First Presbyterian Church
Raton, New Mexico

The Beatitudes

By Blu Murphy

The beatitudes can very often go unnoticed but they are very important for those of us who have made the decision to follow Christ. They should guide us, point us in the right direction, teach us, and show us the values that Jesus cares about. As we read them we should be looking at whether or not we are trying to follow them.

Chapters 5-7 in Mathew are known as the Sermon on the Mount, which took place on a hillside near Capernaum. It challenged the proud religious leaders of that time.

The Sermon on the Mount was Jesus’ longest sermon recorded in the Bible and he began by describing the characteristics he was looking for in his followers, which are the Beatitudes. He says that he blesses those who desire, develop and live out these characteristics. The best example of each characteristic is found in Jesus himself. And if our goal is to become like Jesus, applying the Beatitudes will challenge the way we live our lives.

The word BEATITUDE comes from the Latin word BEATUS, which means blessed. So we know straight away that this passage is about how God blesses his people.

Here are the Beatitudes:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 
"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 
"Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. 
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 
10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
11 "Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 
12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.