Summary: An introduction to the Beatitudes found in Matthew 5
In Matthew Chapter 5 we find Matthews record of Jesus’ teachings on what is commonly known as, the Beatitudes.
You may be thinking, good golly; so what, big whoop!
What does this portion of Scripture have to do with Christianity in 2012?
Before, we look at each individual Beatitude, it is essential that we take time to set the stage for; Our Attitude towards Jesus’ Beatitudes.
LET’S LOOK AT WHAT OTHERS HAVE CALLED THESE BEATITUDES
Oswald Dykes referred to them as “The Manifesto [a public declaration of intentions, opinions, objectives, or motives] of the King” (Ogilvie, Matt. 5:1-15)
Lloyd Ogilvie Identified them as a “Message on a lifestyle for the ‘new creation’ . . . outlines the kind of life which is expected of the ‘new community.”
C.H. Dodd called them “. . . the absolute ethics [moral principles] of the Kingdom of God.”
David Alexander adds it is “. . . how man ought to live . . . not simply by a set of rules but by an inner revolution of attitude and outlook” (Alexander 1973, 477)
Kenneth Gangel states it is an “ethical teaching which serves as a counterpart to the Old Testament Law. . .” designed to “correct a false Jewish concentration on the material aspects of the kingdom and try to show His followers that the primary focus aims at the hearts of the people” (Gangel 1988, 37).
H.A. Ironside said Jesus was, “setting forth the principles of His kingdom, which should guide the lives of all who profess to be His disciples” . . . and that his it should “characterize its loyal subjects as they wait for the day when the King Himself shall be revealed.” (Ironside 1989, )
J Vernon McGee adds, “The Sermon on the Mount is Law lifted to the ninth degree. Man could not keep the Law in the Old Testament. So how in the world can he keep, in his own strength, the Sermon on the Mount which is elevated to an even higher degree . . . The primary purpose of the Sermon on the Mount is to set before men the law of the kingdom” (McGee 1983, 27-28).
C.H. Spurgeon states, “The seven Beatitudes mark deepening humiliation and growing exaltation” (Spurgeon 1988, 456).
McGee again states, “The Sermon on the Mount opens with the Beatitudes. It is well to note that they are be-attitudes, not do-attitudes. They state what the subjects of the kingdom are—they are the type of person described in the Beatitudes” (McGee [Matthew], 29) (2)
Warren Wiersbe states: “The main theme is true righteousness” not an artificially external (as the Pharisees and Law); but, that which begins “internally, in the heart” Wiersbe [Matthew 5:1-48]).
There are far too numerous ideas to mention here, these are just a few ideas! So let’s summarize. The Beatitudes could be regarded as: a Kingly manifesto; new creation lifestyle; absolute ethical kingdom; inner revolution; Kingdom Law; deepened humbling attitude of growing exaltation; state of being; internalized heart righteousness !
WOW! What a variety of thoughts we have before us here.
WELL, JUST WHO IS JESUS TALKING TOO:
We find in Matthew 5: 1-2 where it says: “. . . his disciples came unto him:
(2) And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying . . .
ARE YOU A DISCIPLE OF CHRIST THIS MORNING? Here Jesus is talking to the Twelve with the multitudes on the outer circles. . . Yes, we can make application today because we are by definition: hearers, learners and adherents to the Word of God. THEREFORE: If you have accepted Christ this morning—you are a disciple of Christ! You are a recipient of the Kingdom of God: Today, Tomorrow and Forever!
G Campbell Morgan adds, “Jesus never gives the law of His Kingdom to any save to those of His Kingdom” (Morgan 1986, 39).
Many folks make the mistake of applying these blessed beatitudes to just one long sermon. HOWEVER, it is most, probable, that they were many of Jesus’ Sermons taught repetitively over the duration of His ministry.
Both Matthew and Luke give us a version of the Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew's version there are 107 versus. Of these 107 versus 29 are found altogether in Luke 6:20-49; 47 have no parallel in Luke's version and 34 are found scattered all over Luke's gospel in different contexts” (Barclay 1958, 79-80).
I like all of these statements; BUT, the statement by J. Vernon McGee really stands is practically applicable for the disciples of Christ today!
Are we a BE and not a DO in our TUDES this morning?
How impossible it is to be a DO-ER without being a BE-ER!
Do you possess this mind set- the mindset of Christ this morning?
As we look at these beatitudes one thing is obvious: