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What are the Beatitudes in the Bible? Jesus' Scripture Quotes and Meaning

Brannon Deibert

What are the Beatitudes in the Bible? Jesus' Scripture Quotes and Meaning

The Beatitudes were a series of blessings declared by Jesus during His "Sermon on the Mount" found in the Gospels of Matthew. In contrast to the 10 Commandments given to Moses, Jesus gives the Beatitudes in a positive spirit, listing the values in life which will lead to prosperity and salvation. Discover the significance and meaning of the Beatitudes from Jesus in the videos and scripture quotes below!

The Eight Beatitudes of Jesus - Matthew 5:3-10

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

"Poor in spirit" signifies to be humble. Humility is the understanding that all your blessings originate from the love of God. Humility brings openness and inner peace, enabling one to do the will of God. Those who humble themselves are able to admit our fragile nature, to repent, and to permit the love of God to guide us to reformation. 

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Mourning in this meaning is declared a blessing because to mourn our sinful nature produces in us an intention to renew ourselves and to follow the way of God in righteousness. Furthermore, mourning implies the love for people in our lives and will be comforted by the grace of God.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

A person that is meek is one that manifests self-control. We are encouraged to be meek in the light of the Lord, and not oppose but be faithful to him. Submission to the will of God can be difficult and tiresome but it will bring peace and tranquility in this world and in the next.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

A perpetual appetite for virtue and justice will guide us to the attainment of that desire - a development and reformation to righteousness.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

"Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful" (Luke 6:36). Mercy is the benevolent nature towards those who suffer. Love, empathy, and mercy towards a family member or neighbor will bring peace in your relationships.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

To be pure of heart means to be free of all selfish purposes and self-seeking motives. Jesus was the ultimate example of this as He sacrificed his own life for the redemption and salvation of mankind.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Peacemakers not only manifest peaceful lives but also work to share peace and friendship with others and to cultivate peace between God and man. However, we cannot give others what we do not possess and must strive to achieve peace within ourselves.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The biblical passage extends to say: "Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you" (Matthew 5:11-12). Jesus said many times that those who follow Him will be persecuted. "If they persecute me, they will persecute you" (John 15:20-21). The importance of this Beatitude is that even if we are wrongfully persecuted for belief or devotion to God, we shall be blessed eternally in the Kingdom of Heaven. 

The Significance of the Beatitudes

Discover what makes the Beatitudes of Jesus truly significant, explained by Bryon Yawn in the video below!

(The following is a transcription of the video above)

"Most of us approached the Beatitudes as if there's some sort of platitudinal phraseology and principles on how to live life. I mean that's usually how they're approached, but that is very far removed from what they actually are. These are like laser-guided bombs in the culture that Jesus was preaching to. I mean, these quips, these statements, these things that we've come to recite in the flannel board of our youth are devastating statements that turn Jesus culture on its ear completely. It is not what they expected to hear it. It takes aim at all of these prized dispositions and virtues and they're worldview. They didn't expect this to come out of Jesus' mouth and wherever Jesus went, He preached these. These aren't platitudinal. I mean, these are detonated on the culture.

I'll give you an example. Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of God. That's not what they expected to come before theirs is the kingdom of God. What they expected to hear it was, "You're Abraham, therefore yours is the kingdom of God." What Jesus said was, "Blessed are the poor in spirit." Well, they believed in self-righteousness because of who they were. Jesus says, "No, it's actually the broken people, those who recognize their need for God, the poor in spirit, people who are spiritual beggars inherit the kingdom." He didn't say, Abraham. He didn't say the descendants of Abraham, and He didn't say Jews, and He didn't say Pharisees. He didn't say, good people. He didn't say, moral people. He said, broken people. Those are the ones that inherit the kingdom of God.

So Jesus' audience is sitting there having learned what they've learned from their tradition, and Jesus drops this grenade and it touches every nerve in the audience because every single one of them underneath the facade of their life realize they actually are poor in spirit. And so He turns the thing upside down.

They realize, as the Bible will go on to explain, that they need a righteousness which is much greater than their own, which is exactly what Jesus says in Matthew chapter five unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. Basically what He said was, "You're not getting in in your own righteousness."

And so the Beatitudes go through and they just throw off all of these misunderstandings about what constitutes a devotion to God and what man truly needs. It is the Beatitudes, which ultimately get Jesus killed as He explains them in every possible way that He can as they flow. That is their principle and core meeting through all of His teaching and put Him on the cross, and save those by His death who are poor in spirit."

Originally published February 11, 2019.