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The beatitudes are "blessed sayings" Matthew 5:3-12. Here Jesus states these blessings, each beginning with the phrase, "Blessed are". Each saying speaks of a real and enduring happiness that results from what most would consider negative or undesirable conditions of life. For example; happy are the poor, those who mourn, those who are weak, along with those who hunger and thirst and those who are wrongly accused and persecuted. Just the opposite of that which most preachers today would espouse. Here what seems to be negative is the greatest positive known to man. As is always the case Jesus is our role model and our master teacher who will show us the way.
The word beatitude comes from the Latin beatitudo, meaning "blessedness." The phrase "blessed are" in each beatitude implies a current state of happiness or well-being. "Makarios" in the Koine Greek autograph of the New Testament takes its meaning from Greek mythology a term describing the greatest happiness possible which belonged only to the gods on Mt. Olympus...whose happiness was made perfect by a nectar called Ambrosia reserved only for the gods, which evoked "divine joy and perfect happiness". This was understood by the people of Christ's day. In other words, Jesus was saying "divinely happy and fortunate are those who possess these inward qualities."
Though it would seem such pronouncements of happiness impossible for poor, sad, hungry, persecuted, hated and excluded people, the result would be a happiness guaranteed by the Lord Himself a sharing of His very own happiness.
While giving pronouncement of unprecedented happiness in time all of them likewise are associated with an even greater blessedness; that of their eternal reward.
The beatitudes introduce and set the tone for Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) by emphasizing the humble state of humans and the righteousness of God. Each beatitude depicts the ideal heart condition of a citizen of God’s kingdom. In this idyllic state, the believer experiences abundant spiritual blessings but not as one would naturally expect.
Please join us in studying these sayings that promise to bring all who will learn from Jesus into a state of blessedness and happiness not possible by any formula the world has to offer.
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