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Good News Beatitudes


Matthew 5:1-6

This past Tuesday night President Obama gave the State of the Union address and I haven’t seen the statistics but I suspect that millions of Americans watched it.

Through out history there have been some great speeches…great sermons…given by men…for us the “Gettysburg Address” is probably the most well known.

Now Jesus begins His sermon with what we call “The Beatitudes”…the term “Beatitudes” comes from the Latin word “Beatus” which means “happy, fortunate, or blissful”…a term assigned to this section of Jesus’ sermon because each statement begins with “Blessed.”

Let me give you the background to the giving of this sermon.

So Jesus is going all through Galilee teaching and proclaiming the “good news of the kingdom” and He was “healing every kind of disease and sickness.”

And the news about Him went out into all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, taken with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them. 25 And great multitudes followed Him from Galilee and Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.

1And when He saw the multitudes, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. 2 And opening His mouth He began to teach them, saying, 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Now if you will look at the end of each beatitude you will see the blessing!

That is something that these people would want…because as far as they were concerned those things were out of their reach!

So, how do you obtain it…what does it take for it become yours? What did it take for these poor, separated, outcasts to obtain it?

In the O.T. to be “poor” meant to be in literal, material need…to be poverty stricken.

For example: Psalms 34:6 This poor man cried and the LORD heard him,  And saved him out of all his troubles.

 Isaiah 41:17 “The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none, And their tongue is parched with thirst; I, the LORD, will answer them Myself, As the God of Israel I will not forsake them.

In Isaiah 57:15 the “poor” are described as people with a “contrite, penitent, repentant, and humble spirit.”

So, to be “poor in spirit” is to acknowledge your spiritual poverty…a spiritual bankruptcy before God.

Rock of Ages: 454

“Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to Thy cross I cling; Naked, come to thee for dress; Helpless, look to thee for grace; Foul, I to the fountain fly; Wash me, Savior, or I die.

These words express very well what it means to be “poor in spirit.”

What would be the opposite?

You see, when Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit”…the individual that realizes that His salvation is totally dependent on God… to that person “the kingdom of heaven”; the “rule of God that brings salvation, and hope, and peace, and joy” is given.

Back up in chapter 4:23 it says that Jesus was “proclaiming the gospel…the good news.”

Look at the second beatitude; vs. 4: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

So what does Jesus mean when He says, “Blessed are those who mourn?”

9 I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, in order that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. 10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death.

Those mourners, who grieve their own sinfulness, who are saddened by the sins of others…those who do not delight in sin at all…they will be comforted by the only comfort which can relieve their distress, namely the free forgiveness of God.

Now the third beatitude, vs. 5: “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.

Do you see the word “earth?” That is the Greek word “ge” (ghay) and that word can be translated “land”…and that meant something to these people.

Psalms 37:9  For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land.

 Psalms 37:11 But the humble will inherit the land,

 Psalms 37:22 For those blessed by Him will inherit the land; But those cursed by Him will be cut off.

 Psalms 37:34 Wait for the LORD, and keep His way, And He will exalt you to inherit the land; When the wicked are cut off, you will see it.

 Isaiah 57:13 But he who takes refuge in Me shall inherit the land, And shall possess My holy mountain.”

Isaiah 60:21 “Then all your people will be righteous; They will possess the land forever,”

The “gentle.”

Look now a the 4th beatitude, Matthew 4:6: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

When Jesus speaks of those who “hunger and thirst” He isn’t talking about those who are simply “hungry and thirsty.”

And as far as “righteousness” is concerned there are three aspects of “righteousness” found in the Bible…

This beatitude refutes the idea that you can crawl into a corner and hide.

Four beatitudes taught by Jesus…all were “good news” to those He was talking to: They could obtain the kingdom of heaven; they could find comfort for sin; they could obtain a “glorious inheritance”; and they could be “righteous” in the eyes of God.

But on the other hand: they could reject the kingdom of heaven; they could find no comfort when it came to their sin; they could be judgmental and mean spirited and be cut off from the land; and they could be “unrighteous” in the eyes of God.