The Sermon on the Mount; The Beatitudes MATTHEW 5:1-11, amplified version
If you have ever been to Bible School as a child, if you have participated in a Christian church service, if you have thumbed through the New Testament, you assuredly are familiar with the Beatitudes – the “blessed are” verses.
Often misunderstood, verses 1-11 tells us about the Jesus crowd circa 32 AD. The powerful of the mighty Roman Empire and the elite of the Jewish hierarchy judged the followers of Jesus to be insurrectionists, rebels and losers. The story of Jesus tells us that they were the target audience of the Gospel teachings, the ones whom Jesus loved dearly, for whom he was crucified.
I am a content misfit (according to today’s Western culture), a runaway, a loser. Join me in my insane, joyful approach to life, will you?
(the portions in red and underlined are my emphasis)
5 When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and when He was seated, His [a]disciples came to Him. 2 Then He began to teach them, saying,
3 “Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are the poor in spirit [those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant], for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever].
4 “Blessed [forgiven, refreshed by God’s grace] are those who mourn [over their sins and
repent change], for they will be comforted.
5 “Blessed [inwardly peaceful, spiritually secure, worthy of respect] are the [b]gentle [the kind-hearted, the sweet-spirited, the self-controlled], for they will inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed [joyful, nourished by God’s goodness] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness [those who actively seek right standing with God], for they will be [completely] satisfied.
7 “Blessed [content, sheltered by God’s promises] are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
8 “Blessed [anticipating God’s presence, spiritually mature] are the pure in heart [those with integrity, moral courage, and godly character], for they will see God.
9 “Blessed [spiritually calm with life-joy in God’s favor] are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they will [express His character and] be called the sons of God.
10 “Blessed [comforted by inner peace and God’s love] are those who are persecuted for [c]doing that which is morally right, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever].
11 “Blessed [morally courageous and spiritually alive with life-joy in God’s goodness] are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil things against you because of [your association with] Me. 12 Be glad and exceedingly joyful, for your reward in heaven is great [absolutely inexhaustible]; for in this same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
I want to be one of the biggest losers in the Jesus crowd.