Matthew 5:2-12 (KJV):
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 they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5 BLESSED are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 6 BLESSED are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 7 BLESSED are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy . 8 BLESSED are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 9 BLESSED are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10 BLESSED are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 BLESSED are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
In Matthew 5:2-12, Jesus went up into a mountain when he saw the multitudes, and when his disciples came to him, he began to teach accordingly. Better known as “The Beatitudes” or “The Sermon on the Mount,” these Scriptures illustrate what it really means to be blessed.
The definition of blessed means spiritually prosperous, happy, refreshed by God’s grace, inwardly peaceful, worthy of respect, etc.
In verses 3–9, Jesus reveals the rewards for those He calls blessed.
Each group is called “blessed,” but depending on the condition of the heart, the reward for each group is different. However, Jesus GUARANTEES the “intangible” rewards by using the word “shall,” which obligates Him to do it. In this text, to be blessed is not an impressive cliché or a “materialistic” point of reference. It means to be a recipient of something that money cannot buy.
Many times, we are greeted with, “How are you doing?” The classic response is, “I’m blessed!” Oftentimes, this statement is followed by materialistic implications. However, this text reveals that it’s about what’s in the hearts of the “blessed” rather than what’s in their hands or possession. Therefore, the question is: Are you REALLY blessed? Are you REALLY poor in spirit? Are you REALLY meek? Are you REALLY hungry and thirsty for righteousness? Are you REALLY merciful? Are you REALLY pure in heart? Are you REALLY a peacemaker? Again, are you REALLY blessed?
Verses 10–11 of Matthew 5 reveal external conditions of persecution for those who are called blessed. So, if those who are persecuted (for righteousness’ sake) are blessed, and those who are reviled, persecuted and falsely spoken against (for His sake) are blessed, are you REALLY blessed? It may not feel like it when you’re enduring persecution, but Jesus still calls you blessed because your feelings don’t change the truth.
Verse 12 drastically changes the scene with a command to “rejoice, and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Jesus commands “the blessed” to rejoice and be exceeding glad IN THE MIDST OF PERSECUTION because the reward for this is great in heaven. Most of the time, this is in direct contrast to what we really do in times of persecution. But the reward is an admonishment to look at the bigger picture — beyond the present (WHERE THE REWARDS RESIDE) – some on earth; some in heaven.
So, the next time someone asks you how you are doing, think about it and say within yourself, “Are you REALLY blessed?”
Jenise Blake Gilliard is the founder of Feed My Sheep eMinistries (formerly SONLite Ministries of Pine Bluff.) Details: firstname.lastname@example.org or fb.me/feedmysheepemin .
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