Beatitudes Lesson Ten
Beatitudes Lesson Ten
One More Look
Matthew 5:1-12, “And when He saw the multitudes, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. 2 And opening His mouth He began to teach them, saying, 3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 "Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 "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. 12 "Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (NAS).
We have just finished a series of studies on the beatitudes as found here in these twelve verses of Matthew chapter 5. But before we leave our study and move on to something else, perhaps it would be best that we review our studies and be sure that we become “doers” are not “hearers only” in what we have studied (James 1:22f). In other words, we need to make personal application.
Blessed are the poor in spirit.* Blessed are those who recognize their emptiness before the Infinite Creator and respond by crucifying their own desires* and allowing God to fill that emptiness and be their Savior and Lord.
Blessed are those who mourn.* Blessed are they who have put to death* that love for the temporal pleasures of sin. When they are confronted with temptation in their own lives, the lives of others, or with the consequences of sin in this world and in eternity,* they find themselves seeking the safety and comfort of God for themselves and others.*
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.* He or she who possesses an unquenchable desire for realizing the uprightness and virtue of the kingdom . . . . . . (Matt. 6:33). Those who seek to please God in all that they do (Heb. 11:6), have a longing to share the righteousness of Jesus Christ with others, and seek to remain unswerving in the righteousness that comes only by the blood of Jesus.* These truly have a hunger and thirst for righteousness!
Blessed are the merciful.* When one who has truly understood that he or she has been the recipient of the (undeserved) mercy of God, he or she will be challenged to show mercy. And although the merciful can show his mercy in every facet of his life, the greatest mercy will be given when the Gospel of Mercy has been preached to those who are without mercy!*
Blessed are the pure in heart.* Jesus says that the people of His kingdom have a pure heart.* Paul warned Timothy that those who call upon the Lord, call upon Him from a “pure heart” (2 Tim. 2:22). And when David saw his sin before God, he asked God to forgive him and to create within him a “clean heart” (Psalms 51:10). And so it is with the “pure in heart.” They honor God from their very heart and soul. It is their commitment and love for their Lord that motivates them to action and obedience. They have a chaste heart and seek to remain ever pure before God!
Blessed are the peacemakers.* The peacemaker first of all has peace with his God. But he also seeks for others to have that peace. He cannot be satisfied with disharmony in the Lord's church, a broken relationship, or an unsaved friend or family member. There is no peace in any of these situations. And as a child of God who has received peace, he knows Who it is that brings true peace in all matters, the Lord Jesus Christ. Wherever he goes he has his feet shod with the “gospel of peace” (Eph. 6:15).
Blessed are those who have been persecuted.* He or she is willing to take a stand for the Lord and His will under any circumstances. He doesn't seek suffering for the sake of suffering. But he will suffer if necessary. It may only be a little ridiculing. It may cost him a promotion. It might cost her a career (Matt. 10:32-33). It just might cost them their lives! But Paul warned us (2 Tim. 3:12)! If we suffer “for the Lord's sake” we stand on firm ground (Matt. 5:11; 1 Pet. 4:15,16).
“Theirs is the kingdom of heaven . . . . they shall be comforted. . . . . shall inherit the earth. . . . . shall be satisfied. . . . . shall receive mercy. . . . shall see God. . . . shall be called sons of God. . . . your reward in heaven is great. . . .”
We have both present and eternal promises as God's children. Jesus describes the very people of the kingdom of God here as He begins His sermon. He tells of their nature. He tells of their blessings and He speaks of their future. Are you one of those whom He has described? Are you a member of the kingdom?
As we have pointed out in our studies, each one of these characteristics is a paradox. The natural man does not understand them (1 Cor. 2:14f). It takes a “conversion” in order for one to truly comprehend what Jesus is describing in these twelve verses. These are matters of the kingdom and of God (Matt. 22:29). And that is why only a child of God can ever be like his Father.
NOTE: Some of these questions will be answered only as we reflect upon our relationship with God and our faithfulness. I encourage all to be honest with themselves and Him. This is the beginning of growing toward maturity. Please try to find at least one Scripture that would be an encouragement for each of the following discussion questions.
1) Can one be “poor in spirit” and have an arrogant or proud disposition? Can one who is “poor in spirit” exhibit extreme confidence? What kind of a spirit do we possess?
2) Can a Christian “mourn” over sin and enjoy entertainment in which God's name is profaned, the marriage bed is defiled, and the agendas of the ungodly are promoted? Do you mourn over sin?
3) A Christian is to hunger and thirst for righteousness. How often do you open your Bible during the week? Do you prepare your Bible lesson if given the opportunity?
4) Perhaps you are a student of the Word. You enjoy reading God's Word. However you find that you don't do nearly as well applying what you learn. Have you been on your knees lately asking for God's forgiveness and strength to live the righteous live that you so strongly desire to live?
5) Are you merciful? Do you ever find yourself chastising others (perhaps when they are absent) for the very things that you have done? Do you try to understand others and help them out of an undesirable situation?
6) Do you battle with maintaining a pure heart? Do the unholy things of the flesh ever seem to overcome your spiritual desires? When this happens do you want to “stay down” or “get back up?”
7) Are you a peacemaker? Do you “divide and conquer” or seek reconciliation? And what is the foundation for the peace that you seek? Is Christ the center of every act of peace that you pursue? Are you willing to accept the fact that peace cannot always be achieved, not because you must have your way, but because Christ must have His?
8) “And indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” Have you ever been persecuted as a Christian? Are there things that you should be doing as a Christian that you do not do because they may result in persecution?
9) Do we believe that it is all worth obeying Jesus? Do we love Jesus enough to allow Him to have all of our being, mind and soul?