Matthew 5, Luke 6 – Here we have a list of things that Jesus values. He promises to bless us if we have these values.
We live in a world that has a very different value list than what Jesus talks about here. The rewards for these kinds of people are all about pleasing ourselves and getting more for ourselves.
When we look at the beatitudes, and Jesus’ values, how do our values, ideas, and thoughts line up with them?
The kind of people who are blessed
Those with needs.
The poor in spirit – a poor person can still have a covetous heart. This is about those who have needs, and recognize their needs. Jesus said that he has not come to help the righteous but those who are sick.
Those who mourn – those who care and are grieved by the trouble and sin and problems they see around them. James 4 – When there is sin and trouble there should be grief and mourning. To ignore this and entertain or distract ourselves is not the approach that Jesus wants from his followers.
Those who have good desires
Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness – these folks are not satisfied and complacent about where they are currently at spiritually. James 4:8 – come near to God and He will come near to you.
Those who are pure in heart – purity means clean, it means desiring good and not evil, a heart-led by the spirit and not the flesh. Psalm 119 – a pure life is lived according to God’s commands, and also a heart that is seeking and devoted to God. 2 Peter – Lot was tormented in his soul about the evil around him. He was not a perfect man, but he was troubled greatly by the sin around him.
Those with Christ-like character
Those who are meek – a meek person is quiet, gentle, and submissive. Not someone who is meek, but someone who doesn’t demand all the things that they deserve. Abraham could have demanded the best land when his and Lot’s herds got too big to coexist, instead, he let Lot have the better land. Jesus is a good example, he went to the cross like a lamb to the slaughter.
Those who are merciful – none of us deserve God’s mercy. We can never earn God’s mercy, but we should be eager and willing to extend mercy to others because of how God has been merciful to us.
Those who are peacemakers – overwhelming force is not Jesus’ way of making peace. 1 Corinthians 6:7, James 3:18 – if we live a life of making peace, there will be a harvest of righteousness eventually.
Those who are mistreated
Those who are persecuted because of righteousness – this isn’t just anyone who is treated unfairly or has hardship. When we are mistreated because of Jesus, there will be blessings and a great reward in heaven. This is the hardest of these values of Jesus to share, we don’t know too much about persecution through personal experience. The kind of person who can rejoice in persecution and people are saying false things about them are people who are looking for 100% of their approval from God.
Looking at the blessings
Some of these blessings appeal to everyone. Some of them though are only for those who are following Jesus. Are these blessings high on our list of things that we want?
We desire to belong to something bigger than ourselves, something important. Being part of God’s kingdom is being part of the greatest kingdom that has ever been.
We can have hope. Everyone wants hope, in these blessings we can find hope, both here on earth, but especially hope in heaven.
Jesus is a good and kind king. He loves us and wants to have a relationship with us.