Posted by: Brad Beaman | November 24, 2007

Sermon on the Mount: The Beatitudes

Sometimes the Sermon on the Mount is referred to as the world’s greatest sermon. In one church where the pastor was preaching the Sermon on the Mount the roadside sign read, “Worlds greatest sermon” by pastor so and so. That was a little confusing. It is Jesus who preached the world’s greatest sermon not that pastor.

My friend told me the story of how he became a Christian. He went to a Christian bookstore and asked for Sermon on the Mount by Jesus. The clerk at the bookstore told him they did not have the book Sermon on the Mount, but they did have the New Testament and that he would show him where the Sermon on the Mount was in the New Testament.

He began reading Matthew chapters 5-7. He was so moved that he read the entire New Testament and later committed his life to Christ.

You will find some great sermons in the Bible: Stephen preached a great one before his death. Paul stood and addressed the crowds preached a great sermon. Fittingly Jesus tops them all. Mahatma Gandhi in his Autobiography, My Experiments with Truth, says that Sermon on the Mount by Jesus is the greatest thing ever written.

When Jesus sat down on the Mountain the multitudes were there, but this message was for his disciples, often the crowds turned away when they found out what following Jesus meant. Jesus was clear, being his follower means more than a superficial commitment.
Being a follower of Jesus means dedicated faith.

There are three Chapters in the Bible known as the Sermon on the Mount. The Beatitudes Matthew 5:1-12, are the first section of the Sermon on the Mount. The Beatitudes are more than just ethical standards. Once we know spiritual transformation then we can live out the spiritual standards.

The beatitudes begin with the phrase, blessed are which means happiness or deep joy.
There are nine Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount.

Blessed are …
The poor in spirit
Those who morn
The meek
Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
The merciful
The pure in heart
The peacemakers
Those who are persecuted because of righteousness
You when people insult you for the sake of Jesus

I will only comment on the beatitudes found in this passage but be aware that some jokesters try to add a tenth Beatitude:
               “Blessed is he who sits on a tack, for he shall surely rise”

Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

Vs 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The way to heaven is not through living a good life and doing good deeds. It is through faith in Jesus Christ that begins with a profound awareness of our own spiritual poverty that leads to turning to Jesus in repentance. Humility comes when we recognize our spiritual poverty.

We need the grace of God, his undeserved favor to be saved. Those who acknowledge their own spiritual poverty: Thiers is the kingdom of heaven. This is in the present tense. It begins now not just in the future. We not only need God’s grace to receive salvation, but to live out the Christian life.

The Apostle Paul said in all his pursuit of righteousness that he himself was the chief of sinners. The woman at the well realized her spiritual poverty. The total depravity of man means that sin has depraved us. Sin has wrecked us and we are spiritually bankrupt.

Radical spiritual surgery is needed. I did not want to hear the bad news the day they told me that I had Malignant Melanoma, but I am glad I came to know of it. Ignoring it would have meant certain death for me. I needed a surgery to rid myself of that cancer. It might cause some offence, people don’t like to hear about their spiritual condition, but we must tell them radical spiritual surgery is needed. A spiritual cancer is spreading.

Yes we could be worse. Total depravity does not mean we are as bad as we can be. It means that there is not even one point where we measure up to God’s holiness. Blessed is the man who recognizes he is a sinner.

God is pure, blameless, and perfect in Holiness. When we view ourselves in light of God our spiritual poverty is made known. We look around a room that seems clean. Then suddenly a beam of light comes through the window and everywhere the light shines we see dust particles floating in the air. They were there before, but we did not see them until the light exposed them. It is like that when the holiness of God exposes our true heart condition. Isaiah said woe is me I am a man of unclean lips when he was exposed to the Holiness of God. Our righteous deeds are filthy rags in the sight of God.

In Luke 18:9-14 we read the story of the Pharisee and the publican. The Pharisee thanked God he was not a sinner like the publican. The publican recognized his spiritual poverty and begged God for forgiveness. The publican was blessed and the Pharisee was not blessed. Do you see yourself as a righteous man? You will miss the blessing. Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are you when you recognize that you are spiritually bankrupt.

At the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed, if it is possible let this cup pass from me. It was not possible because of the spiritual poverty of man. If any man could by his own righteousness earn his salvation Jesus could have been spared from the cross, but we know there was no other way.

We are spiritually poor, But God is spiritually rich. He is righteous, and his only Son Jesus is righteous he knew no sin. When we recognize our spiritual poverty is painful but a blessing. It is then we see our need for a savior and recognize our need to trust Christ as our only hope. Spiritual poverty gives us a dissatisfaction that can be satisfied only in Jesus

There is something awesome when we see ourselves for what we really are, sinners. When we recognize our spiritual condition and weep and mourn.

Blessed are those who morn
4Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

This is the blessing of brokenness. It comes in seeing the tragedy of the human condition.
When we recognize our spiritual condition before God we weep and mourn. Jesus wept over Jerusalem. Jeremiah is the weeping prophet. His eyes became a fountain of tears. Jeremiah 9:1

Paul wished he himself could be accursed if only his people could be saved. Having a sense of burden for the lost of humanity will bring morning. But blessed are you. Ironically there is a comfort, a blessing, a deep sense of joy for the broken who can weep over sin.

Blessed are the meek
Vs 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Christianity is about meekness and gentleness. It is not about a CEO model where the go getter who can use their power to get what they want and get ahead in a dog eat dog world.

God is opposed to the proud and gives grace to the humble I Peter 5:5. The fruit of God’s Spirit is gentleness.

The meek will inherit the earth. You would think the earth belongs to the power brokers, but God has a different plan. God blesses the meek and gentle and lets them inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.
6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

A believer in Jesus Christ should crave righteousness as a starving man craves food.
Jesus makes a promise. If you want righteousness and you seek after it you will be satisfied. A hungry person is desperate and so a Christian should crave righteousness with that kind of desperation. There should be an overwhelming desire to know Jesus more and let His righteousness fill your life.

Blessed are the merciful
Vs 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

The ones who have experienced God’s mercy are the ones who can show mercy to others.

Jesus told about the wicked servant in Matthew 18. The man who owed the king a huge sum of money was ordered to prison. But he fell to his knees and begged for mercy. The king forgave him and his debt was canceled. But this same man acted wickedly, refusing to show mercy in a small debt owed him.

Every Christian has received tremendous mercy. We receive deep joy when we show mercy to others. The guilty criminal that stands before the judge doesn’t want justice, but mercy. As Christians we know mercy, so let us also show mercy. We will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart.
Vs 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Purity is essential in certain realms. We started drinking bottled water because ordinary water was not pure enough for my liking. When I was shopping around with different purified water companies there was one company that claimed to be more pure. It was more expensive water but put it was more pure by one particle in one million. In that case I went for the cheaper water with less purity. But when it comes to your heart go for the highest purity at any cost.

In the spiritual life seeking the highest purity is worth it. Sin pollutes the human heart. There is a reverse osmosis of the heart. God cleanses our sin when we go before him in confession I John 1:9. The Pure in heart will see God. This area of purity determines how we relate to God. Jesus has the power to cleanse us.

Blessed are the Peacemakers
Vs 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

Jesus is the Prince of peace. The word is Shalom and means a sense of well being. Accepting Jesus Christ brings an end to conflict between man and God. To really promote peace spread the gospel. If you work for the absence of war that alone is not enough.

What people need is true peace in the form of spiritual wellbeing. True peace is a spiritual peace that means being right with God. Blessed are the peacemakers who promote true and lasting peace, for they will be called sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted
Vs 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Those who really live for Christ will be persecuted. Jesus has enemies and when you are doing God’s work people will oppose you.

John 15:18-21 18″If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.'[a] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.

Blessed are you when people insult you
Vs 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.
When you stand up for Christ and people insult you expect to be blessed.

On the Sermon on the Mount Jesus gives his expectations of His followers. Demanding teaching. We need power of the Holy Spirit to live by God’s standards.

5:20 20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

That is not possible in our own strengths. A man has his limits, but not God. Only through Jesus Christ will you know all the blessings of the beatitudes.



  1. Thank you, Brad. God Bless you. That was a great encouragment. You’re right there is greater persecution coming to Christians but the Followers of The Lord Jesus are never stronger in their faith than when tribulation comes. I believe Satan knows his time is growing short and he’s putting on the full court press. Perhaps we’ll meet when Jesus comes and takes to be with Him. mizpah31

  2. Blog news: 12/5/07

    I got stuck on the religion page on wordpress today. The fun part is reading what/how other people write, not always putting yourself at the center of the debate.
    So Germany wants to ban Scientology?
    The Sermon on the Mount
    The faithful wait.

  3. Reblogged this on Sharing Some Thoughts on Jesus Christ.

  4. “Jesus, the carpenter from Nazareth, knew He was so much more than a good, gentle, loving and honest man. He knew His heritage, His place, and His destiny. His ministry was about revealing to His followers how to discover those things in their own lives. In The Beatitudes, He outlines a set of life behaviors that, if followed, reveals the discovery.”

    Excerpt From: Mike Stair. “Be Attitudinal.” iBooks.

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