Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Beatitudes

The Beatitudes, a name typically given to the passage covering Matthew 5:1-11, is Matthew’s first recorded sermon by Jesus, and it is part of a three-chapter length message given on “the mountain.” It does not say whether the multitudes came up to the mountain with Jesus, but it is clear that the disciples did. This leads some scholars to conclude that ultimately Jesus was addressing the disciples only.
It is of interest that Jesus ἐδίδασκεν (began to teach them). The Greek word means “to teach” and so Jesus is not on a preaching assignment. Jesus begins with 10 “blessed” statements. The first “blessed are the poor in spirit” means blessed are those who recognize their own spiritual bankruptcy and place their total dependence on God. Theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn.”  The Greek word for “mourn,” πενθοῦντες,  means “grief so intense it expresses itself externally.” These who mourn are mourning and grieving over all the sin and evil in this world. They will comforted.
Blessed are the gentle. These are the humble, the dependent on God who reject and refuse to take advantage of selfish goals and ambition. They shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are the saints who yearn for the righteousness given by God and not attained but received righteousness. They shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful- those who have a habitual bent towards extending mercy. They shall receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart. The heart is the center and whole of mans inner life, and the pure in heart have a life characterized by a holy and pure heart. They shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, not peacekeepers. Blessed are those who end hostilities and unite in harmony the quarrelsome.
Now come the tough parts of the beatitudes, saved for the last. Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness. Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely on account of Me. Those are tough words, and yet that is what Jesus is teaching His disciples.
There is a brief paraphrase- while remaining true to the Greek- of the Beatitudes.

No comments:

Post a Comment