Taking a fresh look at some familiar verses, specifically, the first three of the Beatitudes. Let's take a peek at what the original hearers might have thought of when they first heard these words of Jesus.
Hello, everybody. Welcome to the Dona Watson Show. I'm your host, Dona Watson. I'm just an average American Patriot who loves God, her family, her country. I try really hard to listen to God's voice. Sometimes I write stuff. Come with me, together let's explore this crazy experience we call life. Welcome to the show.Speaker 2:
Hello everybody. Welcome to podcast number 12:"Blessed are the...Who?" Today I'm going to introduce a couple of the beatitudes. I was reading in Matthew the fifth chapter this morning. And I wanted to talk about the first three beatitudes that I found there. Matthew is an interesting writer because he wrote primarily to the Hebrews and as such, I always find it interesting that the students of the Old Testament and the Torah would have interpreted the words of Jesus very differently that they found in Matthew, differently than we typically do today, because they have a completely different base structure. When Matthew wrote his book, he presented Jesus as a new Moses who fulfilled a lot of the passages in the Old Testament. And this parallel is very poignant in the Sermon on the Mount. As he records, some of Christ's words, he recorded them as being phrased exactly the way they were written in the Old Testament. And this is particularly true in the beatitudes. So the first three beatitudes we find in Matthew five, three through five, the first one in verse three is:"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs." In the Old Testament, the poor and needy were typically those who cried out to for God's help. Those who depended entirely on him to fulfill their needs, who had a humble and a contrite spirit, who experienced his deliverance, and enjoyed his divine favor. That would have been their classical frame of mind for"poor and needy, poor in spirit." We can see a parallel passage in Psalm 86, verses one through four says,"Listen, Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Protect my life, for I am faithful. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you. Be gracious to me, Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant's life, because I appeal to you, Lord." When Christ spoke this beatitude, I'm sure that a lot of the, Old Testament scholars who heard him, would have thought of these verses that were very similar to what he was telling them. While the other beatitudes in verses four through nine are expressed in a future tense, it's also interesting that the affirmation that's presented here in verse three is presented in the present tense. He says,"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs." And by using this present tense, the word suggests that the kingdom had already arrived through the coming of Jesus. So this statement,"the kingdom of heaven is theirs" appears at the beginning and again, at the end of the beatitudes at verse 10. And that suggests that the promises in the beatitudes are for those who belong to the kingdom. Isaiah 61, one promised that the Messiah would bring good news to the poor and this beatitude serves as a fulfillment to that prophecy. Let's look at the second one in verse four. The second beatitude reads:"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." This beatitude also harkens back to Isaiah 61, verses one to three there reads:"He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted...to comfort all who mourn, to provide for those who mourn in Zion; to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, festive oil instead of mourning, and splendid clothes instead of despair.":
There's something here in this beatitude that I don't want us to miss. The passage isn't just talking about being sad. When we put it in the context of Isaiah 61, mourning is portrayed as an expression of Israel's sorrow over the exile their sins had caused. What Jesus is talking about in Matthew 5:4 is expressing grief as an attitude of repentance. The third beatitude also hearkens back to Isaiah 61. It reads:"Blessed are the humble for they will inherit the earth." That phrase,"they will inherit the earth," is the exact phrase used in the Greek translation of Isaiah 61:7. The very same words in the Old Testament,"inherit the earth," typically refers to inheriting the promised land of Canaan. But when we pair Matthew 5 with the Old Testament, most of Jesus's hearers probably would have recognized that his disciples represented a kind of new Israel that would inherit the land promised to Abraham. And in this context, inheriting the earth extends far beyond Palestine. It refers to living in a recreated earth over which Christ rules eternally. This beatitude also echoes Psalm 37:11. I love Psalm 37. In this verse, it's referring to the humble, who are those who trust in God, these are people who surrender to his authority, even when we can't make sense of our circumstance.Speaker 2:
So let's recap these three real quick.:
The first one: Blessed are the poor in spirit, the poor and needy. Those who cry out for God's help have the kingdom now, already in hand. How cool is that? Number two: Blessed are those who mourn, those who come to God in repentance, they will be comforted. And the third one: Blessed are the humble. Those who trust God and surrender to his will enjoy great eternal reward in the eternal kingdom. So next time, we're going to talk about a few of the other beatitudes, but for today, I'd like to wrap up with a couple of other verses from Psalm 37. I just think it, the theme goes along with these beatitudes so much, and this Psalm has really helped me through some really tough days, the past few years, just to read and ponder these comforting words. Um, let's look at Psalm 37:18 and 19 reads,"The Lord watches over the blameless all their days, and their inheritance will last forever. They will not be disgraced in times of adversity; they will be satisfied in days of hunger." Verses 23 and 24 read:"A person's steps are established by the Lord, and he takes pleasure in his way. Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, because the Lord supports him with his hand." And verse 28:"For the Lord loves justice and will not abandon his faithful ones. They are kept safe forever."Speaker 2:
That's all for today, guys. Kinda changing gears a little bit. Um, I hope you enjoyed this and I hope you enjoy the rest of your day. I hope God blesses you today. Remember, Jesus loves you and I do too. Until next time, talk to you later. Bye!