3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
The Sermon on the Mount is one of the most significant sermons ever given. While Jesus addresses a person’s relationship to the law
He gives the character of his disciples. Jesus’ disciples will live in the ways he describes in Matthew 5, 6 & 7.
The first part of the sermon is called the “beatitudes.” I used to believe that word meant, these sweet little quips in Matthew 5:3-12. Looking in a dictionary I learned that the word means “supreme blessedness, exalted happiness.” The dictionary adds, “any of the declarations of blessedness pronounced by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount” (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/beatitude).
A beatitude is a declaration of blessedness. That’s cool. “Blessed are…” is the beginning of each of Jesus declarations. It has been translated as “happy are,” “joyful are” and I’m sure in a number of different ways. These are good things.
There are 9 beatitudes. The first 4 have to do with one’s relationship to God and the next 4 have to do with one’s relationship with people and #9 expounds on #8.
But have you ever considered that there 9 aspects to the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23.
22″But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Surely this in no coincidence. 9 beatitudes and 9 parts to the fruit of the Spirit.
We will in future posts note the exact connections. For now, note that this is about the righteousness that God attributes into the life of the Christian.
The character of Jesus’ followers is righteousness. They are made righteous by God according to their faith in Christ. They are to live in the ways of righteousness. To do that, we need to know how. Jesus is giving us the how and encouraging us to live in the way that God now views us in Christ Jesus.
Compare the 9 beatitudes to the 9 parts of the fruit of the Spirit and we’ll compare notes here real soon.