The Sermon on the Mount is considered to be the embodiment of all of Jesus’ sermons.
Everything Christ spoke on and preached about can be summed up in these truths. Because the Beatitudes are seemingly opposite of our natural inclinations, they cause us to look at life from a different angle—a God angle. They help us focus on God and others, more than self. That’s why Jesus taught them over and over and over again. That’s why everything else He taught on points back to these truths.
“Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Blessed: One who is happy, or who has God’s approval.
Are the poor in spirit: This woman is constantly aware of the ‘poor’ spiritual state of her soul. She is not merely ‘poor’ in spirit, but is like a beggar who hides her face in shame. “Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: “God, I thank you that I’m not like the other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. (vs13) But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God have mercy on me, a sinner,” Luke 18:10.
This tax collector is a perfect example of one who is poor in spirit. He knew that there was no righteousness in him alone. He was spiritually broke! He clung to God’s mercy, and was totally emptied of self-pride, self-righteousness, and self-centeredness.
For theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven: This Kingdom is both futuristic and present. It is really is an upside down kingdom. The spiritually poor—not the spiritually rich get in.
Blessed with God’s approval is the woman who is emptied of all ‘self.’ She purposely separates herself from the things of the world so that she can purposely attach herself to God. Her eyes are opened to GOD’s upside-down kingdom. Her choices, attitudes, and actions are affected by the Kingdom of Heaven. This is her eternal reward.
Mathew 5:4, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
Blessed with God’s approval is the woman whose own sins cause her deep, gut-wrenching grief. She is truly repentant and in anguish over them. Her heart is so tuned into God’s heart, that she is intensely aware of how her sins break His heart.
Mourning is also the act of feeling the hurts of others. Therefore, blessed with God’s approval is the woman who cares for and is compassionate about the sufferings of others; the victims of abuse, of sexual assaults, and of injustice—along with the hurting, broken, and bruised reeds of this world. She is blessed because she doesn’t rebel against this pain, nor does she avoid it. Instead she lets the things that break God’s heart—break her own.
Blessed with God’s approval is the woman who allows heartache to teach her greater truths. Blessed with approval is the woman who allows heartache to motivate her to go out and make a difference—to right the wrongs. She chooses to go through the pain because she knows that out of true pain comes true repentance.
Mathew 5:5, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth”
Meekness is not weakness. In fact, it means the opposite; something powerful brought under control. So, the meekness that Jesus advises us to emulate is incredible strength brought under control. And what is more powerful than our own emotions—especially us ladies?
Jesus is the greatest example of this kind of emotional meekness. He never acted out in revenge or anger. He was not a hot head or a cruel man. He always had perfect control of all of his emotions. That is not to say that He did not have powerful feelings against unrighteousness. After all, He did use a whip to drive out money changers who defiled His Father’s Temple (He did not use the whip on the people though). He was full of zeal, but He was in control.
Likewise, the finest example of Jesus’ incredible might brought under God’s control was when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane the night of His arrest. He could have uttered a single command and had myriads upon myriads of angels come down and defend him. But instead, He submitted to God’s will and offered Himself as the sacrifice for humanity’s sin. This is the kind of meekness which we should all strive.
A.W. Tozer once said, “The meek man is not a human mouse afflicted with a sense of his own inferiority. Rather, he may be in his moral life as bold as a lion and as strong as Samson, but he has stopped being fooled about himself. He has accepted God’s estimate of his own life. He knows he is as weak and helpless as God declares him to be, but paradoxically, he knows at the same time that he is in the sight of God of more importance than angels. In himself—nothing. In God—everything, that is his motto.”