This is the final installment in an eleven-part series on the Beatitudes.
Each part features a hymn to a familiar tune.
Do you want to better understand the Beatitudes, or any of the Bible’s teachings, for that matter? Look at the life of Jesus. The Beatitudes are describing Him. He is the fullness of the person they are recommending. He is the way to the Father, the truth about the Father, and the life of the Father made human flesh (John 14:6).
He is thoroughly pleasing to His Father. At His baptism, the Father spoke from heaven:
This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased. (Matthew 3:17, NASB)
At the transfiguration, as Jesus was about to be rejected, humiliated, tortured, and murdered by the Jewish leaders, the Father repeated virtually the same words of glowing approval.
The Apostle Paul, having described Jesus’ humble obedience, even to the point of death, phrased the Father’s pleasure and blessing this way:
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11, NIV)
Jesus’ life is the life most fully blessed by the Father. To understand the Beatitudes, look to Him.
He was poor in spirit. He had emptied Himself of all His own power and glory. He made Himself completely dependent on His Father for every word and every action. Though Lord of all, at His death He owned absolutely nothing. His only possessions, the clothes on His back, were divided by the soldiers as He died. Yet truly the entirely kingdom of God was His.
He wept with the other mourners at Lazarus’ death, and He wept over unrepentant Jerusalem. Though already full of righteousness and pure in heart, pleasing His Father was His food and focus and constant passion.
He was meek, and He was merciful. He spoke one-on-one with people from all walks of life, including the very lowest levels of society, and He always showed each individual dignity and respect. He forgave the worst of them, even His enemies as they were torturing and killing Him.
Though He was persecuted, pressured, and pursued most of His public life, He constantly lived God’s peace and spoke God’s peace. In the face of Jewish leaders intent on His execution and an angry mob calling for His life, He remained silent and calm. He never defended Himself, speaking only to faithfully witness to the truth.
Jesus is the life blessed by our Father. Embrace Him. Exalt Him. Desire Him. Follow Him. Be filled and led by His Spirit.
Above all else in this world, seek a close relationship with Jesus Christ.