Sermon on the Mount - The Beatitudes

Summary from FORGE: Building Godly Men, Tuesday, Feb 17, 2016

Background:
The sermon on the Mount was given on a hillside in Capernaum, most likely over a few days. It was Jesus’ longest recorded sermon. Until this point in Matthew, Jesus’ words have been limited and general.

Main points:

  • Position, authority and money are not important. What is important is faithful obedience from the heart. Focus is internal and not external, and spiritual and moral rather than physical and political.
  • Jesus was speaking to Jews, of exactly the opposite of what they believed to be “blessed.” Blessed does not mean pleasure and prosperity. It means hope and joy, independent of outward experiences.
  • The Beatitudes are describing the traits Jesus is looking for in His followers. These are:
     - In contradiction to societal standards (popularity, fame, fortune, success) eternal reward
     - Create opposition
     - Found in Jesus
     - Life-changing
     - Not multiple choice
  • Jesus is Savior first, not teacher.

“If Jesus is teacher only, the all he can do is tantalize us by erecting a standards we cannot come anywhere near. But if being born again from above we know Him first as Savior, we know that He did not come to teach us only: He came to make us what He teaches we should be.” -Oswald Chambers

“The Christian life is not very hard, it’s impossible.” -Cory Hallett

The difference between “happy” and blessed
 * happy= subjective, temporary, dependent on fortune.
 * blessed= objective, permanent, depends on grace. (Peter Kreeft)

Per Mark Crumpler: Each of the beatitudes is an outrageous paradox. The apparent losers are the real winners. the apparent winners are the real losers. Most of the attributes Jesus identifies are not what we aspire to. Do we distance ourselves from knowing blessing by not aspiring to these? Each of the beatitudes is like an island in an archipelago, connected to each other below the surface. Each is an outcropping of the same massive undersea mountain.

“Jesus bases everything on God realization, while other teachers base everything on self-realization.” -Oswald Chambers

From William H. Cook’s Success, Motivation and the Scriptures:

Not self-control -> Christ-control
Not self-centeredness -> Christ-centeredness
Not self-esteem -> Christ-esteem
Not self-confidence -> Christ-confidence
Not self-power -> Christ-power
Not self-reliance -> Christ-reliance 
-William H. Cook: Success, Motivation and the Scriptures

Questions for Consideration

1. How do you define “blessed”?
 2. Which of the beatitudes do you find most challenging? Which do you least understand?
 3. How can our attitude more fully reflect the teachings of the Beatitudes? Which will you focus on this week