Most of us listening are probably familiar with Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount”, with the best-known part being The Beatitudes —you know, all those “Blessed are” statements. But while we may have read them hundreds of times, have you ever taken the time to truly dig into them, exploring exactly what Jesus was telling us in each one of these 12 verses? Never fear! Over the coming months our favorite teacher and author of the book, “Broken Yet Blessed”, Kathi McCarty, will be joining us with in depth study of each one, starting today with an overview of the entire passage.
Table Talk Notes
Matthew 5:1-12 | The Beatitudes
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
The purpose of the Sermon on the Mount can be summarized in one sentence: How to live a life that is dedicated and pleasing to God, fully blessed because it is free from hypocrisy, full of love, grace, wisdom and discernment.
The Beatitudes are the first portion of the Sermon on the Mount.
What does it mean to please God?
Galatians 1:10 | If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.
1 Thessalonians 2:4 | …but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak not as pleasing men but God, who examines our hearts.
2 Corinthians 5:9 | Therefore we have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.
Proverbs 16:7 | When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
5 Central Themes in Matthew
- Inaugurating the Kingdom of God (ch 1-7)
- Spreading the Kingdom of God (ch 8-10)
- Nature of the Kingdom of God (ch 11-13)
- Community of Kingdom of God (ch 13-18)
- Fulfilling of Kingdom of God (ch 19-23)
“…and when He sat down…”
Often, Jewish rabbis would talk to their students while walking or just standing in a city square or colonnade; BUT when he wanted his teaching to be official, he sat down, whether in the synagogue or elsewhere.
“…He opened His mouth…”
to introduce a weighty utterance, to utter something of calculated courage; to give without reservation, withholding nothing.
A teaching of incalculable importance
Jesus taught his disciples…
- Two tenses: aorist & imperfect
- aorist: one completed action in past time
- Imperfect: repeated, habitual action in past time.
- The sermon was the substance of all that he habitually & repeatedly taught his disciples.
- The sermon was the summary of all Jesus had been teaching His disciples.
OT Hebrew ashere: Oh, the bliss of…
NT Greek makarios/makar: A bliss that belongs only to the gods…and enviable position of favor!
The beatitudes are not promises of future happiness; they are congratulations on present bliss when lived out as Jesus instructed. Through Christ, we share in the very life of God… the bliss that belongs only to Him, independent of circumstances and completely opposite of world’s standardsThe beatitudes are not promises of future happiness; they are congratulations on present bliss when lived out as Jesus instructed. Click To Tweet
The Christian “bliss”
It is independent of outward circumstances and of the “chances” and changes of life.
It is the bliss of the life of God and it is the joy that no man can take from us.
Is 41:10, 13 | Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you… For I am the Lord your god who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’
Lk 10:41-42 | But the Lord answered & said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried & bothered about so many things, but only a few things are necessary, really only one, for Mary has chosen the good part which shall not be taken away from her.”
It completely reverses the world’s standards.
Oh, the enviable position of the favor of God for the poor in spirit, for the sorrowful, for the gentle, the hungry and thirsty, for the merciful, pure in heart, for the peacemakers and the persecuted!
Three Central Blessings
- The blessing which comes when we recognize our deepest need, and then discover where that need can be supplied (in Christ alone).
- The blessing which comes with living the Christian life by developing the qualities of Jesus Himself.
- The blessing of suffering for Jesus Christ because of our loyalty and surrender to Him.
Are you in need of “the” blessing? The truest blessing Jesus offers is a life that is lived under His Lordship; a life fully committed to Him and to the work of His Kingdom. You’ve made him Savior… have you made Him Lord?