Summary: Teaching about kingdom attributes, Jesus showed that true righteousness goes beyond the superficial teachings of the Pharisees.
The Beatitudes-Part 1
Teaching about kingdom attributes, Jesus showed that true righteousness goes beyond the superficial teachings of the Pharisees.
• Last week I spent a great deal of time setting up the background for this series.
• Understanding the backdrop from which the Sermon on the Mount was delivered will help us to understand why this sermon was so revolutionary, why the Sermon on the Mount has the potential to turn your work upside down!
• The religious leaders, by their example, taught the people that to be righteous before God, all you need to do is to look good on the outside by following the rules they added to God’s original ten.
• The question at hand for many was something akin to, HOW CAN I PLEASE GOD? WHAT IS PLEASING TO GOD? The people wanted the answer to these questions because they wanted to be blessed by God!
• The religious leaders answered that question by example, look good on the outside, follow their rules.
• Jesus nailed them to the wall over that attitude time and time again.
• Last week we saw that Jesu told the crowd that if their righteousness did not exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, they would not enter the kingdom of God!
• In the section of Jesus’ sermon, many call the BEATITUDES, Jesus will begin to unravel the mystery of how one’s righteousness can exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees.
• Theologian D. A. Carson explains, “The word ‘beatitude’ is a rough transliteration of the Latin beatus.
• ‘Beatitude’ is a transliteration of a foreign word which can best be translated ‘blessed'” (D. A. Carson, Jesus’s Sermon the Mount and His Confrontation with the World [Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2018], 19).
• In the Sermon on the Mount, there is a logical progression that Jesus follows.
• He has shocked the crowd with His statement concerning the Pharisees; now, He will go right to the heart of the problem.
• Over the next two weeks, we will examine the teaching of the Beatitudes, instructions that are so simple, yet so difficult to grasp because they run contrary to what we are taught.
• The BIG IDEA for today is, teaching about kingdom attributes, Jesus showed that true righteousness goes beyond the superficial teachings of the Pharisees.
Matthew 5:3 (CSB)
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
1. I. The virtuous spirit.
• Matthew 5:3 (CSB) — 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
• This first Beatitude had to hit the people like a camel bus.
• Part of the shock to the listeners of what Jesus would preach is the fact that most of the beatitudes are paradoxical, the reverse of what the world teaches. This one was no different.
• First off, NO ONE wants to be poor, yet many were. The Religious leaders were far from poor.
• Some have used this verse as a proof-text to advocate for becoming poor.
• In simple terms, a proof text is taking a passage out of context to make a point that, based on the use of the passage, is not valid.
• In fairness to those who would try to use this verse to advocate for making oneself poor, the word POOR here has the meaning of begging, destitute, and with want (Ernst Bammel, “?t????, ?t??e?a, ?t??e??,” Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, 886).
• What is Jesus telling us?
• Jesus applies this begging to the spiritual state of the believer: there remains in us a state of spiritual inadequacy, extreme poverty, and the ability to commit any sin.
• Just because we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, it doesn’t mean we have the ability to be perfect on this earth.
• Those poor in spirit are not those who lack courage and enthusiasm, but those who are spiritually bankrupt and utterly dependent upon God for daily living.
• How is this achieved? By only comparing ourselves to God. He is the measuring stick.
• To not feel this, poverty is not to understand who God is.
• Poverty of spirit is placed first by Jesus on purpose.
• There is a large mountain to scale, and the first thing we must realize is that we cannot do it on our own.
• If we can’t grasp the first Beatitude, then there is no point in moving on; we won’t be able to keep the ethics, attitudes, and behaviors in the rest of the sermon.
• How do we know if we understand it? Do you get amazed at God’s grace for you? Are you aware of your sinfulness? Are you aware of your continual need for God?