A Different Look at the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12)


I know you are poor, but the kingdom will be yours.I know you are mournful, but I will comfort you.

I know you see yourself as nothing, but you will inherit everything.

I know that you want justice and you will be satisfied.

Inspite of it all…

Be merciful to others and you will get the same.

Don’t let the outside corrupt you on the inside and you will see God’s handy work.

Help others find peace and you will gain a great testimony.

Endure hardship for doing right and you shall be rewarded.

Matthew 5:3-12

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

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Blessed Are The Pure In Heart (Matthew 5:8)

Pure gold, pure silver: what comes to mind when you think of these terms? For many, the idea of pure means that the item in question contains one element. Pure gold is 100% gold. Pure silver is also 100% silver, but what is a pure heart? Would it be safe to say that a pure heart also contains just one thing? To better understand this, the term heart needs to be defined.

Most agree that man’s heart is best understood as his mind, will and emotion. If that is accurate, then we should take earnest heed to The Lord’s warns. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1:8) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (James 4:8) From these warnings, it can be concluded that a person with a pure heart has a single heart for The Lord and is not double minded.

A person with a pure heart will have actions that are not evil, thoughts that are not evil and emotions that are devoid of evil. Because his heart is single for The Lord, his thoughts, emotions and actions will follow. Examples of this can be seen in the lives of Job and Enoch.

In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. (Job 1:22)

And Enoch walked with God:and he was not; for God took him. (Genesis 4:24)

The blessing for having a pure heart is to be able to see God. (Matthew 5:8) This cannot mean that the believer will be able to visibly see God face to face, because the scriptures state that man cannot see God and be able to live, (Exodus 33:20) but instead, God will open the scriptures and reveal himself and also manifest his presence to him as they meet together in the quiet place.

Having a pure heart is not accomplished by putting things in or out of the heart, but by spending time with The Lord to where you love and desire him more than anything else. Remember, a pure heart is the result of all the beatitudes mentioned in Matthew 5:3-7. After being poor in spirit, mourning over your sin, standing meek before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness and having a heart of mercy towards others, being pure in heart is more of a by product than an action.

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Blessed Are The Merciful (Matthew 5:7)

Mercy is an action that occurs as the result of compassion. Many believe that mercy is the act of allowing somebody the opportunity to get away with wrong doing by not bringing judgment upon them. Simply allowing wrong to be done without any type of consequence would be an injustice.

A person exercises mercy when his judgment is mingled with compassion. Compassion moves the individual to take an alternative measure which would bring about the same result as judgment. God, who is rich in mercy, acted differently towards man than simply exercising his holy and righteous judgment. Because of mercy, he sent his son in our place to receive the retribution for our sin.

God declares that when we respond with mercy towards those who have wronged us, we will be blessed. Being merciful is not easy. However after experiencing being poor in spirit and mourning over your own sins, seeing others through eyes of mercy is much more easily attained. Those who exercise mercy decide to focus on what a fallen sinner needs to be victorious instead of having the tunnel vision of justice being served. When people commit sins against others such as lying, gossiping and offensive or hurtful acts, those with mercy will focus on why the person fell into such sins and seek to respond in the best manner to restore them. It is important to remember that this should not just be viewed as an action to put on and copy, but that responding in mercy will be the result of God’s grace working in your life as manifested in the Beatitudes.

Paul best demonstrates this principle in his dealings with Onesimus. Philemon had every right to bring justice upon Onesimus for his wrong doing, but Paul urged him to recognize what was best for Philemon and to act in mercy.

As you interact with people each day, you have the wonderful opportunity to display God’s compassion through mercy shown to others. You can obtain this work of grace as you walk, fellowship and live a yielded life to God.

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Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness (Matthew 5:6)

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. (Psalm 5:6)

Hungering and thirsting after righteousness is not something that just happens. It first results from being broken and recognizing that you are unable to live up to the expectations of God and then looking to God for strength and ability (Matthew 5:3). As God enables you and begins to perform his work of grace, you, in an even greater way, recognize the wrong that you have done with your life and you mourn over the deeds and not just the consequences (Matthew 5:4). Because of this, you become meek and yielded to God. No longer do you desire to run your life: you recognize that by yielding to God, you gain blessing in your life (Matthew 5:5).

You begin to ask yourself, “What else does God have to offer? What other errors does your life contain that need to be corrected?” A stirring begins to happen in your life which brings about a longing for what is right. At this point, you are hungering and thirsting after righteousness. As a starving person desires that which is necessary for life: food and water, you too will hunger and thirst for the necessities of life or in other words the things of God.

The necessities of life are found through fellowshipping with God. You fellowship with God as you pray and pour your heart out to him. He fellowships with you through his word and through preaching. Fellowship also occurs as you labor together with God in meeting the needs of others. The more fellowship you gain: the more you want. Fellowshipping with God is satisfying and fills the heart of those hungering for righteousness.

Blessed Are The Meek (Matthew 5:5)

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)

The world’s philosophy is “Go for it!” I remember a commercial from way back telling the consumer, “Get all the gusto you can get!” Phrases like, “You deserve the best”, “Go for it”, “Make your dreams happen” all have the common thread of man going for what he wants. In the end, these people never find the happiness that they seek because the way to true happiness is not found through your own efforts. True happiness only comes from meekness.

Meekness does not mean to be weak, but instead to be mild. Remember the slogan used in Superman comics: mild mannered reporter, Clark Kent. With all the power that he possessed, he yielded to the circumstances and sometimes mockery of those around him. To be mild is to yield to the circumstances around you. You will yield to the circumstances when you recognize their importance or by simply grasping the importance of yielding. The believer will be meek, mild or yielding when he recognizes the sovereignty of God and that the events in his life are part of God’s divine plan. Job in meekness declared, “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10) In Ruth 1:16-17, she displays this same meekness. To gain what you need and what is best, you must be meek. By being meek, you will inherit all that is good, acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2) and according to this passage, you will inherit the Earth.

As the clay yields to the potter’s hand, so we in meekness must yield to God (Isaiah 64:8). Being meek will not just occur in your life, but will be the result of you first being poor in spirit and then mourning over the circumstances in life that you created by sinful methods. Only after experiencing the first two qualities of the Beatitudes will you develop meekness. When you do, you will be supremely blessed.

Blessed Are They That Mourn (Matthew 5:4)

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)

You have all heard the phrase “a blessing in disguise” and its meaning indicates that something undesirable may happen which in the end can be of great benefit. The word blessed in this passage carries the idea of being supremely blessed. At first glance, we may ask, “How can mourning be a blessing?”

There are two ways that mourning can be beneficial and bring about a blessing. The first is when mourning is caused by sorrow over sin. In this passage, the believer is exhorted about the blessing of being poor in spirit, which we previously identified as occurring when a person sees himself as inept and without rights. When a person is poor in spirit, he sees his sinful condition from a different perspective. No longer does he strive to justify himself, but instead mourns over the harm he has brought to himself, others and God. The believer has remorse for his sins and grieves over his disobedience, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, rebellion and pride. It is during this time that God performs his work of sanctification and with it brings comfort.

The second way that mourning can be a blessing is when we experience comfort from the Holy Ghost. In some cases, the only way to experience the great characteristics of God is to first meet a conditional criteria. In order to experience mercy, you must be in a situation that needs mercy. In order to experience God’s healing power, you must first be sick. Subsequently, in order to experience that amazing comfort that comes from the presence and ministry of the Holy Spirit, you must first have a heart that is mourning. Without the mournful event, you would never experience the blessing of his comfort.

Everything in life can be a blessing. The way to obtain the blessing is by looking to God while in the midst of life’s circumstances. The only thing that can keep you from experiencing this blessing is by you ceasing from being poor in spirit.

Being Poor Brings A Blessing (Matthew 5:3)

Blessed are the poor in spirit:for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3

Bad attitude, strong willed, heavy handed, and high minded are all terms that we have heard and to some degree understand. However understanding the term poor in spirit is another story. Sometimes to understand a term it may be best to consider the opposite. By doing this, it can shed light on the original meaning.

The opposite of poor in spirit is rich in spirit. When a person is rich, they, in a simplified definition, are considered as having all the resources necessary to do whatever they please. A person who is rich in spirit will be self willed to do and act in any manner that they desire. However, a person who is poor in spirit will see themselves as inept or unable to do or be as he wishes. This is how you and I were when we came to Christ. We formerly were self willed, independent and running our own lives, but by the sovereign work of God and the calling of the Holy Spirit, we came to a point where we recognized ourselves as weak, hopeless and beggars before God. When we did, we finally trusted Christ and the richness of his salvation and the presence of his spirit in our hearts made us supremely blessed. However, the position of poor in spirit is not simply for salvation.

When a person is poor in spirit, he chooses to empty himself. Just as Christ emptied himself to become man or he submitted the free working of his divinity to his father, we too must empty ourselves and submit ourselves to the father. We do this when we recognize that we don’t have any rights and we determine that for our lives, we don’t have any say.

Paul exemplifies this in II Corinthians 12:11: I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing. Mark records Jesus as saying, And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. (Mark 10:44)

The secret to the blessed life is always contrary to worldly wisdom. The secret to getting, is giving, the secret to living is dying and the secret to success with happiness is to give up or to give up on yourself and submit to God.

Do you want to be happy? Then see yourself as poor and dependent on God and he will bring blessings to your heart.