Matthew 5:1-6 starts what is commonly called the Sermon on the Mount. It’s Jesus’ Declaration of Independence, for the believer. The sermon doesn’t concern itself with what the citizens are to do but rather with the character of who they are. This is summed up in one word, “Blessed or Happy.” The rest of the “beatitudes” describes the character of the person who is happy! Notice that these are not the Do-Attitudes, instead these attitudes describe the state of being that those in Christ’s kingdom should look like! Jesus taught His disciples that; character is before conduct. He did not say a word about policy; not one condition of this blessing has to do with us doing anything instead it’s a pronouncement of our “BEING”. There are three words repeated in each of these characteristics: BLESSED, ARE, and FOR.
- BLESSED: This word is translated “blessed” 43 times and “happy” 6 times. The general thought is “Oh how happy”. It describes a conscious condition rather than something bestowed from without. The great tragedy of human life is that full joy is conditional upon outward things not an inward heart. Hey Christian: The King does not bestow gifts to make us happy, He creates a condition within the human heart, which enables them to find joy everywhere. Jesus does not create joy by new surroundings, He creates new surroundings by Joy! Jesus makes us joyful by changing our character! He tells them Happiness or Joy, has its roots not in favorable circumstances but rather in a changed character!
- ARE: The Joy is NOT conditioned upon doing, or possessing, but on “being”. Jesus declares NOT “Oh, how happy are they that Do or HAVE..” A person is described as being full of Joy based upon who he is not what he does or have.
- FOR: Jesus declares that character creates conditions by which a person experiences Gods ideal for them, “full joy”. Jesus doesn’t say that the kingdom of heaven will be “given” to the man that is “poor in spirit”; instead, He says, that the “poor in spirit” IS full of joy because he has the kingdom of heaven.
- Vs. 3 “Poor in spirit”: A person who is poor in spirit is one that recognizes that they are empty, bankrupt spiritually. It describes the condition of the heart that has recognized that it has nothing to offer it is empty of pride and self-importance. It is only the empty, broken person that can truly experience the kingdom of heaven because as long as a person still thinks that they can get to God on their own self-effort they are never going to make it.
- Vs. 4 “those who mourn”: The word for “mourn” DOES NOT mean casual sorrow for the consequences of our sin, it’s a deep grief over our falseness before God. To the person who is lost in grief over their failure and sin, Jesus says they will be comforted.
- Vs. 5 “the meek”: Meekness doesn’t mean weakness but strength under control. It describes a person who has recognized their own poverty of spirit, who has grieved over their failure, experienced the presence of the Lord in spite of themselves. What the world strives for is only won by Christ’s victory on the cross is theirs because they only want the Lord to rule and aren’t bucking the Lord for control.
- Vs. 6 “those who hunger and thirst for righteousness”: The words for “hunger” and “thirst” describe a longing that can never be fully satisfied. And what they are craving is His “Righteousness”! Wanting, all of Him and nothing of the world. To those that crave more of Jesus you will be filled with what leaves you wanting more of Him!
So, Saints isn’t it amazing it to realize who we are, “full of Joy” because of Jesus’ work and not ours?