A Beatitudes Kind of Life

Ann Spangler
Ann Spangler
2019 20 Mar

An image of the sun rising over a field of red poppies.

If you want to know what holiness looks like, take a look at the picture Jesus paints in the beatitudes. In case you’re wondering, let me explain that the English word “beatitude” means “blessedness” and comes from the Latin word beatitudo. Found in Matthew 5:3-12, each of the beatitudes begins with words that are often translated “Blessed are.”  And who precisely are blessed?

It’s not the rich, the well fed, or the successful as we might think but those who are poor in spirit, those who mourn, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. The list that Jesus presents in the Sermon on the Mount turns our ideas of blessing upside down, revealing a God who cherishes a heart that is shaped like his.

John Stott has said that:

“No comment could be more hurtful to the Christian than the words ‘But you are no different from anybody else.’ For the essential theme of the whole Bible from beginning to end is that God’s historical purpose is to call out a people for himself. This people is a ‘holy’ people, set apart from the world to belong to him and to obey him; its vocation is to be true to its identity, that is, to be ‘holy’ or ‘different’ in all its outlook and behavior.”

The beatitudes represent a different kind of life, the life of the person who is transformed by Christ, the one who has made his peace with a holy God.

God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are humble,
for they will inherit the whole earth.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,
for they will be satisfied.
God blesses those who are merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace,
for they will be called the children of God.
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you

and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers.
Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven.

Matthew 5:3-12