16. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. -Matthew 5:3
The blessings Jesus gives are in direct contrast with what the world values as being the traits of a blessed person. The world views the blessed man as the one who is rich in money, because he can “buy the earth” right now. But here Jesus essentially says that Heaven doesn’t take Visa! In Matthew 6:20 Jesus urges believers to live their life now in such a way that their deeds done for Jesus are storing up for themselves treasure in Heaven. How sad to see people who don’t know Jesus living for this relatively short life alone, rather than getting ready for the eternal life to come. All the riches a lost person boasts in now won’t mean a thing when they are cast into the Lake of Fire. All the sacrifices Christians make now will pay off when they are with God forever!
17. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. -Matthew 5:4
Often the world says to those grieving, “Get over it,” or “snap out of it.” One popular man-made religion teaches you not to become too attached to people or things. That way when you lose them it won’t matter as much! The Bible teaches Christians it is appropriate to grieve! In the context, Jesus may be calling us to grieve over the sin in our lives, recognizing all sin is a big deal to God. Of course one of the main consequences of sin being in the world is loss, including broken relationships and death. We should take time to reflect on loss, even as Jesus did. The shortest verse in the Bible is John 11:35. When Jesus was among those mourning the death of His friend Lazarus, we read that “Jesus wept.” There’s also a whole book of the Bible that shares Jeremiah’s grief over the consequences of his nations sins (Lamentations). As believers we don’t “grieve as those who have no hope” but as those who know that after the “momentary troubles” of this life we will experience eternal comfort with God. But we do grieve, and we join creation in groaning (Romans 8:18-25) until Christ puts all things right!
18. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. -Matthew 5:5
The world tries to take advantage of the meek, calling them soft. Jesus says the meek will eventually inherit the (NEW) earth. Meekness is what happens when a humble person lives for God’s glory instead of their own and uses their God-given talents and spiritual gifts to advance Christ’s Kingdom instead of their own. David Robinson exemplified this as he helped the San Antonio Spurs win multiple NBA titles. He was a tremendous competitor, but exemplified self-control both on and off the court. People try to take advantage of the meek on the present earth, but the meek will be the only kind of people on the New Earth (Revelation 21-22).
19. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. -Matthew 5:7
The word translated “filled” is rendered “satisfied” in another translation. The Rolling Stones sang “I can’t get no satisfaction…but I’ve tried.” I can assure you they didn’t try by hungering and thirsting after righteousness! One of the shames of the Christian community is seeing so many Christians get “starry eyed” at celebrities, who upon closer analysis are some of the most dissatisfied people there are. But those who hunger and thirst after God’s righteousness – they will be satisfied by what they find! They will be filled when they are with God!
20. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. -Matthew 5:7
The world believes that if you are merciful to others you will get stepped on. But God promises you mercy when you become a person of mercy. The reality is that in almost all of our relationships people at some point let us down. And we also let others down. When those problems come, the New Testament is filled with teachings on forgiveness and moving toward each other that we are called to put into practice. Unfortunately, I have known more than one professing Christian who gave up on relationship when they felt let down by the other person. Christian, you’ve received mercy from God through Jesus’ death for your sins, how can you withhold showing mercy to others? Listen to these powerful words from the Book of James: “So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:12-13).