Summary: The Beatitudes proclaimed on the Jesus' famous "Sermon on the Mount" are often misunderstood. This message examines the first four "happy sayings" as well as the explosion of miracles which preceded this meg- meeting on the mount.
The Unveiling of the Kingdom of God in the Beatitudes (1)
Matthew 4:23 “Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. 24 The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, (They brought everyone who was sick to Him.) those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics ; and He healed them. (There was no disease that Jesus could not heal.) 25 Large crowds followed Him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.”
Jesus’ teaching and preaching that “God’s Kingdom was near” were accompanied by An Explosion of Miracles. His miracles and message combined to fulfill the prophecies of Isaiah as the one who would bring “good news” (Is. 52:7) and who would also be the sin-bearer. How would you be able to recognize Him? You couldn’t miss Him. This is the One who was promised: Who else could do these things?
Matthew 5 continues: 1 When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.
“Kathizo” is word for “sat down”; The same words are used in Matthew 25: 31 "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He WILL SIT on His glorious throne.”
Mark 16:19: So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.
Ephesians 1: which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.”
Rev. 3:21: 'He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
Jesus as the “Teacher” and “rabbi” sits down with those disciples who come to Him, but He who will reveal the Essence and Character of the Kingdom of God. We have the HISTORY of the New Testament to know that NOT ONLY is He TEACHER but He would reign as KING in His Kingdom.
Matt. 5: 2: “He opened His mouth (as the Word which became flesh, He testified by His words that He was the LIVING WORD) and began to teach them, saying,
I. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
This is the first of eight Beatitudes; They are not eight classes of people or different types of people. The sayings are describing God’s Heavenly Kingdom which is beginning at the commencement of Jesus’ Ministry. It was in part THEN, it is in part but more so now, and it will continue to Increase.
First of all, the kingdom of God (Heaven) are both the same kingdom, but they are not reflected in the things that you might acquire on Earth. They are not of this EARTH. It is God’s spiritual Empire. They are not possessions but UNNATURAL Godly characteristics.
The World says Blessed are the rich; Jesus says “Blessed the poor!” “BLESSED” means “to be fortunate, happy, or privileged by God”. It is not a fortune that you have gained, but a Spirit God has given.
In the Greek language the word for “POOR” pertained to a person’s social and economic condition, much like it does in the world today. It means to be destitute. So, how could a person who is POOR also be blessed, happy and fortunate? In the eyes of the world, to be “poor” is to be cursed with no fortune, but Jesus talking about being spiritually destitute and bankrupt, and you recognize it yourself.
In the OT, the idea of “the poor” is mentioned as being “afflicted”. There is a tremendous verse in Isaiah 29:19 which coincides with Matt. 5: “The afflicted (POOR or MEEK) also will increase their gladness in the LORD, and the needy of mankind (POOR, people without the essentials) will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.”
Another way of saying it: The poor will increase their gladness in the LORD (Your gladness or riches are in the LORD), and the needy of the entire world will have the opportunity to be glad or BLESSED in the Holy One of Israel.
The difference between the poor and the rich of the World is not in possessions but in their relationship with God. When the people of Israel were in captivity, they were indeed poor, but they were bankrupt and “poor”, not because they had lost their possessions, but because their relationship with God had been broken.
Luke 6:20: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” Matt. 5 uses the words” poor in spirit”, which emphasizes the spiritual nature of God’s Kingdom. Those who are poor in spirit are those who stand before God with no pretense. They stand without masks, no deception before God, just emptiness of spirit, waiting HUMBLY on the LORD as their only hope. We stand knowing that the world cannot deliver us and we are empty-handed, no, worse than that: We are dead without God. God comes to humble but resists the proud. The kingdom of God inhabits those who have no righteousness or hope of their own and to those who recognize their own spiritual bankrupcy.