-Jesus lays out important characteristics of the people who will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven that contradict the world’s system of pride and prestige. The poor in spirit (the broken) are blessed (the experience of hope and joy). Those that mourn (sorrow, repentant, grieving) will be comforted by the God who cares and has compassion. The gentle (humble, meek) will inherit the earth. The ones who hunger and thirst (an unyielding seeking and pursuit of) after righteous will find satisfaction. The ones who display mercy and grace in their lives will also receive the mercy and grace of the LORD. The heart must be pure in order to see God, and peacemakers (not peacekeepers) will be called the sons (or daughters if female) of God. Jesus gives special attention to those who are persecuted for His sake and righteousness. He encourages us to stay in the game and endure because He knows the pain and suffering that it brings when we stand up for Him and obey His commands in this world by faith. *Application* It is incredibly difficult to follow these beatitudes. In fact it is impossible to achieve these things long term in our flesh (old nature, our natural state) and on our own. We may achieve some success short term, but to have lasting fruits we must receive God’s Holy Spirit (a transformation, a new birth) and walk in His power. This is a way of life that contradicts the natural inclinations and the ways of the majority of this world. This is what transformation is at the core. Soldier on and allow God to do things His way in your life! In the end you shall be blessed beyond measure!
-Jesus explains His true intentions to fulfill the Law rather than demolish, or abolish, it. In other words, He supersedes the formality and penalty of the Law because of His atoning sacrifice on the cross. His grace is sufficient (Romans 3:24, 1 Corinthians 15:10, Titus 3:7, 1 Peter 1:2). This grace gives a whole new perspective to the demands and requirements of the Law, which Jesus expounds upon in this section. Grace requires new heart attitudes from within that have pure motives and are virtually unconcerned for the outward manifestation since that will take care of itself. Grace goes deeper and penetrates to the core of our being fulfilling God’s ultimate desire and plan for His creation in love. This is the essence of what Christ was discussing here in this passage. It has application in all the described areas of diversity, but its root is all unified, wrapped up in the commands “love God and love others.” *Application* When we understand the true meaning of the Law and how it is applied to us for a redemptive purpose with a Savior to cover our transgressions, we can begin to walk free in God’s perfection and be holy even as He is holy (Leviticus 19:2, Matthew 5:48).
Verses to Memorize: Matthew 5:10, 16