Luke 6:20-26; Matthew 5:1-12 THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT/THE BEAUTITUDES
Some people believe that Luke's sermon is a different occasion than Matthews. The Beatitudes follow the scripture of the crowds following Jesus as he taught and healed. I love how Luke says "He lifted up his eyes on his disciples" and can envision Him looking up from the work He was doing to heal someone and look into the crowd of followers (disciples are learners/students). In the Luke version, these disciples were not just the 12 disciples, but the crowd. Knowing that He is saying these words to people following Him who were desiring help in their need changes the perspective of the beatitudes. Jesus is concerned about the poor and needy and the seekers. In the Matthew version, Jesus sees the crowds and goes up on the mountain to sit down, followed by his disciples. I wonder if Jesus and His 12 disciples were still in view and earshot of the crowd or were they far enough up that they were in private? Did the disciples sit or stand around Jesus who was seated?
Beatitudes is from the Latin word for "blessings." The Beatitudes are often quoted in the epistles, especially in James. To be blessed is to be "happy" in the Greek word for "blessings." This "happy" is not that of good fortune or a promise of laughter and pleasure and prosperity, but rather the joy and hope of eternal life. People of God's kingdom seek a different kind of blessing that the world's seeking of selfishness. People of God's kingdom really do have it all.
The Beatitudes show a contrast from living in the world to living in Christ. The things of this world will cause physical and emotional pain, but God will bless us and keep us through that hurt. Discomfort now is replaced with blessings in and of eternity. The Beatitudes tell us how to live on earth and declares what his Kingdom is all about.
People of this world climb the steps upward to the kingdom palace; people of the kingdom of God step down to later rise.
God's blessings are not on a high shelf out of reach, but rather on a low shelf within reach.
What attitudes should we "be" in our hearts? We should "be-attitudes" in our heart! Not just one of the characteristics, but all of the characteristics and attitudes are expected of Jesus's followers.
We are blessed who are . . . because . . .
Matthew 5:3; Luke 6:20
poor (in poverty or spirit) . . . yours/theirs is the kingdom of God
---Someone poor in spirit confesses sins and is humble, which is rewarded with life eternal
---currency bankrupt and spiritually bankrupt
---the world may live focused on value and gaining wealth and popularity, but the spiritual world lives focused on giving up oneself in order to serve others
---Be blessed when at the end of your rope
Matthew 5:4; Luke 6:21
mourn . . . they shall be comforted
weep . . . you shall laugh
---also mourning separation from God caused by sin
---Be blessed when the tears roll down your cheeks because you grief a loss
meek . . . they shall inherit the earth
---not passive and pushed around; strength under control; tamed; willingness to submit
---confidence in God's control and protection
---Be blessed when rely fully on God full of contentment.
Matthew 5:6; Luke 6:21
hunger and thirst for righteousness. . . they shall be satisfied
hungry . . .you shall be satisfied
---so hungry that a snack does not satisfy; never completely satisfied;
---empty stomach hungry and spiritually hungry
---Be blessed when you work up an appetite.
merciful . . . they shall receive mercy
---the merciful care and reach out to others, regardless of worthiness of assistance
---God is full of mercy; be like Him
---Be blessed when you care and seek to understand anyone who crosses your path
pure in heart. . . they shall see God
---on the straight and narrow path; unstained from guilt; wanting to please God
---no one can be 100% pure of heart except Jesus
---Be blessed when you seek to please God and clean up your heart.
Peacemakers. . . they shall be called sons of God
---overcome evil with good and bring about peace; break down walls between people;
---Be blessed when you encourage cooperation instead of competition and fighting.
Matthew 5:10-12; Luke 6:22,23
Persecuted for righteousness' sake . . . theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account
. . . rejoice and be glad for your reward is great in heaven
When people hate you and exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil on account of the Son of Man . . . Rejoice and leap for joy . . . your reward is great in heaven
---I love that we not only rejoice in our hearts and with our voices, but also that our whole body leaps for joy! Now that is happy!
---persecution is not just physical, but is also in speech and other kinds of evil
---Be blessed when you are falsely demeaned, discredited, disrespected, or physically hurt when you stick up for Jesus.
--our Lord pronounced no beatitude upon us who is loved by his spouse and cherished by children, but rather one who is persecuted
--how good it is to have enemies, for without them, I would never have the opportunity to fulfill, joyfully and willingly, the law of Christian love