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  • Writer's pictureAshley Duren

The Beatitudes: Matthew 5:2-6

Before we dive into the scriptures, there is one term you are going to need to understand: Blessed. This word as used here means an inner quality of a faithful servant of God ( Each of these verses begins with a blessing and ends with a reason for the blessing. The first and last blessings are present-tense, whereas the middle blessings are future-tense - noted by shall.

2 And He opened His mouth and taught 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 meek, 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 are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

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


Blessed are the poor in spirit

Many of the versions I looked up said the exact thing. So what exactly does it mean to be poor in spirit? Say what you want to about The Message version, but it says, "You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you, there is more of God and His rule." Makes sense to me. When I am poor in my own spirit, then He can be strong. I think it also speaks of how much need we have for the saving power of Christ. When we admit that we are poor, we're not relying on our own self and knowledge. We're focused on God's sovereignty and how He works all things to our good and His glory (Rom 8:28).

Blessed are those who mourn

There are a few different ways to view the word mourn here. One is like you just lost a person of significance to you, and you are prosecuting the grief that ensues because of that. Another way to look at mourn is to mourn the state of the world and lack of righteousness displayed in it. However you choose to look at mourn, I love the promise at the end. It says, "You SHALL be comforted." Comforted literally means to restore a sense of well-being to, or to ease the distress of. Whatever you're mourning today, friend, know that you WILL be comforted; whether it's today, tomorrow, or in eternity.

Blessed are the meek

Whew, can I just be 8 out of the 9?? Just kidding...kind of. Meek means quiet, gentle, and easily imposed on. My friends are chuckling. The truth is I being easily imposed on (meek) doesn't come naturally for me. Neither does submission, which another definition. My husband would say, "Amen!" But meekness is a blessing and inheritance from the Lord. I can believe I can be decisive and inclusive, submissive and strong-willed. God made our personalities unique, but that's not an excuse for poor behavior or imposing on others. I can meek and claim it as an inheritance from God. Because that's how He works for our good and His glory.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness

This one is black and white, and red all over. No really. At first glance, it's easy to read and move on. But when you think this through, it doesn't say "blessed are the righteous people". Righteousness means the quality of being morally right or justifiable. I love what Elyse Fiztpatrick has to say about this in Grace Untamed, she wrote, "The justification in Christ we receive by faith is an incredible double blessing. It means first that I am forgiven "just as if I'd never sinned"...but justification also means "just as if I'd always obeyed." So it doesn't mean that we are always right or will never sin; it means that we are yearning for the closeness that obedience brings us to God. That we are hungry for His word and His will in our lives. And that will bring us closer to righteousness and "being satisfied."

This was a long one, so stay tuned for Part 2.


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