The Beatitudes: What Are They? The Beatitudes are crucial for what reason?

What is a Beatitude? Why is it important to know The Beatitudes?

The Beatitudes: What Are They?

The beatitudes are described as “blessings Jesus pronounced on the most improbable of people—the impoverished, the hungry, the meek—as the kingdom of God was arriving in his ministry” in the New International Version Study Bible Notes, Fully Revised Edition.

As the antithesis of curses, blessings are the bestowal of grace and protection that fills a person with pleasure and makes them feel whole and whole.

To Whom Do We Owe the Beatitudes?

The Beatitudes are the opening statements of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. According to the New International Encyclopedia of Bible Characters, Jesus was born and lived during the first three decades of the first century, under the rule of Roman Emperor Tiberius Caesar Augustus and two Israelite rulers with the dynastic title Herod: the Idumean Herod the Great and Herod Antipas.

Where Did We Get the Word “Beatitudes” From?

The Latin word beatus, from which we get the English word “blessed,” inspired the name The Beatitudes. The Greek word Aristotle translated as ‘divine’ blessedness stands in contrast to earthly joy. “It encompassed the idea of not being subject to fate,” writes the Encyclopedia of the Bible on Bible Gateway. Jesus used this word to describe the state of being truly well off, which seems to align with God’s plan for human life. Jesus was portrayed in this heavenly plan for living. Jesus personified the teachings of the Mount of Sermon.

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To What Biblical Book Do the Beatitudes Belong?

Many people’s initial mental image of the Beatitudes is of Matthew 5:3-12. Luke 6:20-22, which is part of the Sermon on the Plain, also contains four Beatitudes (Luke 6:17–49).

So, What Exactly Do the Beatitudes Describe?

The Latin Vulgate Bible’s introductory words, beati sunt, “blessed are,” give the Beatitudes their name. These sayings extol the virtues of those who have attained the status of “blessed,” i.e., those who have met the criteria for entrance into God’s heavenly kingdom. According to the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary on the New Testament available on Bible Gateway Plus, “In the Beatitudes, Jesus proclaims that God’s values are frequently drastically different from the world’s.” It has been said, “God will benefit those who pursue the ethics of his kingdom and choose to put him first over the things of this world.”

The Beatitudes from Matthew’s Gospel are as follows.

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
  • Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
  • Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
  • Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
  • Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
  • Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
  • Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
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It would be interesting to know how many Beatitudes there are.

The number of Beatitudes has been the subject of debate among biblical experts. Seven, eight, nine, and even ten have been thrown around as estimates. The word “Blessed” appears at the beginning of each Beatitude. There are nine occurrences of the word “blessed” in this section of Matthew 5, however some scholars argue that the last two (verses 10 and 11) can be read as a pair.

How Did the Beatitudes Come to Be Spoken?

The disciples who had been with Jesus for some time were the only ones to whom Jesus addressed his Sermon on the Mount. According to popular belief, Jesus went up the mountain to get away from the people (Matt 5:1). According to Bible Gateway’s Encyclopedia of the Bible, “the Sermon was thus addressed to the disciples and not to the multitudes, though the latter may have been sitting on the perimeter of the disciple group.” Matthew doesn’t provide any dates for these events, and it wouldn’t be right to suppose they occurred at the start of Jesus’ ministry when he had few followers but a lot of followers later on. The Jesus of this setting is primarily a teacher and not a preacher.

The Meaning of the Beatitudes

We must acknowledge that the sermon is directed to the disciples and through them to the whole church today,” it reads in the Reformation Study Bible. Both internal and external motivations are discussed in the sermon (5:21, 22, 27, 28). These righteous requirements are so stringent that no one can fully comply with them (5:48), and thus we are forced to rely on God’s kindness and mercy. Jesus intentionally overstates a point in order to emphasize its absolute nature when he teaches it (5:29-30).

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According to the New International Version’s Application Commentary on Matthew, the people who truly belong in God’s kingdom are those who “know they have no resources, material or spiritual, to aid themselves before God. It is the poor to whom Jesus has come to proclaim the good news (11:5) and to whom the kingdom of heaven is promised. Unlike the religious elites, who prided themselves on their spiritual self-sufficiency, Jesus teaches that spiritual bankruptcies are the norm in God’s kingdom on earth. If Jesus’ followers use the resources of God’s heavenly kingdom as a blueprint for living, they will find true happiness.

According to Vines Expository Bible Notes, “character is the identity of who we are, but conduct is what we do.” In other words, one’s actions should be a natural extension of their character. The way people act reflects the things they think about. The Beatitudes are a picture of heaven on earth.

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