“Blessed are the poor in spirit”. The who? What does it mean to be “poor in spirit”? The term poor here can mean poor, oppressed, beggarly or impotent. So, blessed are those who have spirits which are not narcissistic. Who recognize that there is something greater than themselves. Who beg for God to be active in their life. Who recognize that they are powerless and dependant upon God. For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn”. As a parent of very young children there are lots of times when I tell my kids “you’re fine; you need to stop crying.” This happens when something surprising happens, maybe they trip and fall on the carpet, or a cat jumps toward them unexpectedly. Their not hurt, so they don’t need to cry. Then there are times when they actually hurt themselves; maybe they fall off a table (they shouldn’t have been climbing), or the chair they were sitting on gets pushed over backwards, or their running down the sidewalk, trip, and leave part of their knee on the cement. In those cases I run to them and I comfort them and I let them cry all they want. In life there are times for mourning and we are blessed because we have a good who will run to us a comfort us.
“Blessed are the meek”. Blessed are those who are gentle and do not try to overpower the others in their community. Blessed are those who do not play politics, but rather are honest. Blessed are those who are what they say they are and do what they say they will do. Blessed are those who are compassionate toward everyone. For they will inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness”. We should all have a yearning to do what is right. This is probably the beatitude that is most convicting for me. I tend to have to concentrate on desiring righteousness. When I’m not paying attention I desire whatever works to my own self-interest. But when I hunger and thirst for righteousness God fills me with righteousness.
“Blessed are the merciful”. To show mercy. To forgive an offense. To forgo retribution. To show love to an enemy. How can I expect to ever receive mercy if I never show mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart”. No one can be fully pure so how can anyone be blessed? To be pure of heart is to fully love without ulterior motive. To care about the people around you without first considering how it will affect you. To love everyone you met and to be willing to be broken for their benefit. It is in this brokenness that we see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for the will be called sons of God.” Is there anything greater you could aspire to be called than to be called a son of God? Being a peacemaker is a difficult thing; you place yourself in a very vulnerable position, you are never in control, you fail more than you succeed.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness”. I have never been persecuted because of righteousness. Thee are times when I have felt discomfort because of righteousness, but that’s about it. To be faithful in the midst of whatever persecution we face is the call of all Christians.
“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.”