. These are not things you can actually act upon, they just kind of form in the mind over time. Mind you, you can try to act out these but that is being a hypocrite; an actor. You must become these things.
2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Matthew 5:2-3 KJV
First question I would ask is what is a blessing? The word here is Makarios (Μακάριοι), it means to be happy, an extension of fortune, and well off. So being blessed is in this sense is being given favor from God so that he can benefit us by walking with him.
Next would be what is it to be poor in spirit. What does that mean? As Christians we are supposed to be faithful in the spirit right? Well, this is a little different. The word here used is ptōchoi (πτωχοὶ), which means “one who crouches and cowers” hence we translate this to poor. And the word for spirit is pneumati (πνεύματι) which is wind or spirit. Wind is something unseen, so the spirit is also unseen.
So this verse reads a little like this right now “Blessed are those who crouch and cower in the spirit. This is a very strange verse if you break it down like this. I am sure the verse has become more confusing with that. Bear with me, please. Jesus is suggesting that we are to recognize our emptiness inside. That we are indeed poor in spirit. We are to look upon our faults and recognize them. See them as they actually are and give them up to the lord. The only way we can walk with God is to realize our sinful natures.
Now this is not the same as saying to hold a false sense of humbleness or some kind of humility that is external alone. We are not to be cowards before the lord. That is also not what it is saying. It is saying in recognizing this and admitting these truths and becoming this, God will bless us! He will give us provisions to be rich in spirit. Further the result of this is the Kingdom of Heaven, not just that but a direct role in that Kingdom. (I’ll go into more detail about the Kingdom of Heaven at a later time. Right now the Beatitudes is the focus.)
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.Matthew 5:4 KJV
Alright, mourn, I am sure you know how this goes. Penthountes (πενθοῦντες), to mourn, lament, to have sadness, grief. At first glance it is easy to skip over this and think, mourning the dead, or any of the other common things we are taught to mourn. However, if the previous beatitude was about our emptiness in spirit. We can assume this also applies to that our inner self as well. So question is what are we mourning? It is our sins. It is having a true sadness for the sins we commit and by extension the sins of others.
That being said, I would rather you focus on your own sins rather than others, if it is a non-believer it is a non-believer, and if it is another Christian, God will deal with them as well. Later we will go over what God has deemed the role of Christians to deal with the sins of other Christians.
The thing about sin is we can easily forgive it because we have been saved from its power. Still, God hates sin, it breaks God’s heart every time we commit a sin. Especially when we knowingly do it. So stop it! Easier said than done. It is a real powerful addiction and yet out of love God still suffers us.
However in our morning, Jesus once again tells us, we have a blessing, and the result of that is comfort. God will comfort us and love us just the way we are. He will do the work in mending our sinful nature. It takes time and it might not be an overnight transformation but over a lifetime we will mature with our heavenly father. So do not fret, just be mindful, and aware, and allow God to give you the baby steps and giant leaps of faith you need.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.Matthew 5:5 KJV
Meek, praeis (πραεῖς), literally translates to gentle. Gentle means to show a tender or kind character. It is not being quick to anger but rather patient and at times soft. Now, this is not asking us to be weak. In order to be meek suggests you have the strength to do otherwise. If you did not have the strength needed to be Meek, you would just be helpless. This means that when someone points out our own faults we should consider these things and take them to heart. We should not be beyond reproach and we should temper and consider all things before acting.
This is one of the things I deeply need to work on. I have a fast wit and I enjoy using it for slashing. So, we kind of have to die to ourselves to be Meek. It is placing what God would want before what we would want. This also applies to the non-believer. We are to be long suffering with their miss understandings. After all our war is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities and powers in the high places of this world. Spiritual supernatural forces, not people. We are to love Non-believers and show them a way to the light.
This is also not to say we don’t defend ourselves. Moses was a Meek man, but he judged the nation of Egypt and brought great terror upon the land with the assistance of God. Even Jesus we will later read about threw the money lenders out of the temple.
Now, the blessing here is that we shall inherit the earth. This is a blessing that will play itself out in the future. I know some people won’t like this idea. I thought we went to heaven and spent eternity there. Might not be as simple as that. Not according to Christ at least. If we inherit the earth but do not dwell there what is the point of that? Food for thought.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.Matthew 5:6 KJV
I am not looking up the Greek for these!? I know right! Shocked myself too. I think we all know what hunger and thirsting is. Oh, wait, righteousness… I guess we should look up that. Sorry, thought you had one right? Dikaiosunēn (δικαιοσύνην), justice, correct, implication of innocence, just in the eyes of God, The elect.
Alright, so what is it to hunger and thirst for righteousness? Well, judging by the previous ones being self applicable, we should desire to have an appetite for what God wants. It should be as natural to us as eating or drinking and we should hunger and thirst to do what is right.
This is a question of your actual character. The deep intimate parts that exist when no one is looking. Do you do right even when you wont get caught doing wrong? Are you even tempted? I will admit, there are times when I am. There are times when I fail too. I wont air my dirty laundry but I know God knows and that shames me at times.
Do you see times when you can do something good in the world and see the opportunity as a joyous experience or do you see it as a bother or worse ignore it completely. These are all questions you should ask yourself. The answers when honest might surprise you. I know they surprise me sometimes.
The last part of that is being filled. This is a promise that God will give you opportunities to be righteous and to do the right thing. A brazen knight of God will be used far more often than a conscripted soldier for God. Be a knight of heaven not a conscript soldier who is only doing it for the payoff of being “saved”.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.Matthew 5:7 KJV
This one makes me tremble a little. Lets talk about mercy; mercy is forgiveness toward someone who has wronged you and it is within your power to punish or harm them and you choose not to.
It means not adopting a legalistic mind. Sometimes people break the rules, sometimes they do it intentionally, sometimes unintentionally. This means if someone steals from you, you do not take more than being repaid, or sometimes if it is within your means to simply let them have it. This is also sometimes forgiving a spouse who is struggling with a sin in their life.
I have a short little story, so this happened to me about a month ago. I accidentally stole a whole grocery cart of food from a store. I was checking out and I scanned an item twice. So I asked an employee to cancel an item. We did and we chatted and I packed up my stuff and walked off, WITHOUT SWIPING MY CARD! I drove home and noticed I did not have a receipt. I immediately called up the store and asked if I could come in and pay. The store could have said no and pressed charges on me, however they were very happy that I was honest about it. I went back in and paid immediately. However, they showed me mercy. Now I know most people think that it was not a big deal but still that is a true example of mercy and I am grateful toward them for that.
Now, mercy from God is not a condition of being merciful to others. It is rather the other way around. Since God has been merciful toward our sins and transgressions we should be merciful towards others. Now if someone is intentionally harming you, it is OK for you to stand up to them and not be merciful. We have police and court systems for a reason. Never allow yourself to be abused by someone because God asks us to be merciful. God is not a wimp, he does not let Satan gouge his eyes out or take what is his. When to be merciful is a personal thing between you and God. Pray on such matters and allow him to lead you.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.Matthew 5:8 KJV
Katharoi Kardia (καθαροὶ καρδίᾳ), clean heart or clean hearted. It means to wash your from worldly desires. This cannot be done by our power alone but rather we must rely on Christ for this spiritual heart cleaning. Let’s be honest, our hearts are normally stained with selfish desire, even when it comes to our closest most loved people in our lives.
Instead of desiring what is for God within our heart we tend to focus on our worldly wants. Jesus is telling us we need to be inline with God and if we are we shall see God in everything. There are times in my life that I am in line with God and it is a different world. Then we get comfortable and dirty our hearts again and no longer see things quiet like that. It tends to be a cycle with me. I don’t know if it is for you or not. What I can honestly say to my more youthful brother and sisters it does happen, just give it time and you will naturally see things the way God would.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.Matthew 5:9 KJV
I think we all understand what a peacemaker is. It is someone who makes peace. What does it really mean to make peace though. What is peace? It is freedom from disturbance otherwise called tranquility. A lot of people seek this. In fact most religious ideals in the eastern traditions is based on the shadow of this.
I want to start close and expand out, this is a large topic in itself. So let’s start with the personal. Be a peacemaker within yourself. Instead of jumping to the worst conclusion about someone or an event search for advocacy for the other person. Then make peace within yourself about events. Likewise don’t always beat yourself up. Find what you did wrong, identify it, then calm yourself, and make all efforts to cut those wrong doings from your heart. Make peace internally with all things.
Next, lets zoom out to the immediate family, your household. First, remember you love these people. Think deeply on the events that occurred to cause discord. Identify the issues that caused them from an objective standpoint. If you had a role apply the repair to your role in the issue first. Then assist in repairing the issue or even apply a little mercy when needed. Forgiveness can go a long way.
Likewise do the same with your extended family. Same with the people in your neighborhood or church. Always identify the role you played or the role you can play in fixing the issue. Don’t seek to make DRAMA! It is annoying and does not help. If the issue is really serious sometimes staying out of it is making more peace than being involved. Know your place.
Know that not all conflicts will be resolved. You are in a time when war is the crowned ruler of the world. Sometimes there is absolutely nothing you can do with all the love in your heart to stop someone from being at conflict. However, we are to make every effort to attempt peace. This is peace without compromise. We do not lay in sin for the sake of peace. Sin is not to be tolerated in our own lives and no one can force us to participate in sin. We do not make peace with sin.
That last part is interesting, for they shall be called the children of God. Why is that? Because only true peace can come from Jesus. We are all brothers and sister under Christ seeking to be like him. This makes us the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Matthew 5:10 KJV
Key words, Persecuted, FOR (believe it or not), and righteousness. We already know what righteousness is, so lets look closer at Persecuted and “for?”.
Dediōgmenoi (δεδιωγμένοι) which means to put to flight, pursue, to persecute. Persecute here means to be made to flee, to cause harm, to go after.
Now lets look at for here. I think this translation is weak. The word here is eneken (ἕνεκεν), it means on account of, because of. So the verse reads like this. “Blessed are they which are persecuted on account of (because of) righteousness:”
I think we are entering into times when we need to hold strong to this. There are very large swaths of the world who view Christianity is a bigoted religion because we hold to our morals. They see the need for morals in need for update. They say we need to be more diverse and more inclusive. We cannot be inclusive even if we desired it, because the separation of the world is the heart of the ecclesia, our coming to be with God. We cannot compromise God’s commands with the will of the world.
You will be persecuted and hated because you desire to walk in line with God. People will spit on you and try to drive you away for simply existing. There is coming a time you can be silent about your Christianity and if you are found out you will be treated like a pariah. But God promises you the Kingdom of Heaven shall be yours. It is interesting because this word can also be translated as royal power. So think of this. The royal power of heaven shall be yours. Perhaps God will do a whole lot more for you during your persecution than you even know.
Don’t be a coward and stand strong in the face of their attacks. Do not make war with them but do try and rescue all that will listen. The coming power that is strangling the world as we speak is going to be a terror unto them. Spread news to as many as you can while you can.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.Matthew 5:11 KJV
Ill do a quick re-translation into modern english for you. “Blessed are you, whenever people shall insult you, and persecute you, and they shall lie and say every evil thing about you on because of me.” Can you imagine the pain God must go through watching us being harmed because of his name. In God we are to love others as he loves everyone else. The people do evil in the name of tolerance because their Lord is Satan, though most do it unknowingly; a great number do it because they are wicked not sinners.
Later I will do a study on the difference between those who are Christian, those who are sinners, and those who are wicked. This is more about the wicked than the sinner. The wicked do evil because they are evil. They follow Lucifer in his rebellion and like Satan, the accuser, they follow his nature and accuse everyone.
This one is not like the rest. We don’t get the details of what that blessing is. We are only told that we are blessed. We are blessed in our persecution? Indeed we are, how better to know that we are close to God than to suffer as he did? We should wear our scars and our turmoils like a badge of honor. Granted in life it is terrible, but life is relatively short. In a billion years you are going to look around and shout out “It has only just begun.” Now, for some that will be a triumphant shout, and for others, well, it will be a painful scream.
Don’t be counted among the wicked. Love God, love your neighbors, love your family, love your children, just love. Love on everyone even if they wish to do you harm. Kill em with kindness. Please take heart, the times coming will be terrible, but if you can stand in these beatitudes you will be sealed from the terrors of this world. While you will partake in the torments coming, you will be strong enough to survive them and even maybe find happiness among them.
Thank you for reading this Bible Study. I hope that you continue with me.