Today we continue unpacking the final four Beatitudes. Just to remind you that these Beatitudes build upon each other and have deeper meaning than you have probably ever be taught. Don’t rush through these, they are each so rich, they should be digested slowly.
- Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy:
This Beatitude of mercy is not simply referring to compassion or sympathy. It is much more than that. To extend the mercy of God is a deliberate response. Once extended, usually more mercy flows.
The religious leaders during Jesus’ day were quick to do good services and to want the praise of men for them, but their hearts the full of self-righteousness and not tender to the people. Mercy triumphs over judgment. The ultimate mercy was God’s sacrifice of His Son.
- Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God:
What do you think of when you hear the word “pure?” Do you think it means to be naïve? Simple? Without blemish? To be “pure” means to be “innocent.” This pureness represents a lifestyle. Innocent people are morally upright. But a different motivation also marks them.
The motivation is to be obsessed and controlled by God. If we are controlled by this inner fountain, it will feed our deeds and our words. So those that are pure in heart have had their debt paid by God; they will surely see Him. And they also see things as God sees them.
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the Sons of God:
God supplies an inner peace. This comes when we have peace with God, which requires the highest intimacy with Him. Peacemakers have total wellbeing. They want more than an end to a conflict; they desire healing among the people, for the people to be reconciled. These are active verbs, not passive ones that we commonly associate with being a “peacemaker.”
This Beatitude is not suggesting one to be quiet and to sidestep confrontation or to be passive. A peacemaker seeks reconciliation at any cost. The honorable title Sons of God is not gender-specific. It goes beyond personal identification and acknowledges publicly ones relationship to the Lord. Anyone listening to Jesus say that they would be called Sons of God would perk their ears. A name was everything back in this time. People were connected with the business of their fathers and his reputation became theirs. To be connected to God, and furthermore, to be called His son, to inherit His kingdom, would have hit the people in their heart and elevate their self-worth.
- Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven:
Those who are persecuted for their faith have climbed to the highest rung of Beatitudes. With this Beatitude, we have come full circle and swung back around to the first blessing! If I were to make a graph of the Beatitudes, I would make it circular, coming around from one Beatitude to another all the way back to the first one. What an example of the paradoxes of God!
Here are three types of persecutions: 1) reviling, which is based on reproach and insult; 2) saying all kinds of evil falsely, which is lying and defamation; 3) pursuing, which is to seek after and punish.
Persecution, coming in many ways, in its strongest form would cost us our lives. But depending on the level of the persecution, we can relate to the suffering of Christ and His death on the cross. Jesus did not discuss vindication on the cross, but He did mention rewards awaiting the persecuted. For sure, if you become more and more like your Savior, you will offend. The risk is persecution. The world wants us to take the path of least resistance.
I realize we have flown through these Beatitudes. I encourage you to study further on your own. As we are all at different stages, we will all be challenged in different areas with these. Concentrate on the ones that struck you so you can move forward with determination.
Written by Jori Sams
Jori Sams is a Christian author and freelance writer with nearly 2000 published pieces on the Internet, with over 1500 being published by Yahoo. Her books are published through Writeious Books. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her following the sun…