Within Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, are the Beatitudes (Matthew, Chapter 5). Each Beatitude begins with the word “Blessed.” “Blessed” means happy or fortunate. So, the Lord goes forth in the Beatitudes explaining how we as believers can experience the “blessed” life found in Him alone. The Beatitudes explain a divine character and nature, inner happiness and joy, and state of being that is not produced by or remains unaffected by outward circumstances.
The Pharisees were concerned primarily with external qualities, but the qualities Jesus mentioned are internal. These come only when one is properly related to God through faith and when one places his complete trust in God. This is a basic description of the believers’ inner condition because of the work of God. These qualities are to be desired and emulated; they make up “the blessed life”. The qualities described and approved are the opposite of those that the world values.
The sermon showed how a person who is in right relationship with God should conduct his life. While the passage must be understood in the light of the offer of the messianic kingdom, the sermon applies to Jesus’ followers today for it demonstrates the standard of righteousness God demands of His people. They are what every disciple should aspire to have flow out of his/her life. The blessings and joy that they bring are deeply rooted and are not affected by the unpredictable ups and downs of life.
People possessing these qualities would naturally stand out in the crowd and would not be understood by others. They would be persecuted and have others speak evil of them (v. 11). However, Jesus’ words encouraged His followers, for they would be walking in the same path of the prophets who also were misunderstood and persecuted before them.
Each of Jesus’ statements in the Beatitudes includes a condition of the heart—or way of being—and a promised result when we live out the trait described. These ideas aren’t always easy to grasp, and they seem to ask much of us. But they remind us to have an eternal perspective as we do our best to reflect Christ in the present moment. The main thing to remember is that they are not produced by us, but by God’s indwelling Spirit. Hallelujah to that!
The Inner Qualities:
Let us grow in our understanding of what it means to become dependent on God, feel grieved by sin, be meek in our interactions, and hunger for good, we can be merciful in the way the Lord intended, to be devoted to God and have right motives, to have peace with God and desire peace with others, and to rejoice and not give up when persecuted by others.
Here is the progression of how these qualities are lived out. If you have the right attitude toward sin, then it will lead to your mourning after you see your sinfulness, then it will lead to meekness, a sense of humility, then a seeking and hungering and thirst for righteousness, then that manifests itself in mercy, and in purity of heart, and then a peacemaking spirit. By living this way, you are reviled and persecuted and falsely accused, because you irritate those in the world. As a result, you are the salt and light of the world and can rejoice because you are reflecting Divine character in this world. The world does not need Christians who look and act just like them. Please take a moment to read these Beatitudes and see if they are a part of your inner character. If they are, you are living a truly blessed life.