Tag Archive for Matthew 5:1-12

The Beatitudes Describe Jesus

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.

Listen…and sing if you want:
Hymn: Lord, Life Becomes More Simple
Printed Music & Lyrics



This is the second of an eleven-part series on the Beatitudes.
Each part features a hymn to a familiar tune.

Jesus spent His entire ministry here teaching and demonstrating a new relationship with our heavenly Father. Life could be full and complete by simply, actively trusting Him. These teachings are especially concentrated in Matthew, chapters 5, 6, and 7, the passage we call the Sermon on the Mount.

Jesus begins His description of this new life by summarizing God’s recipe for success. This recipe is called the Beatitudes. Here He pronounces God’s blessing on eight character traits. He says that God has decreed the eternal well-being of people who possess these qualities.

But like much of the Sermon on the Mount, the list is surprising, even shocking. Human society tends to prize people who are strong, assertive, and confident, people who provide themselves and others with the physical goods, security, and pleasure.

Jesus’ recipe for success is completely different. Realize that only He has experienced both life on this earth and eternal life in heaven. Only He has a complete perspective on what is best. And He says that the person who is truly blessed by our Creator is poor in spirit, meek, merciful and pure in heart. That person mourns, desires righteousness above all else, makes peace, and gladly suffers persecution for obeying God.

What unexpected keys to success! None of these qualities are strength, skill, material goods, or human accomplishment. All these qualities flow naturally from trusting and loving God.

These traits come with wonderful promises from our Father. He has decreed that all who show these qualities will be blessed with the Kingdom of heaven, their Father’s rich comfort, rulership of the entire earth, a complete rightness to life, mercy from God, the promise of seeing Him, and the glorious reality of living as His dearly-loved children.

All these blessings concern our inner, eternal person. None are simply material. All will outlast this world. Jesus, the only person with a total view of all of life, urges us to seek these gifts as our Creator’s greatest blessings.

Listen…and sing if you want:
Hymn: Beatitudes Hymn
Printed Music & Lyrics


Living in the Father’s Presence

This is the first of an eleven-part series on the Beatitudes.
Each part features a hymn to a familiar tune. 

We are needy creatures living in a material world. We need food, shelter, and clothing. To meet these needs, we work, we worry, we gather and grasp. And if we get more than we need for today, we hungrily store it away for the future.

By nature, we are self-centered, driven by desires of which we are only vaguely aware. We long to wrap ourselves in pleasure and security and the admiration of others. We crave glory and gold.

And so it goes. We live, we long, we scramble, and we die, with our hearts entwined with the physical world around us.

But our Creator made us for better things. He made us to be like Himself, to share the endless abundance of all He is. He designed us for love…for eternity. But when we turned away from Him so long ago, we lost sight of our birthright and our destiny. We degenerated into the fearful, selfish creatures that we are.

But our Creator didn’t abandon us. He sent His own divine Son as a human being like us, to show us Who He is and who we can be. He came to renew us in the full image of our holy and loving Creator. He came to teach us that this Creator is our Father, and that He longs to be our Father in a deeper and more personal sense. He wants us to realize that He is always with us. His loving eye focuses always on us. He wraps our entire existence in Himself.

Jesus Christ came to teach us and show us what it means to live in the presence of this Father who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving. He is already aware of our every need. And this Father requires of us only one thing: that we trust Him.

As we trust Him and live before Him, the logic of daily living is turned upside-down. With such a Father, trusting makes sense, not worry. Giving is logical, not grasping.  A close relationship with this Father is our highest good, our greatest security, and our deepest pleasure.

 Listen…and sing if you want:
Hymn: We Are Children
Printed Music & Lyrics