Key Scripture: Matthew 5:2-3a- “And [Jesus] opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying, ‘Blessed are...’”
Jesus opens the Sermon on the Mount with the Beatitudes. Each statement of divine blessing begins with the phrase, “Blessed are...” The Greek word translated “blessed” in Matthew 5:3-11 is makarios. This word means “supremely blest; fortunate, well off.”
Though some translations use the word “happy” instead of “blessed,” biblical scholars agree that this choice is misleading. Happiness, in the worldly sense, cannot compare to the blessedness the faithful experience in Christ. John Stott writes, “For happiness is a subjective state, whereas Jesus is making an objective judgment about these people. He is declaring not what they may feel like (‘happy’), but what God thinks of them and what on that account they are: ‘blessed’.” Those whose hearts are genuinely changed by the grace and power of God are, as Charles L. Quarles writes, “... privileged recipients of God’s favor... Jesus was not referring to an emotion or feeling that is based on present circumstances... Rather ... it refers to the deep inner joy of those who have long awaited the salvation promised by God and who now begin to experience its fulfillment.”
Jesus Christ – God in the flesh – not only pronounces these blessings, but also purchased them by becoming a curse for us (Galatians 3:13). According to the text, this blessedness is a present reality, not something His disciples await in the future (though we do await the fullness of our reward).
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’” (Matthew 25:31-34)
Questions to Consider:
Read Matthew 5:3-11 and Ephesians 2. How are the faithful blessed in Christ? Are you living as if these blessings are a present reality?
Pray that your love for Christ will grow until the day He returns or calls you home.