Bible Class: The Blessings of Christ Part 1


Bible class audio for July 18, 2010: [audio:]

Bible class audio for July 25, 2010

1.  Elephant and the Rider (monkey) from the Happiness Hypothesis Jonathan Haidt (University of Virginia psychologist)

Weakness vs Strengths
Elephant (Emotions):  lazy and skittish, quick payoff over long term gain (ice cream vs thin)
Rider (Rational) :  think long term, think beyond the moment, to plan

Strengths vs Weaknesses
Elephant:  Compassion, sympathy and loyalty, protection instinct, love
Rider:  overanalyze, over-thinks, spins wheels, mechanical, no passion

When rational thinking and emotions disagree…emotions always win.

Plato:  In our heads we have a rational charioteer who has to rein in an unruly horse that “barely yields to horsewhip and goad combined”

2.  Understanding the blessing of Jesus

  • The first four deal with our own state of being, the second how we deal with others
  • They build on each other
  • Are about our heart (emotions) not our head (rational)
  • Don’t look for a list of commands to follow but a way of approaching God

3.  Poor in spirit = Kingdom of Heaven (v3)

Luke 18: 9-14 The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

9To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood up and prayed about[a] himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Poor =  Strong’s G4434 – pt?chos

1) reduced to beggary, begging, asking alms
2) destitute of wealth, influence, position, honour
a) lowly, afflicted, destitute of the Christian virtues and eternal riches
b) helpless, powerless to accomplish an end
c) poor, needy
3) lacking in anything
a) as respects their spirit
1) destitute of wealth of learning and intellectual culture which the schools afford (men of this class most readily give themselves up to Christ’s teaching and proved them selves fitted to lay hold of the heavenly treasure)

Spirit = Strong’s G4151 – pneuma

4.   Morn = Comforted (v4)

Luke 7:36-38  Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 38and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. (NIV)

2 Cor 7:10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. (NIV)

Luke 18:14 But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

Morn = Strong’s G3996 – penthe?
1) mourn
2) mourn for, lament one

Comforted = Strongs G3870 parakale?
1)to call to one’s side, call for, summon to address, speak to, (call to, call upon), which may be done in the way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort, instruction, etc.
a) to admonish, exhort
b) to beg, entreat, beseech
2) to strive to appease by entreaty
c) to console, to encourage and strengthen by consolation, to comfort
3) to receive consolation, be comforted
d) to encourage, strengthen
e) exhorting and comforting and encouraging
f) to instruct, teach

5.  meek = inherit the earth (v5)

Kittle and Friedrich’s Theological Dictionary Of The New Testament sheds additional light upon it, saying: “praus is never used of God…the point is that the gentle must become warriors…praus is a quality of the royal hero…as pleasing to God… and an antidote to arrogance….A quiet and expectant bearing of destiny that is grounded in God is a mark of piety….It enables the believer to correct others without arrogance. In Col. 3:12 it is one of the gifts of election, and in Eph. 4:2 it is worthy of Christian calling.”

William Barclay, noted linguistic scholar, in his word study on meekness said: “In the Greek, praus(meekness) is connected with anger… it is the quality of the man who is angry for the right reasons, against the right people, in the right way, and for the right length of time. The basic idea of the word is not so much gentleness as strength under control. According to the meaning of meekness, and according to the Greek language usage, Matthew 5:5 should be translated as follows: ‘O the bliss of the man who is always angry at the right time and never angry at the wrong time, who has every instinct, and impulse, and passion under control because he himself is God-controlled, who has the humility to realize his own ignorance and his own weakness, for such a man is a king among men!’

“Plato…uses meek of the sheep-dog who is gentle to the flock but savage to the enemies of the flock. The word indicates a gentleness at the back of which there is courage and strength. This is further illustrated by the fact that the Bible regards this quality of praus as the distinctive quality both of Moses (Numbers 12:3) and Jesus (2 Corinthians 10:1).”

Barclay adds to his thought in his commentary on Matthew, saying that “Meekness is the word the Greeks used to describe a domesticated, trained animal, which has learned to obey the voice of its master. Meekness is not weakness, spinelessness or even subservience, but the quality of self-control which can also accept the control of another.”


Inherit the earth = (quit thinking physical…Jesus is talking about the Kingdom of Heaven [God] now)

6.  hunger and thirst for righteousness = filled (v6)

hunger  [Strong’s G3983 – peina] = to crave ardently, to seek with eager desire

thirst [Strong’s G1372 – dipsa?]= figuratively, those who are said to thirst who painfully feel their want of, and eagerly long for, those things by which the soul is refreshed, supported, strengthened


It’s important to note that throughout his sermon Jesus contrasts the righteousness of others (Matthew 5:20, 6:1) and God’s righteousness (Matthew 6:33)

We will be filled with God’s rigtheousness…

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Greg Chaney

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