The beatitudes (2 of 2)
Matthew 5:1-12 NASB
¹When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.
²He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,
³Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
⁴Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
⁵Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
⁶Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
⁷Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
⁸Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
⁹Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
¹⁰Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
¹¹Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.
¹²Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
The opposite world
Christians are royal children with a future!
When someone who is not a doctor at all says to us ‘Congratulations on your health’, it is of no use. But if a knowledgeable doctor, after a thorough examination, says the same thing, you can be happy with that.
If Jesus, who knows our human life through and through, tells us that we can speak of happiness, then that is really so.
And here, at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, He does that. This is a great moment. Therefore it is broadly stated: And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying … (Matthew 5:2).
and then nine times a “Blessed are you if …”, you could also say “You are happy when …” or “You are to be congratulated when …”
Who are worthy of congratulations?
The astonishing thing is that Jesus calls those people happy, whom we now lament.
He takes us into the upside-down world.
▪︎ Those who are so poor inwardly that they can only hope in God’s mercy, may know that the LORD has put all the treasures of his kingdom at their disposal (Matthew 5:3).
▪︎ Those who are grieved because things are not going as the LORD intended in their own lives and in the world, are congratulated. Because everything will not stay as it is now. A new world is coming (Matthew 5:4).
▪︎ The meek are people like Moses (Numbers 12:3; cf. Matthew 11:28-30). They do not put their own interests first, but God’s interests.
But then you won’t make it far in this world, will you? Jesus says they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5; Cf. Psalm 37:9-11; Proverbs 2:21).
▪︎ You are physically healthy if you have a good appetite. In Matthew 5:6, Jesus says you are healthy if you crave a world that recognizes God’s rights.
▪︎ Also the merciful, the pure in heart, and those who make peace, may speak of happiness (Matthew 5:7-9).
But the actions of these people go completely against the standards that apply in our world. Whoever according to Jesus is one of the lucky ones will therefore meet resistance.
When we do experience that, Jesus congratulates us even more (Matthew 5:10-12).
The inverted world into which Jesus leads us is the world to come.
Then we shall be comforted and satisfied, meet with mercy, see God, and be called His children.
Whoever faces all this may indeed speak of happiness, of eternal happiness!
▪︎ How are you strengthened by John 15:18-21?
▪︎ Thank God that you may always be His property.
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