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The Beatitudes Essay

2089 words - 9 pages

Mathew 5:3-16
Mat 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Mat 5:5 “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Mat 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Mat 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
Mat 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Mat 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Mat 5:10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:11 “Blessed are you when people revile you and ...view middle of the document...

There are a number of words which stand out as being reparative with “Blessed” being the one most dominant. Some would suggest that blessed means fortunate or happy in a sense that all will go well for those who live for God, this not being entirely correct as it fails to include the religious context, which should be closely linked with the promise enumerating the blessing and is thus best translated as “God blesses” (Osborne 2010) which means fundamentally, to be approved of or to find approval, hence when God blesses, he is approving (Carson 1978). Augsburger (1982) suggests that the word “blessed” or the “supreme blessedness” incorporates the meaning of wholeness and of an holistic peace expressed by the Hebrew word shalom.

There is an exchange between God and man a give and take or rather a cause and effect, Jesus teaches that those who follow these laws (cause) will be blessed (approved by God the effect) and be given rewards (effect) for their obedience (cause) to Him. The list of rewards ranging from the Kingdom of heaven, inheriting the earth, receiving mercy, seeing God and being called the children of God.

There is a definite distinction between the use of the words “are the” and “are those” with “are you” the emphasis being on “you” The “you” directed directly at the disciples (Jackman & Philip 2009) for they are the ones who go out and proclaim the new kingdom is at hand and will be persecuted for doing so.

Mat 5:6 suggests that those who search for righteousness will be filled but there is a distinct possibility those who are righteous will be persecuted as suggested in Mat 5:10. Jesus compares the disciples to the prophets who had come before them, to serve as warning that they too would be persecuted as the prophets had. To be compared to the prophets would have been a great honour. The disciples are then compared to the salt of the earth and to the light of the world, two metaphors used by Jesus to distinguish between the general followers and the disciples for they are to be an example of how the life in His new kingdom is to be lived and to not hide the fact they are followers of Jesus. He does however utter a warning “if the salt has lost its taste, it is good for nothing, but to be thrown out to be trampled underfoot” a suggestion that if we are to turn away from God the same will happen to us.

The use of the verb “they will” indicates an action in the future, in this instance suggesting a promise from God. The word “for” the conjunction between the “cause” and the “effect” in the first eight beatitudes is fairly dominant only to be used on two further occasions in Mat 5:12 and Mat 5:13. The conjunction “but” also seems to precede two negative actions on two occasions in Mat 5:13 (has lost and thrown out).

To summarise my observations on Mat 5:3-16 it could be said that those of us who humbly submit ourselves entirely to our God the Father, obey the teachings of His Son Jesus Christ and be filled with...

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