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Jesus turns the world upside down! - Matthew 5:1-12

Today we come to Jesus’ great Sermon on the Mount(ain), the first of 5 sermons in Matthew’s gospel. Having called sinners to repentance, the sermon shows the traits Jesus expects of His repentant followers. Doing these things is not the root of salvation – that’s faith in Jesus. Doing these things are the fruit of repentance and true faith in Jesus.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. - Matthew 6:33 (ESV)

Matthew 5:1-12 (ESV)
1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: 
3 “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[fn] 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.

The Sermon begins with the Beatitudes, so named from the Latin word for Blessed, Beatus. As we will see, every Beatitude is the opposite of what the Satanic world system says will make you successful and happy.

Jesus came into a world that does everything upside down from Heaven’s perspective. Jesus was from the “Upside,” Heaven! He brought the “Upside” down so that we would learn how to put the rightside “Up!”

And when they could not find them (early Christian leaders), they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “THESE MEN WHO HAVE TURNED THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN HAVE COME HERE ALSO.”        -Thessalonian citizens in Acts 17:6

The world says successful and happy are the rich, but Jesus says blessed are the wretched (v. 3)

Jesus starts the beatitudes by going right to the heart of the matter – all people are ‘bankrupt’ spiritually before God no matter how rich they are. The richer we are, the more self-sufficient we tend to be, failing to comprehend our true need as sinners before a holy God.

The word blessed is the Greek word Makarios, which occurs 50 times in the New Testament (9 in this passage). It refers to the inner gladness that will characterize followers of Jesus in this life and later in Heaven.

The world says successful and happy are those who laugh things off, but Jesus says blessed are those who mourn (v. 4)

It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart. - Ecclesiastes 7:2 (ESV)

Jesus Himself wept at Lazarus’ death, because death is a by-product of sin. And we should take time to mourn what sin has cost the world and look to redemption in Christ.

The world says successful and happy are the mighty, but Jesus says blessed are the meek (v. 5)

When processing what makes something right to do, one cynical philosopher said, “Might makes right.” If you can do it, and no one can stop you, it becomes the right thing to do.

The world says that ‘meekness is weakness.’ But biblically meekness is not weakness but putting any strength we have under God’s control.

“As long as you remain independent and wild, you will never maximize God’s intention for you.” - Tony Evans

The world says successful and happy are those who act on their lusts, but Jesus says blessed are those who desire righteousness (v. 6)

Positional righteousness happens when we trust Christ (Gen. 15:6; 2 Cor. 5:21). Personal righteousness is our desire to do the kind of things that Christ would do if he was living my life for me (Galatians 2:20).

You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fulness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. - Psalm 16:11

The world says successful and happy are the cruel, but Jesus said blessed are those who show mercy (v. 7)

“The strong do what they have the power to do, and the weak must suck it up.” - Thucydides, Athenian General (460-400 BC)

“The gods care nothing about the poor.” - Porphyry of Tyre (born AD 254)

How apparent to everyone it is, and how shameful, that our own people lack support from us, when no Jew ever has to beg, and the impious Galileans support not only their own poor, but ours as well!” - Roman Emperor Julian (AD 331-363)

The world says successful and happy are those who sinfully indulge, but Jesus says blessed are those who get clean (v. 8)

The word for pure is the Greek word catharos. We think of medical people cauterizing something to clean it out so it can heal.

I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem…do not stir up or awaken love until its time. - Song of Solomon 2:7; 3:5; 8:4 (ESV, paraphrased)

The world says you are successful and happy if you don’t get involved, but Jesus said blessed are the peacemakers (v. 9)

The Son of God became the Son of Man so that children of men could become children of God!

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all. - 1 Timothy 2:5-6a (ESV)

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. - 2 Corinthians 5:20 (ESV)

The world says you are successful and happy if you lash out against belief, but Jesus says blessed are those the world persecutes (v. 10-12)

Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. - 2 Timothy 3:12 (ESV)

In the world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world. - John 16:33 (ESV)

Not only will it be worth it to have lived by faith in Jesus in a world that does not, verse 12 says it will be greatly rewarded in Heaven!