Sermons

Summary: Part 3 in a 14-part series of studies I call “The Christian Character” as described by Jesus to a crowd of people on a Galilean hillside as he delivered what is more familiarly known as the “Sermon on the Mount.” In this part we examine the beatitude, “Blessed are those who mourn.”

Sermon on the Mount

The Christian Character

Matthew 5:3 - 7:27

(Cf. Luke 6:20-49)

Part 3 - Beatitudes – those who mourn

This is Part 3 in a 14-part series of studies I call “The Christian Character” as described by Jesus to a crowd of people on a Galilean hillside as he delivered what is more familiarly known as the “Sermon on the Mount.” In this part we examine the beatitude, “Blessed are those who mourn.”

The 14 parts are as follows:

Part 1 – Introduction

Part 2 – Beatitudes – the poor in spirit

Part 3 - Beatitudes – those who mourn

Part 4 - Beatitudes – the meek, and those who hunger and thirst

Part 5 - Beatitudes – the merciful and the pure in heart

Part 6 - Beatitudes – peacemakers

Part 7 - Beatitudes – the persecuted and insulted

Part 8 - Salt of the earth and light of the world

Part 9 - Righteousness exceeding that of the scribes and Pharisees; divorce, oaths

Part 10 - Eye for eye, loving neighbor and hating enemy, being perfect

Part 11 - Three things to do, not to be seen by men and a model prayer

Part 12 - Laying up treasures, eye is the lamp of the body, serving two masters

Part 13 - Do not judge, do not give what is holy to dogs and pigs

Part 14 - Ask, seek, and knock; the narrow gate; false prophets; building on the rock

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Part 3 - Beatitudes – those who mourn

Review

Last Sunday we examined the first of the beatitudes - “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” We found that the words in the original language translated “poor” and “spirit” literally mean a beggar in a spiritual sense - One who is entirely dependent on the charity of another to sustain spiritual life.

We are beggars.

However much or little we have of this world’s goods, without Christ, we are poverty-stricken paupers before God, for there is no one who isn’t spiritually dependent on the charity of Christ. No one. We accept charity, or we die. The beatitude appears to ascribe blessedness with those who, realizing their wretchedness, accept the life-sustaining flow of Christ’s charity.

Such are blessed, because “theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

We spent considerable time on this beatitude because it connects the blessed ones to the kingdom. What did Jesus mean by that clause?

The word “kingdom” occurs 10 times from Matthew 4:23 to the end of the sermon in chapter 7. We’re spending considerable time on it in the expectation that a robust understanding of what the scriptures mean when they express things in kingdom terms.

We read some passages of scripture about the historical / chronological scope of the kingdom.

First, the case for the proposition that the church is the kingdom:

Daniel 7:13-14 ESV “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion [i.e., the son of man’s] is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.

Unlike earthly kingdoms, Daniel foresaw an eternal kingdom.

At Caesarea Philippi:

Matthew 16:18-19 –And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

Here, “church” and “kingdom” are used as sympathetic, if not synonymous terms.

Later in this sermon (Matt 6:10) and on another occasion in Luke 11, Jesus taught the disciples to pray, “your kingdom come,” for the coming of the father’s kingdom.

That would happen in their lifetime:

Mark 9:1 Some standing here who will not taste of death till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.

Wait in Jerusalem for power:

Luke 24:49 wait in Jerusalem till you are endued with power from on high (it would happen in Jerusalem and would be within a time one could wait for–very soon)

In answer to a question from the disciples about whether Jesus, having been resurrected, would now restore the kingdom to Israel, He answered:

Acts 1:8 - …you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

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