"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 6"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
Jesus begins His instruction of His disciples by telling them what is theirs as His followers and why. Nine times Jesus tells His followers they are blessed or happy. To understand the reasons why they are blessed we need to return to Jesus' first command to His followers and why He came.
Jesus loves us so much, more than we can imagine. Check this out. Matthew 4:17 tells us Jesus called the people to repent and Matthew 1:21 tells us what they are to repent of - sin. Jesus came to save His people from their sins, you and me. Sin is the destructive element in all peoples' lives. Sin is the cause of our destructive attitudes and actions and ultimately leads to death.
In the gospel of Mark, we see the second command that Jesus gave after calling people to repent, was believe the gospel. The gospel is the good news of Jesus establishing His rule over sin. He paid the penalty of sin and defeated the power of sin by dying on the cross, rising again from the dead and taking His place as Lord over all creation. Basically saying, trust Jesus and look to Him for new life.
When we repent of our sin and believe the gospel we are blessed.
A person who has truly repented of sin is poor in spirit, that is, aware that sin causes them to be and do what is destructive. Repentance means a person has turned from sin and turned to God. A person who recognizes their need for God will take God's help and obey His word.
When we are obeying the word of God, we are blessed or happy.
A repentant person mourns over sin and will be comforted. A person who understands sin will humbly or meekly follow Jesus and inherit the earth when He comes again. The person aware of sin's emptiness will hunger and thirst for righteousness and be filled.
The person who understands that sin is an unwanted enemy will be merciful just as God was merciful with him. The person who follows Jesus is forgiven of sin and is able to have a pure heart and is blessed because a pure heart will see God face to face. A repentant person becomes a peacemaker by dealing with the sin that causes relational hostility and is blessed by being called a child of God.
The repentant who desire to live righteously do so even in the midst of persecution and ill-treatment knowing God's rule in their lives gives them an abundant life and that they will one day be rewarded for living righteously when Jesus returns. Jesus commands the persecuted to rejoice and be glad because their reward is great in heaven.
Questions for reflection: