The Beatitudes have been called the Preamble to the Christian Constitution. In the greatest discourse that Jesus delivered, the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus starts with “attitudes”, the attitudes of our heart. Was this by chance? I believe that this was very intentional because the basis for all else is our attitudes in life.
There are eight positive attitudes stated in the Beatitudes that, when applied to our every day lives, create a positive change that often times is beyond our understanding.
I find it utterly amazing that Jesus starts his greatest and longest discourse in the New Testament………..that he starts with our attitudes! Indeed, our attitudes are the basis for true fulfillment in this life. For this reason, I believe that the beatitudes are possibly the MOST important lessons for us to learn in the teachings of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
It is impossible to have thoughts of resentment, jealousy, anger, hate and ill will–and still be truly happy. How do we get beyond these negative thoughts? I believe that it starts with our attitudes. The Beatitudes clearly speak to the inner person….and that is the real “YOU”.
The Greek word makarios [mak-ar-ee-os] translated “Blessed” in the TNIV can also be translated as “happy”, to be envied and spiritually prosperous”. It is interesting that in Greek literature, this word, makarios, was often used with the meaning “free from normal cares and worries”.
Below are the Beatitudes. Read them slowly and think about them. There will be many questions and many misconceived notions as to their meaning. You may even be a little shocked by the last Beatitude. In the coming days I hope to address these questions and more importantly, to share the meaning that the people Jesus was talking to at the moment–received, and, the blessing that we can receive.
Listen to the beauty of Jesus words, listen to the beauty of His wisdom, His heart and His hope:
Matthew 5:1-12 (TNIV)
1 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
My prayer is that as we embark on this amazing journey together, we will discover inside ourselves something that we did not know was there. And most of all, that, as we apply this wisdom to our lives and wrestle with our attitudes….we will not only see the blessing of God’s wisdom but treasure it so much that we want to share it with all those around us. In wrestling to apply these attitudes to our very lives, we will receive exactly what Jesus tells us…..a blessing. Blessings are not gifts…blessings are the beauty of the outcome of applying God’s wisdom to our lives.