Jesus delivered HIs longest sermon called “The Sermon on the Mount,” and He began by identifying eight types of blessed people.
The Poor In Spirit: Empty of Self; Full of God
The first in His list of blessed people are the poor in spirit. Some people are living in spiritual poverty, wholly engrossed in the sins and lusts of the world. He’s not talking about that type of spiritual poverty here. The kind of poverty Jesus is talking about is the poverty of self. Jesus challenges us to be utterly empty of self to make room to be full of God. He promises happiness to come to those who are empty of self and full of God. And, theirs is the kingdom of heaven! That’s the future promise. That’s something to be happy about!
Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 5:3
The Mourners: Caring Deeply about Spiritual Things
Blessed are the mourners? Really? Jesus didn’t say it was His intention for you and me to be downhearted, sad, or spend our days focusing on negative things. But He did say, “Blessed are the mourners.”
When children of God have a genuine sensitivity to sin and feel the remorse for their willful disobedience, that is a blessing from God.
Do you care deeply about your spiritual life, do you care genuinely about your fellowship with Christ, and do you care deeply about the spiritual condition of your friends, neighbors, and family? If so, you are blessed to have such a heart of concern for things that matter to God.
Remember, the blessing you receive for mourning for your spiritual life and the condition of others will be rewarded. If you don’t see the reward here, you will see it in heaven because in due season you will reap if you faint not!
Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. – Matthew 5:4
The Meek: Happy and in Control
Meek people are happy people. They have learned to imitate Christ in their spirit, actions, and reactions. The meek are not easily offended and would rather forgive many than get even with one. Meek people are less stressed.
In their meekness, they have learned to be happier and more content. It’s not that meek people aren’t willing to stand for truth and fight when necessary, but they don’t have to completely explode to get a result. They have learned to rest in Christ, and live in His peace.
Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. – Matthew 5:5
The Hungry and Thirsty: Renewed and Refreshed
To hunger and thirst after righteousness leads to a joy-filled life. If you hunger for meat and you eat, you are sustained, refueled, and replenished to keep going. You desire food to eat to be renewed in your strength. Replenishing of strength comes from a desire to know God through His word, the Bible.
If you are thirsty, your desire is to be refreshed. When you focus on the forgiveness of sin, the pardon you have received and the love of God, you are refreshed.
To experience God and find a fullness of joy, you need to be both renewed and refreshed. Renewed by time in the word of God and refreshed by spending time in fellowship with Him in prayer, confession, and a clear conscience because of His forgiveness.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. – Matthew 5:6
The Merciful: Caring and Compassionate
There are many things God desires for us, not so much for His sake, but for our own sake. You see when you take today’s truth about mercy, and become a caring and compassionate person, it changes you.
Merciful people care. Whether or not they have the resources to fix a suffering person’s problem is not the motive of a merciful person’s heart. A Christian with a merciful heart has learned to genuinely care for the suffering, the struggling, the ignorant, the lost and the needy. Mercy doesn’t just see needs and walk away, mercy responds. If you can’t help meet the need, you invest by giving your heart of compassion. Because everyone needs a little more kindness and compassion in life.
Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. – Matthew 5:7
The Pure In Heart: Clarity and Understanding
Do you want a clearer picture of God? Do you desire a deeper understanding of Him? You can have it, and it comes to the pure in heart. The pure in heart are living the truest form of Christianity. Like unmuddied water, they have learned to differentiate between spiritual things and things that are of the world. Their motives are pure, their heart is right, and their desires rest in things that are part of the heart of God.
When you decide that the life God has given you here on earth is to be lived for Him and His will, not for yourself, your purity of heart will lead to a deeper understanding of God.
Some people struggle all their life to understand God’s work in their life. The pure in heart get to see God more profoundly.
Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. – Matthew 5:8
The Peacemakers: Joy and Impact
Jesus Christ was the Prince of Peace, the wisdom of God is first pure, then peaceable, and the birth of Jesus was to bring peace on earth. Do you see a theme here? Peacemakers are blessed of God. They have a peaceful disposition throughout life. They engage in peaceful conversations, and when peace begins to leave the discussion, they are aware and deliberate about bringing it back.
Peacemakers allow space in relationships and strive to accommodate the needs of others. When the peace is broken, they are skilled at making repairs.
Peacemakers are doing the work of God here on earth. Christ came to deliver peace and peacemakers understand when they are living peaceably, they are aligned with God’s plan. This is why they are called the children of God. They are happily fulfilling their Father’s will walking on earth as His offspring.
Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. – Matthew 5:9
The Persecuted and Slandered: Receive a Great Reward
Those who walk closest to Christ, His most committed disciples, will potentially face persecution and suffering for their faith. But wait, what about the blessed life He’s been promising all along? It seems confusing to mix blessings and persecution in the same promise.
God’s children from the beginning have suffered greatly for their faith on this earth. They have been “persecuted” and “reviled.”
Persecution comes in many forms. It could be physical threats, loss of opportunities to advance at work, fines, threats of legal action, loss of promotion, shunned in relationships, and don’t forget in some places in the world torture and death.
Reviling is verbal persecution. It’s when people say “all manner of evil against you falsely.” Name calling, slanderous nicknames, verbal abuse, gossip behind your back, all culminate to create an environment intended to make you suffer as a committed follower of Jesus.
The persecuted and reviled are blessed. (1) Because you have a home in heaven and a personal relationship with God. No one can ever take away from you the reward you have in being God’s child. (2) Because you will be rewarded in heaven. The Bible says, “Great is your reward in heaven.” (3) You are in good company. “For so persecuted they the prophets before you.” Matthew 5:12. You are among those who God honors who have truly suffered for His sake.
In your suffering, be blessed because the almighty God is with you and you are on His side. On the other side of eternity, you have a reward waiting for you that far outweighs any sacrifices you make on this earth.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 5:10
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. – Matthew 5:11