Menu Close

The Beatitudes

I have gathered a few thoughts about the beatitudes.

  1. Who are the poor in spirit?
    “Spirit” in Matthew 5:3 refers to a person’s frame of mind or their attitude. It is how a person thinks about the world around them and their own personal relationship with the Eternal. “Poverty of spirit is the opposite of pride, self-righteousness, and self-conceit . . .” Dummelow, John R.  A commentary on the Holy Bible
  2. Who are the meek (gentle)?
    Meekness is “strength under control,”  William Barclay.
    “The meek person is strong! He is gentle, meek, and mild, but he is in control. He is as strong as steel.” R. Kent Hughes, Commentary on the Sermon on the Mount
  3. Who are those who mourn?
    The Disciples bear the suffering laid on them only by the power of him who bears all suffering on the Cross. As bearers of suffering, they stand in communion with the crucified. They stand as strangers in the power of him who was so alien to the world that it crucified him. This is their comfort, or rather, he is their comfort, their comforter. … This alien community is comforted by the Cross. Dietrich BonhoefferDiscipleship
  4. Who are those who hunger and thirst?It is the desire for God which is the most fundamental appetite of all, and it is an appetite we can never eliminate. We may seek to disown it, but it will not go away. If we deny that it is there, we shall in fact only divert it to some other object or range of objects. And that will mean that we invest some creature or creatures with the full burden of our need for God, a burden which no creature can carry. Simon Tugwell, The Beatitudes
  5. Who are the merciful?

    A Christ-less world is a callous world, and mercy was never a characteristic of pagan life. William Barclay, The Beatitudes and the Lord’s Prayer for Everyman

Inviting the marginalized to the table not only made them equals; it made Jesus their “friend.” … The Pharisees viewed this behavior as subversive to their conviction of what Israel needed for true social ordering; Jesus saw it as a manifestation of a new way of holiness based on mercy.
Michael H. Crosby, Spirituality of the Beatitudes

  1. Who are the pure in heart?Only those who have surrendered their hearts completely to Jesus that he may reign in them alone. Only those whose hearts are undefiled by their own evil—and by their own virtues too.
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

    Now when [people] attempt to live a double life spiritually, that is, to appear pure on the outside but are not pure in the heart, they are anything but blessed. Their conflicting loyalties make them wretched, confused, tense. And having to keep their eyes on two masters at once makes them cross-eyed, and their vision is so blurred that neither image is clear.
    Clarence Jordan, Sermon on the Mount
  2. Who are the peacemakers?

    Now peacemaking is a divine work. For peace means reconciliation, and God is the author of peace and of reconciliation. … It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the particular blessing which attaches to peacemakers is that “they shall be called sons of God.” For they are seeking to do what their Father has done, loving people with his love.
    John R. W. Stott, The Message of the Sermon on the Mount

    Making peace makes us God’s children—and kin to each other.
    Michael H. Crosby, Spirituality of the Beatitudes
  3. Who are the persecuted?It may seem strange that Jesus should pass from peacemaking to persecution, from the work of reconciliation to the experience of hostility. Yet however hard we may try to make peace with some people, they refuse to live at peace with us. Not all attempts at reconciliation succeed.
    John R. W. Stott, The Message of the Sermon on the Mount

Also worth looking at is John Wesley’s Sermon 21 on the Sermon on the Mount and Matthew Henry’s commentary on Matthew 5.