The word “beatitude” means a state of supreme happiness or blessedness. The “beatitudes” found in Matthew 5 are a collection of statements from Jesus that show us how we can be “blessed” or “happy” in this life and the next. Jesus shared this wisdom during His Sermon on the Mount. It is easy to find ourselves skimming over familiar passages of Scripture, but we hope this study will give you a new interest and appreciation for these truths.
The beatitudes are not words of advice. These are the words of life meant for all believers, at all times, and in all places. Thomas Watson called the beatitudes, “the sacred paradoxes in our Saviour’s sermon.” At first glance, it can be hard to see how these paradoxes work together. How does poverty make you rich? How does mourning connect with joy? How does the misery and pain of persecution result in gladness?
One of Jesus’ many valuable lessons in the beatitudes is that the way the world works is not how the Kingdom of God works. The world preaches, “Blessed are the powerful and the loud,” but Jesus says, “Blessed are the meek and the humble.”
People look for blessings and joy all over this world never realizing that everything here is perishable. “Worldly delights are like those foods which are fresh at first—and then presently grow stale or rot. “The world passes away” (1 John 2:17).” (Watson)
Nothing on earth can reach the deep empty void in our hearts. Yet we keep searching and trying to find happiness in different ways and places. Soloman, who had everything, comes to this simple conclusion, “Behold! All was vanity!” (Ecclesiastes 2:8).
“Happiness is too noble and delicate a plant, to grow in this world’s soil.” – Thomas Watson
We are so used to operating according to the rules and values of this world that the beatitudes may seem impossible. Truly believing and living according to what Jesus teaches in Matthew 5 will require trust and faith that God not only knows what He is talking about, but that He knows best.
There will be many times when we need to pray, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.”
Here are some questions to ask yourself as you study:
What are these verses teaching about God?
What are these verses revealing about me?
How have I been thinking like the world?
What do I need to repent over?
In what areas do I need to change the way I think?
What actions do I need to take in light of what Jesus is teaching me?
How am I trying to find joy in the world, and how am I missing it in Jesus’ Kingdom?
Looking to Jesus,
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