The Beatitudes of Matthew are some of the most often quoted teachings of Jesus by both believers in Jesus and those who see him as just another teacher. In the next few posts I’m going to some ideas from this passage that I hope will encourage your heart.
The Beatitudes, and the section that follows them, form the “introduction” to Jesus’ sermon—His manual—on being a disciple/follower/learner:
The First Idea: Disciples of Jesus are Favored!
As followers and learners of Jesus, we are favored ones and we experience the blessing of Godwhen we embrace certain ways of living. We can be sure that our lives will exhibit His blessing and the benefits of the kingdom by living out these characteristics:
- Poor in spirit (spiritual dependence upon God)
- Mourning (Martyn Lloyd-Jones suggests this might be mourning over the anchor of sin that weigh us down.)
- Hungering and thirsting for righteousness
- Pure in heart
- Persecuted because of righteousness
Clearly, Jesus had a different viewpoint on “blessing” and favor than we do with the words mourningand persecution! Yet, Jesus promises a life that is favored, even “happy” (see Matthew 5:2-12 JB Philips NT). Somehow, that includes times of persecution.
Have you experienced blessing by being this kind of Christ-follower? Post your experience here for others to see and be encouraged!
How do you see persecution fitting with the idea of being blessed?
Resources I would recommend for studying the Sermon on the Mount (Jesus’ Manual for Being a Disciple):
- John Stott, The Message of the Sermon on the Mount
- D.A. Carson, The Sermon on the Mount
- Sinclair Ferguson, Kingdom Life in a Fallen World
- Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount