3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:3-12)
We left off in the last post with “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled”
Today we will pick up with: Beatitude 5—
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
How do we arrive at being merciful? Only by having great mercy experienced in our own life. Jesus encounters a woman who lived a sinful life, and she shows her love for him by breaking a very expensive bottle of perfume and washing his feet with her tears, then drying it with her hair. Why? Well first of all, feet washing was customary for a slave to do for those who came to a household. Yet she does this for Jesus, humbling herself and not caring who thought what of her for doing so. One of the religious leaders protested,
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. 41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
How can we possibly begin to truly forgive serious sins of others against us, unless we know God has forgiven our sin? The truth is, if we don’t know the depth of the Lord’s forgiveness of us, we cannot let go of the sins of others that have deeply wounded us. After all, our sins wounded Christ and He gave himself up to suffer in our place so we can be forgiven.
Yet one who does not know this amazing grace cannot really love and forgive like we are called to.
Beatitude 5 and 6—
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
These two are actually more relatable then we may realize. Purity of heart is more then just not having a heart that is filled with impure and immoral lust. Thats a huge part. Yet inward purity, includes right motives, right attitude, as well as a grace and benevolent good will toward others.
Psalm 24 and Psalm 15 both seem very similar when they say “Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord” as well as “Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain?”
—-Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. They will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their Savior. (Psalm 24:3-4)
We are saved, we no longer live for idols or put our hopes in false gods. The world’s people chase their gods, money, success, sex, fame and praise of others. Yet as believers we know that as it is written “Better is one day in your house, better is one day in your courts then a thousands elsewhere”
This does not mean temptations don’t come. Yet as believers who are born again, we aim to please Christ and walk in his ways, not indulge our sinful natures like we used to.
Psalm 15 then says:
Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others; who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the Lord; who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind; who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken.
As we grow in our faith and years of developing in Christ occur, we should notice more and more victory. Greater progress! After all, “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus” [Philippians 1:6]
Being a peacemaker and purity of heart are closely related. Peacemakers don’t enjoy starting trouble they don’t have to. Divisiveness and a contentious spirit are not overflows of pure heart, but stem often from pride, envy or bitterness. We are told many times in the Word to put off such things. Also deception is a sign of impurity of heart. Guile and flattery and deceiving others flow from an impure heart/
[Conclusion wait for Pt 3]