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What is a Beatitude?

by on April 08, 2021

Key Scripture: Matthew 5:3-11 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

Jesus begins His longest recorded sermon, the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7, to His disciples with these famous beatitudes or “blessed sayings.” Simply put, the beatitudes are a series of blessings into the life of a believer as they walk in obedience, declared by Jesus.

The word beatitude comes from the Latin beatitudo, meaning "blessedness.” We see blessed sayings all throughout Scripture (read Psalm 1:1; Job 5:17; Proverbs 8:34; Luke 1:45.) The Greek word “blessed” translated means “supremely blest; fortunate, well off.”

What is important to point out, is how Jesus defines blessed. There is a sharp contrast in Jesus’ definition as compared to the world’s. Jesus was not communicating these blessed sayings in a way that meant by exhibiting these behaviors, they would achieve blessing or God’s favor. Rather, He is authoritatively proclaiming what true, genuine growth of a follower of Christ looks like. The beatitudes reorient our way of thinking toward God’s ways and give us a picture of the true disciple of God and what the heart condition of the citizens of God’s Kingdom should look like.

There is much to be learned from the beatitudes as each one has rich meaning and is worthy of deep study. We will see this in the days to come as we study them together.

Question to Consider:

Have you ever studied the beatitudes?

Prayer Prompt:

Thank you, Father, for giving us these blessed sayings to show us what the life of a believer should look like so we can look more like you, God.

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