Sunday, January 26, 2020 am                                       Jesus Teaching 2020 Index                                      MP3                        PP


Sermon On the Mount (2)
The Beatitudes (2)
Matthew 5:3-12


Last week we introduced the Sermon on the Mount, noting it was likely a typical sermon of Jesus, especially early in His ministry.  It was a sermon introducing the Kingdom of God that Jesus came to establish.  The theme of this sermon is found in Matthew 5:20, our righteousness must be genuine if we desire to enter the kingdom of heaven.  We also introduced the beatitudes, noting the word is associated with Christian joy and being blessed (enjoying the favor of God) which is the Latin meaning of the word beatitude.  We also noted that these 8 dispositions are in a particular order and found in 2 groups – the first 4 being attributed to our relationship with God and the last 4 our relationship to men, much like the greatest commandments (Matthew 22:37-40).  We also noted that with each beatitude there is an attitude  or action on our behalf, and a blessing found in developing that attitude. 

Today, we begin examining this great sermon and notice more specifically the beatitudes of Jesus.   We will devote 2 lessons to the beatitudes.

 I.                     Blessed are the poor in spirit (vs. 3)

a.       What is meant by poor in spirit? 

                                                   i.      The word for poor can mean someone who is not rich materially – Jesus often went to the poor, and the NT talks about the poor (James 2:5-6, Romans 15:26, etc.).  It is a word that would include poverty, or one who has little, possibly not enough even for the necessities of life.  This is the widow who gave her two mites to the treasury (Mark 12:42-43)
Jesus did express concerns for the physically poor.  In Luke 6:20, the other sermon, Jesus simply said, “Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of heaven.”  Then in vs. 24, He said, “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.”
We know Jesus cared about the physically poor and noted the corruption of the wealthy on numerous occasions.  Matthew 19:21 as He counseled the rich, young ruler, and as He rebuked the corrupt greed of some of the leaders (Matthew 23:14), etc.
There is something to be said about one who is poor from a material standpoint.  He is more likely to turn to and trust God.  He has nothing to lose.  That is why the wealthy are constantly WARNED to not trust in their uncertain riches – 1 Timothy 6:17-19, Matthew 6:19-21 – not to lay up your treasures on earth. 
But understand that there is no virtue in material poverty.  At times we bring it on by poor and selfish decisions.  There are consequences to our actions.  And the poor can be just as ungodly – envious, selfish, slothful, engaging in criminal behavior or other sinful conduct that destroys you physically, etc. 

                                                 ii.      This is a spiritual poverty – one who is “poor in spirit. Consider the word for poor as used above and make spiritual application.  It has reference to one who realizes he is spiritually broke or bankrupt as he stands before God. 
Consider Revelation 3:17 – the church at Laodicea was in spiritual poverty and didn’t realize it (because they saw their material prosperity).
The tax collector in Luke 18:13-14 – he would not even look up, but beat his breast and simply said, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.”

                                                iii.      THIS is where turning to God HAS TO begin.  It is a realization that I have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).   As the prodigal son of Luke 15:17ff. 
An acknowledgement that I have no standing before Him.  My righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).  Micah 6:6-8 – with what shall I come before the LORD?
Because of sin, I am at enmity with God – Romans 8:7, Isaiah 59:2, etc.    And that enmity needs to be removed and I need to be restored to Him.
This is one who empties himself of pride and self-reliance (he can’t save himself)

                                                iv.      THAT is poor in spirit.

b.       Theirs is the kingdom of heaven

                                                   i.      It is the one who has reached the depths of spiritual despair who is likely to look to God.  Especially when He has promised salvation to all who come to Him.  John 3:16, Hebrews 7:25, etc.   This attitude CAN lead to the needed response of salvation.

                                                 ii.      The kingdom of heaven is reference to all who are saved in Him.   We are added to His kingdom when we obey the gospel – Acts 2:47, Colossians 1:13-14.

                                                iii.      Poor in spirit is the quality that put one on the path that will lead to his eternal life, if he follows it.  And unless you have this attitude up front, more than likely you will struggle with staying faithful.  You will come to Him half-hearted, which is not good enough!  Luke 9:23-24 – if anyone desires to come after Him he will deny himself first…
The poor in spirit are the ones who will seek the kingdom of heaven – Matthew 6:33, 7:24-27, Colossians 3:1-2, etc. 

                                                iv.      Each of the qualities in these beatitudes are related to the kingdom of heaven and therein.

 II.                   Blessed are those who mourn (vs. 4)

a.       A term meaning to grieve.  This is not just being a little upset, sad or melancholy.  This is genuine grief over one’s condition, perhaps even to the point of being overwhelmed.  This is the remorseful, “what have I done?” disposition.
Consider David after the group of sins that started with his lusting for Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11 & 12) and led to adultery, deceit and eventually murder.   When Nathan finally confronts him David knows how horrible what he has done is.  That is seen in Psalm 51 which is described as a penitential psalm.  You find David’s demeanor.  He is begging God for mercy and forgiveness(1-2).  He admits to his sins and who they have hurt (3-4) – including God.

b.       What are we to mourn about?

Being poor in spirit leads to this mourning.  James 4:9. 
2 Corinthians 7:9-11 - This is the “godly sorrow” that leads to repentance.
We realize our sinful condition and that it needs to be taken care of by God.    We realize the spiritual danger of remaining unforgiven – including eternal punishment for those who refuse to obey the gospel (2 Thessalonians 1:6-9), and those who refuse to repent or fall away (2 Peter 2:20-22).
NOT all reach this state – there are many who realize their sinful and depraved condition, but they are not bothered by it and there is no remorse. 

c.        They shall be comforted – the blessing of knowing your sins are forgiven, that God is there and that He cares, etc.  In another psalm that might have been related to David’s repentance (Psalm 6), he describes the depth of his mourning but concludes, Psalm 6:8-9, “Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity; for the Lord has heard the voice of my weeping…”
Isaiah 53:3-4 – He was acquainted with our grief, and has borne our griefs.  This is about Jesus. 
Matthew 11:28-30 – “Come to me…” – His invitation to comfort us. 

d.       If we are guilty of sin, may we mourn.  And may that mourning lead us to where we need to be in His presence – forgiven with confidence. 

 III.                 Blessed are the meek (vs. 5)

a.       What is meekness?  What it is not weakness or cowardice or spiritlessness.  It is a mild disposition that is in control of one’s emotions (such as anger).   Associated with gentleness, consideration, tenderhearted, and even humility. 
it has also been described as strength under control.

b.       Jesus was meek – Matthew 11:29, 2 Corinthians 10:1 – the meekness and gentleness of Christ.
Consider how He would allow a little child on His lap and teach the need to become like such to enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:2-5).  Consider how He was silent as His accusers lied about Him.  Consider His patience with the stubbornness and pride of His own disciples and apostles, etc. 
1 Peter 2:21-24 describes His meek disposition as he was accused…

c.        We are called upon to be meek – Colossians 3:12, James 1:21 – receive the implanted word with meekness, 1 Peter 3:15 – with meekness and fear we defend the hope that is in us.
The word “gentleness” in the fruit of the spirit is associated with this word (Galatians 5:22-23).
IT is also reflected in other terms throughout the New Testament.  We are to be in control and humble, following the example of our Lord.

d.       When we spiritually mourn, it humbles us to turn to God seeking His favor - something we cannot earn OR set our own terms for.  We must meekly surrender to God if we are to be saved and to live a life of Christian peace.  This is the step that turns to Him asking for His mercy and grace (Ephesians 2:8-9 – not of works, lest we should boast; 1 Peter 3:20-21 – the answer of a good conscience…

e.       They shall inherit the earth

                                                   i.      This is not speaking of some future kingdom.  Nor does it mean that the meek will be guaranteed peace and dominion in this world.

                                                 ii.      HOWEVER, when we live meekly it gives us certain physical blessings
1) Such as inner peace – even when we are suffering, because we trust God and know what awaits, we are comforted by Him.  Philippians 4:7 speaks about the peace that surpasses understanding will guard your hearts and minds thought Christ Jesus – so do not be anxious.
2) The mild disposition is more likely to gain favor with man than harshness.  Harshness may dominate men, but is there real respect and honor there?  We are to let our gentleness be known to all men – Philippians 4:5.
3) Also, a calm demeanor can simply prevent trouble in most circumstances.
4) This is also a disposition that can aid you as you try and teach others. 

                                                iii.      What is “the earth”?  More than likely what is meant here is spiritually, we will inherit God’s eternal kingdom. 
While all the others are true and describe the blessings of meekness while living in this world, it is also true that man cannot take away from us our eternal reward, regardless of what he does.  Consider 2 Peter 3:10-13.  This world will be burned up, but we look for “new heavens and a new earth”. 

 IV.                 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (vs. 6)

a.       What is righteousness? Simply stated it is being right with God, based upon submitting to His standard.  We learn form scripture that God determines true righteousness – Romans 10:1-3 contrasts the righteousness of God with that of men who establish their own. 
It is a fruit of the spirit (Ephesians 5:9), and part of the armor of God (Ephesians 6:14).  We learn of it in the gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16-17, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, etc.)

b.       The hungering and thirsting here is not the word of God (cf. 1 Peter 2:1-2, 1 Corinthians 3:2, Hebrews 5:12-14 – which are speaking of the word of God), rather it is a hungering to be right with God. 
The idea of hunger and thirst is a strong desire for those things.  We in America fail to truly appreciate what hunger and thirst is.  Most have access to plenty of both.  But that was not so in Biblical times.
We ought to CRAVE to be right with God and willing to do whatever is necessary for that to happen.  Psalm 24:3-5, Psalm 15, repentance as previously mentioned, etc. That is what this beatitude is about

c.        It is this craving to be right with God that keeps us studying and praying.  We work to mature and get better spiritually, etc. We need to pursue righteousness (1 Timothy 6:11, 2 Timothy 2:22).

d.       This is the continued faithfulness of one who has been received into the kingdom of heaven

e.       They shall be filled – we have “all things that pertain to life and godliness”.  God’s word can make us complete (2 Timothy 3:16-17).   There is also something to be said about true satisfaction that is found when we know that we have done what we could and God is pleased with our efforts.  He offers satisfaction that nothing in this world can do.  Recall that Jesus in John 6:35 said, “ And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.  Solomon called such things “vanity” and “grasping for the wind”.


These are the first 4 beatitudes as taught by Jesus.  We can see our attitude that will make us right with God and give us a hope that only He can offer.   Do you possess these attitudes?  How can we help you?