Saturday, May 22nd 2021
Title: The Beatitudes
Author: Pastor Andrew Lim
Translator: Irene Hong
People long to have blessings, whether it is hanging couplets at home during New Year or greeting each other during birthdays, the content is mostly related to blessings. Although people have this hope in their hearts, but in reality, it may not be realized. Even though everyone has a different understanding on blessings, but the pursuit of happiness is the same.
The word “Blessed” in the original text means “of God”; it is a joy of having secrets hidden in it, a joy of satisfaction. It is a joy that will not be easily changed even when changes arise in life. The happiness of the world is easily lost, such as the loss of property, the loss of health, the failure of plans, and the shattering of ambitions quickly takes away happiness. Jesus especially teaches us:
- Blessed are the poor in spirit
Poor means extreme poverty, poor in spirit refers to spiritual poverty; it refers to a man who has nothing, humble, helpless, and totally trusting in God. This kind of person knows that he is poor, poor in moral strength, poor in knowledge of the truth, poor in holiness of life, and poor in all spiritual things. If such man is satisfied with such poorness, then he cannot receive any help and blessings from God; only if this person is aware that he or she is lacking in many ways, and needs the help and salvation of God, then he is blessed.
- Blessed are those who mourn
To mourn means “Blessed are those who are broken hearted for the difficulties of the world and for his personal sins.” In the Bible, we often see this kind of repenting sorrow. For example, the tax collector who went to the temple to pray beat his chest and said, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” The sinful woman washed the feet of the Lord with her tears. The prodigal son repented when he realized his sins and returned to his father to confess his sins and asked for his forgiveness. Blessed are these people who are willing to be broken for their sins. They will receive God’s forgiveness and comfort, and their spirits will be set free.
- Blessed are the meek
Meek means “Blessed are those who get angry at the right time and never get angry at the wrong time.” A meek person never complains or argues, even if he or she is subjected to unreasonable, injustice and all kinds of uncomfortable things. Those who are meek are not willing to feel resentment and revenge, but rather suffer losses themselves. They are patient, tolerant to the wicked, repay grievances with virtue, and respond to anger with gentle words. Jesus said: Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
Hunger and thirst in Greek means “I am thirsty due to lack of water.” This means “Blessed are those who desire all righteousness just as hungry people desire food.” Everyone has desires. Some people are hungry for fame, some thirsty for power, others are thirsty for love, and there are also some who love blindly. But what Christians desire is justice. Righteousness is the attribute of God to show the holiness of God. So hunger and thirst for righteousness means eager to be like God and to please Him.
- Blessed are the merciful
The word “merciful” not only expresses sympathy for a person on the surface or sad over others’ problems, but penetrates into the depths of a person’s heart. Therefore, “Blessed are those who enter into the depths of people’s hearts, observe with others’ eyes, think with others’ insights, and feel with others’ feelings.” Christians should have mercy towards others. Merciful is not only about inner feelings, but more so in action, especially during this pandemic, many people are suffering from different kinds of pain. If you are able, you can do your best to experience and to help those people who are in need spiritually, financially, or materially.
- Blessed are the pure in heart
Pure in heart originally means clean and honest, not hash, and not disguised.
It means “Blessed are people with absolutely pure motives, because everyone will have to meet God one day.” Every sin will stain the hearts of people. Therefore, if a person is to be truly pure, he or she must be pure entirely in thoughts, desires, and conscience, then his behavior can be right. Of course, man alone is absolutely impossible to achieve this— we need to rely on God’s power and gifts to achieve it. Therefore, we need to ask the Lord to keep our actions and minds clean and clear.
- Blessed are the peacemakers
Do not irritate others, do not have conflict with others, be in harmony, and be willing to be a peaceful person. The meaning is “Blessed are those who establish a good relationship between people.” Christ is the Prince of Peace. He brings three types of peace to the world. The first is the reconciliation of the relationship between man and God. The second is that Christ gave His disciples an inner peace that the world could not give. The third is that Christ brings peace to mankind. Christ’s job is to achieve peace, so He requires us as Christians to also be peacemakers and become children of peace.
- Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness” means “blessed are those who suffer for Christ.” Jesus once told His disciples that they would suffer persecution by others because they followed the Lord and adhered to His teachings. But such people who suffer for the gospel of Christ are blessed. Blessed are people who sincerely do God’s will, please Him in all aspects, and live a devout life in Christ, but are misunderstood and persecuted by others.
The Chinese always says: have blessings, have blessings. The Chinese word blessing is “fu”, add a “qi” (as a verb) after the word blessing, which means people will suffer from unfair treatments such as “insults” while being blessed. So blessings and “insults” or ‘fu qi’ is connected.
Prayer: Lord! Please let me not treasure the blessings of the world, because these blessing are not usually realized, or easily lost. Please let me take up the yoke of Jesus Christ and learn from Christ, learn from His gentleness and be humble, so that my soul may find rest in You, and receive the blessings that You want us to receive in the beatitudes. Sincerely pray in the name of Jesus. Amen!