(Read Matt 5:1-12; Luke 6: 20-49).
Blessed are the Poor in spirit. For theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3). Jesus taught his disciples what the kingdom of God will look like. The Sermon on the Mount is the most in-depth teaching of Jesus Christ. This is the longest recorded sermon of Jesus Christ. This message is not for the unsaved but for the disciples. This sermon describes how Christians should live as followers of Jesus in a broken world. This sermon has application to Christians today because it includes tax collectors, hypocrites, and false prophets. The Greek word “Blessed” simply means happy. It means deep seated inner sense of well-being and contentment regardless of adverse circumstances. True and lasting happiness come from God. Worldly pleasures give only the superficial and temporary happiness.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3). They recognize that they are sinners and in desperate need of God’s forgiveness. They admit that they are spiritually destitute without God. They are not proud and know that they can’t please God in their own strength. Those who admit their spiritual poverty will inherit the kingdom of God. The heart that is humbled before God will be transformed by the gospel of grace.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted (Matt 5:4). Those who admit their sinful condition and mourn over it will be comforted by God. Our God is the Father of mercies and God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3). God helps the helpless in their needs. Those who mourn over their sin will be comforted. Only the godly sorrow will produce repentance that leads to salvation (2 Corinthians 7:10). Those who are saved will experience joy unspeakable and full of glory (1 Peter 1:8). Joy is a Christian virtue and fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). Those who are meek shall inherit the kingdom of God. The humble people admit before God that they are spiritually lost. Meekness is not weakness but rather “power under control”. The more we humble, the more we will rely on God’s grace. They treat others with kindness. They shall inherit the earth when Christ returns and reign with Him. These three qualities are the root of Christian life. Only those who are honest with themselves and humble before God will be blessed.
Blessed are those who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness: (Matthew 5:6). Only those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be satisfied. Hungering for righteousness is the proof of their salvation. It is the by-product of regenerated life. Natural man is spiritually blind and does not seek God (Romans 3:11). Christ came to seek and save those who are spiritually dead (Luke 19:10). Only God can satisfy our spiritual hunger. He satisfies the longing soul and fills them with goodness (Psalms 107:9).
Blessed are the Merciful, for they shall receive mercy (Matthew 5:7). God is merciful and extends mercy to all those who trust in Christ (Matthew 11:29). God knows our frame and remembers that we are dust (Psalms 103:14). Jesus became the ultimate example of mercy. He prayed “Father forgive them for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34). The Christians show mercy because they have received mercy. They help those who are in need of spiritual help (Luke 10:25-37). No one can earn mercy by doing good deeds. Mercy covers multitude of sins and gently instruct those who oppose the truth (1 Peter 4:8; 2 Timothy 2:25).
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God (Matthew 5:8). The Christian life is transformed by the grace of God. God has saved us to be holy and blameless (Ephesians 1:4; Titus 2:14). We are not yet sinless, but we sin less (2 Corinthians 5:17). “Holy” simply means different or separate. We must pursue holiness because God is holy. Without holiness we cannot see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). The believers are made holy in Christ when they get saved. This is our identity. They should follow peace with all and holiness. The blood Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7-9).
Blessed are the Peacemakers: (Matthew 5:9). Those who believe in Christ are at peace with God (Romans 5:1). Once they were at enmity with God. There is no peace for the wicked (Isaiah 48:22). God has called us to peace (1 Corinthians 7:15). He brought peace through the death of His son Jesus Christ. Now we are reconciled to God. Those who are at peace with God can only live in peace with others (Hebrews 12:14). They are the peacemakers and will be called sons of God (Matthew 5:9). Peace flows from undivided devotion toward God (James 3:17). Jesus clearly underscores that only a transformed life can experience this peace.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake (Matthew 5:10). Christians are not exempted from persecution and suffering (John 16:33). All those who live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). It does not mean every Christian will suffer death and physical abuse. They must be willing to endure affliction for the cause of Christ. They should not assimilate with world system.
Blessed are you when others mocked and lie about you on Christ account (Matthew 5:11-12). Jesus warns that believers will be mocked and abused. Someone has said “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church”. Those who suffer persecution should rejoice exceedingly because their reward will be great in heaven. Our present sufferings are not worthy to be compared with the glory which will be revealed to us (Romans 8:18). Pray that God would help us to reflect these spiritual qualities.