Ever since I was a young lad I have loved our Savior Jesus Christ. I went to Catholic school, Our Lady Help of Christians in East Orange, New Jersey between 1956 and 1964 (Kindergarten to 8th grade) – I loved the Nuns – they were Sisters of Charity – I never had any bad Nun stories, they loved us so much and I was so very happy being there learning of God loves for us.
One of the things we had to memorized were the “Beatitudes found in the 5th Chapter of Matthew. They are as follows:
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Each of the Beatitudes is beautiful and can stand on it own, we would be truly blessed – actually truly happy if we were to follow just one. Just think of how happy we would be if we were to keep two, or three or even all eight of them.
For the next eight weeks or so I would like to write about and discuss each one –
To start off with I’d like to determine just who his audience was at that time and what did they think after they were taught?
According to Matthew 5:1-2 When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying
From this I gather that Jesus and his disciple – the 12 apostles – were walking and crowds of people must have head that he was in the area. So when Jesus noticed them he and the 12 went up into the mountain to teach them.
In addition to that in Luke 6:17-49 Luke says a large crowd of disciples and a great throng of people were attendance.
Bottom line – Jesus taught the beatitudes to all people – they are meant for people in all times and all places – we have no excuse for saying it was a different time – It was just as rough as we have now.
What did the people think – well at the and of the sermon they mentioned that people were amazed because he taught with authority. Maybe they were so use to preachers teaching their own version of the Law and the Prophets – however, Jesus took it so much further – something people could relate with. The Beatitudes presented a new set of Christian ideals that focus on love and humility rather than force and exaction.