Tag: Beatitudes

Praying for Authority

When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. (Matthew 7:28-29)  Let’s begin our week where the Sermon on the Mount ends. In these early days of Jesus’ ministry, the crowd reaction was amazement. …

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Praying to Make Peace

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:9) One of the reasons Jesus came to earth was to make millions of these. When people step out of God’s plan to try to be their own god, or try to be a god to others, there is no end to the …

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Praying to See God

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. (Matthew 5:8) Purity is something we don’t talk about much because we think it’s impossible, which of course makes it less possible.  What does Jesus mean by “pure in heart”?  Here’s my guess.  First thing we need to remember is that when Jesus talks about …

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Praying to Enjoy God’s Mercy

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. (Matthew 5:7) Here we see Jesus saying for the first time what he says throughout his teachings: if you want to be forgiven, you should forgive others.  The Jewish idea of mercy/forgiveness was to get right inside the other person and see issues from their point …

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Praying to be Starving to do Right

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. (Matthew 5:6) I have worked in some ethically challenging environments, and this is a lesson from Jesus I learned too late.  A simple way to define “righteousness” is: doing the right thing.  I’ve read that the Greek words for “hunger” and “thirst” …

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Praying for Self Control 

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5) When I learn about this verse from all my favorite commentators, it seems Jesus’ original mean was not just lost in translation — it was deported!  The word meek in this verse portrays the idea of weakness– “meek” usually goes along with “mild” in …

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Praying for Comfort

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:4) You’ve come to the right place for a comment on this Beatitude.  Again Jesus hits us with contrast: to be blessed when you mourn.  Mourning in my opinion feels like the opposite of blessing.  What’s Jesus driving at?  First, I think Jesus is saying …

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Praying for the Proper Spirit

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.  He said:  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:1-3) One thing that makes life interesting is contrast.  Jesus loved contrast — maybe …

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Called to be Salt: Is Christian Education Engaging or Abandoning the Mission Field?

In Matthew 5, Jesus delivers the Sermon on the Mount calling Christians to be salt and light to the world. Salt, an ancient world preservative, must be worked in to food to be truly effective, remaining an individual compound but aggressively involved in the decaying matter. In his message, Pastor John Lee asks, “are our …

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