What are the Beatitudes in the Bible?
Christians and non-Christians alike have heard about them but most likely don't know exactly what they are or why they are so important.
The Beatitudes, like many other stories in the Bible, can be a bit confusing without some sort of “cheat sheet.” Not to worry!
We are going to dive into the gospel of Matthew to explain what the Beatitudes are (in simple terms) and how we can easily apply them in our daily lives.
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What Are the Beatitudes
In a nutshell, the Beatitudes are specific teachings delivered by Jesus during the Sermon of the Mount (Matthew 5:3-10).
These teachings give us guidance on the attitudes and actions that followers of Christ should embody.
In simple terms, the Beatitudes give us a blueprint for how we should carry ourselves and how we should treat others if we want to be more Christ-like.
There are 8 main Beatitudes, but some also consider verse 11 (making it a total of 9).
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
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The Beatitudes Explained
Let’s dive into Matthew 5 to reveal how the Beatitudes are blessings that go beyond fulfilling the Mosaic law.
The Jews were very familiar with Moses’ law, however, Jesus took it a step further with these beautiful and practical verses.
He wanted His people to see that it’s not about obeying rules, it’s about being Christ-like and producing the fruit of the Spirit.
Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (vs 3)
Does this mean if I’m poor, I’m blessed?
Not at all!
Scripture is actually talking about the spirit, which means humility or humbleness in spirit, compared to the negative connotation of pride or arrogance.
The Kingdom of Heaven is referring to the kingdom Jesus Christ will establish here on earth for one thousand years.
Blessed Are Those Who Mourn
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (vs 4)
For those who weep whether it’s sin, tragedy, or loss, they will be comforted by God.
He encourages those who struggle with losing loved ones or sorrowful situations.
God is the ultimate Comforter. He provides the blanket of warm support and reassurance that rewards are just a reach away.
Blessed Are the Meek
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. (vs 5)
Meek gets a bad rap, it is often misunderstood. While it seems to denote timidity or weakness, instead, it means gentleness of spirit.
Practically speaking, meekness generally refers to someone who is disciplined with their emotions, temper, and tongue.
God promises that the meek, not the self-promoters, will receive an inheritance of the earth.
Blessed Are Those Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. (vs 6)
God will bless those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, especially in this sinful world.
They will be filled or full of blessings when the King of Righteousness reigns in His kingdom.
We just must be patient knowing that a full course feast will be presented in our next world.
Blessed Are the Merciful
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. (vs 7)
While the word ‘merciful’ may seem like a sign of weakness, it’s the exact opposite.
Too often when someone does wrong, we want to see them punished for it. We want them to “get what they deserved” for their actions.
But God didn't give us “what we deserved” when He died for our sins. He gave us mercy and grace when we definitely did NOT deserve it!
On this evil earth, while mercy is not seen as a strong trait, those who show mercy will have the accolades of mercy themselves.
What a precious gift this is for those who will see the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed Are the Pure in Heart
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. (vs 8)
As the Bible indicates, purity, or holiness, is necessary to stand before God. God cannot look upon sin.
However, the good news is that those clean in heart will gain access directly to the Lord.
How exciting will that day be when we can be present with our Creator!
Blessed Are the Peacemakers
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (vs 9)
God is pleased when we pursue peace. The Bible is clear in several scripture verses that peace, a fruit of the spirit, is something we should always strive for in our relationships.
He will reward those who are involved in making peace with others. Submitting to the will of God can be wearisome but it will bring peace to this world and the next one.
Blessed Are Those Who Are Persecuted Because of Righteousness
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (vs 10)
Throughout the Bible to the present day, many of God’s people have been persecuted, even unto death.
Even today, Christians are persecuted and made fun of for their beliefs. This can often lead them to living a “less Godly” life to avoid these persecutions.
But those who stand firm in their faith and their beliefs will reap the rewards in Heaven.
Blessed Are You When People Insult You
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (vs 11-12)
Jesus reminds his followers of what lies ahead of them. However, because of their endurance for His name’s sake, they are truly blessed.
The King will not forget and will award those who have sacrificed and suffered during their time on earth.
What do the Beatitudes Teach Us
The Beatitudes teach us that beautiful blessings will be bountiful when we reach eternity in heaven.
We must endure all these hardships, long-suffering, and persecution for just a short amount of time compared to what lies ahead as Christians – it’s forever.
How do the Beatitudes apply today?
There are many lessons we can learn in today’s society as we practice being meek, righteous, merciful, and peacemakers.
The Beatitudes offer healing and hope to a cruel world of hatred and confusion.
There’s a better place we will all meet someday where it’s safe and secure. This sacred place is beyond our wildest dreams; we just have to reveal a few signs of humility and mercy for a short season of time.
Strive to live your life in accordance with the Beatitudes and look forward to the amazing future that awaits you in Heaven!