Jesus spoke out of his experience. His words were not theoretical; they carried the conviction of one who had shared the life of ordinary people. He was human, he knew temptation, he had lived without power or influence among those who were disempowered and poor. The beatitudes were born of his convictions and his parables were based in his everyday experiences. Because of that, his words were not stale but alive. He had an authority that was different from that of other religious leaders of his time. The hearts of people were touched because he was real. He had been where they were and his relationship with his God had sustained him. His words rang of truth.
Teach me, O Lord, to live as you lived and speak as you spoke.
I will try to live not with a religion of empty piety but out of an honest and true faith in the message of Jesus and the love of God. When do I speak or act out of pious habit? How can I be more aware of the shallowness of such religious behavior?
Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them saying:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you
Jesus clothes the beatitudes with His own life.
Carl F. Henry.
For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes. But, often with tears in their eyes, they demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course, that’s Moses, not Jesus. I haven’t heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere.
“Blessed are the merciful” in a courtroom? “Blessed are the peacemakers” in the Pentagon?” Give me a break!
Take the words of Jesus and let them become the Supreme Court of the Gospel to you.
John G. Lake
We must assess our thoughts and beliefs and reckon whether they are moving us closer to conformity to Christ or farther away from it.
…Christ did not appoint professors, but followers. If Christianity … is not reduplicated in the life of the person expounding it, then he does not expound Christianity, for Christianity is a message about living and can only be expounded by being realized in our lives.
From my perspective, the Beatitudes are the essence, the lifeblood and beating heart of authentic, ancient and living Christianity.