The Blessings of Jesus


Bible class audio for June 20, 2010: [audio:] Bible class audio for June 13, 2010: [audio:]

We interpret the blessings of  Matthew 5 through the eyes of materialistic and superficial Americans.  In our modern world happy has come to mean a conscience state of a feeling well or ecstatic.  If WE are happy WE feel good.  I’m not doubting that if we love God and obey his command we will be internally happy, but I firmly believe the emotions Christ was trying to evoke were much deeper.   Speaking to Jews he was asking them to recall familiar passages from the Torah (Deuteronomy 28) in which the Jews were brought into a state of blessedness because of their obedience.  They were blessed because they were reconciled to God into the peace (Shalowm) He intended.  The opposite state was cursed or separated from God.

Each beatitude pronounces the person who possesses that quality as “blessed.” We need to understand this word because, as some have rightly noted, the Greek word used by Matthew,makarios, can also be translated as “happy.” Happy, however, is not the correct translation in this context.Happinessissubjective; the same things do not always make everybody happy. And we can certainly rule out mourning as a producer of happiness. Instead, Jesus makesobjectivejudgments about the state of the citizens of God’s Kingdom. He declares, not what they feel like, but what God thinks of them. People with these qualities gain His approval. Because God thinks well of them, they are “blessed.” God’s blessing is far broader and exceedingly more important than merely being “happy.” From Ritenbaugh, John W. Forerunner “Personal” February 1999

The word beatitude never appears in the Bible, but it has become the common label for the beginning portion of Jesus sermon.  Beatitude means state of happiness which was originally derived from the Latin root “beatus” meaning happy or blessed.

Blessed is used in the beatitudes in Mat 5 and Luke 6, is especially frequent in the Gospel of Luke, and is found seven times in Revelation, Rev 1:314:1316:1519:9;20:622:714. It is said of God twice, 1Ti 1:116:15. In the beatitudes the Lord indicates not only the characters that are “blessed,” but the nature of that which is the highest good.

Blessed in Hebrew is  and is pronounced barakh. In addition, it means bless, praise, praised, and adored.

To a Jew, being blessed meant being with God, blessed by God, approved by God.

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

Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

The first blessings refer to our own condition.  The second five refer to our relationship to others.

Poor in Spirit: Luke 18:9-14

Mourn: Luke 6: 36-38


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. Original Here

Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness: Matthew 6:33

What kind of Righteousness?

1.  Righteousness of salvation offered to sinners through the grace and redemption of Jesus Christ

2.  Righteousness through internal submission to the will of God Read Philippians 4:8

3.  Extending righteousness to others.

About the author

Greg Chaney

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By Greg Chaney

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