February 4, 2008
In Matthew 5:3-10, during the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives us the Beatitudes. They are our Christian code of ethics, if you will. They describe what Christ followers should be like. This is not something we can pick or choose to do. A Christian’s life should have these qualities.
Here is a breakdown of the verses starting with the KING JAMES version and then an explanation and another version to make it easier to understand. I love the way The Message Bible puts it so it’s easy for me to understand.
Verse 3: Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
---meaning one who deliberately chooses to be humble (insignificant) and acknowledges their own helplessness and reliance on God’s help.
THE MESSAGE translation: "You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.”
Verse 4: Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
--this verse doesn’t just mean loosing a loved one through death. It is talking about an active sharing with God of all that is wrong with the world, because of the world’s appalling condition, rejecting the Savior, and the doom of them who refuse Him. We will be comforted when God will wipe away every tear (Rev. 21:4) Christians do all their mourning in this earthly life. For non-believers this is just a foretaste of eternal sorrow.
THE MESSAGE translation: “You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.”
Verse 5: Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
--meaning when a Christian voluntarily, on purpose, takes the spirit of God and becomes a gentle, patient person and mild in spirit. Doesn’t mean this person is a quiet mouse. They simply accept their lowly position. But they can also be a lion for God’s causes. The meek will inherit the earth when Christ returns.
THE MESSAGE translation: "You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.”
Verse 6: Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
--Christians should passionately long for honesty, integrity and justice in society. Their hunger must feed on Christ or they will not be filled.
THE MESSAGE Translation: "You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.”
Verse 7: Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
--meaning to be actively compassionate; helping others who can’t help themselves
THE MESSAGE translation: “You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for.”
Verse 8: Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
--meaning a pure-hearted person whose thoughts are holy and who has a clean conscience
THE MESSAGE translation: "You're blessed when you get your inside world—your
mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.”
Verse 9: Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
--meaning obviously those Christians who try to maintain peace instead of fighting and bickering
THE MESSAGE translation: "You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family.”
Verse 10: Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
--meaning believers who suffer for doing right. Often the world doesn’t like righteous people because it exposes their own unrighteousness
THE MESSAGE translation: "You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom.”