Follow by Email

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Are You Blessed?

Matthew 5, 6, & 7.  This is a scripture passage I have been contemplating and meditating on, for several months now.  It's one of those scriptures that keeps coming up in Bible studies, on the radio, is shared in conversations and then, randomly, His Spirit brings it to mind.  And Matthew is also this year's focus for Bible Study Fellowship. 

This portion of the Bible is most notably known as Christ's Sermon on the Mount.  The first 12 verses of chapter 5 are referred to as the Beatitudes.  


Jesus said:
“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 be shown 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 because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


11“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

I wanted a deeper understanding of the word beatitude/blessed, so I did some research.  The limitations of the English language will not allow for an accurate translation of the Greek word makarios or 'blessed' which means so much more than our English fortunate or happyMakarios has a much deeper meaning and one that is related to the condition of the soul and not based on our outward circumstances or conditions.  It is more deeply related to an inner joy and peace that only comes from a right relationship to God. 

I wonder, today, when we use the word "blessed" or "blessings" when speaking or writing to others, do we fully intend the deeper meaning or are we thinking more superficially and thinking more about physical blessings?

Apparently, the attitudes and actions Jesus describes as blessed or makarios (poor in spirit, mourn, meek, hunger and thirst for righteousness), are some, if not all, what we as God's children should be experiencing and emulating, especially if we want to experience the benefit of the blessings each brings.  Jesus does not mention asking for any of these things to be removed from our lives, which could be causing these attitudes and actions.  Nor does He promise He will remove them, but rather states when we experience them...we ARE blessed and exactly how we ARE blessed or makarios by each one.  Let me list for us the benefits/blessings/makarios Jesus mentions:

Yours is the Kingdom of Heaven

You will be comforted


You will inherit the earth

You will be filled

You will be shown mercy

You will see God


You will be called children of God

Yours is the Kingdom of Heaven

The above is how Jesus defines makarios, blessed!

I purposefully left the last one, verses 11 & 12, off the list above.  “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Once again, our Lord's perspective on markarios of the Christian's life seems to be in direct opposition to what most of us think it should be.  People insulting us and then saying all kinds of evil against us BECAUSE OF HIM, we should rejoice and be glad? 

He did not say we should feel offended.  He did not say we should become indignant.  He did not say we should demand our rights.  He did not say He would come to our aid and remove the evil and injustice being done to us.  He also did not say we should become prideful because of any of these things. 

What DID He say? 

"REJOICE AND BE GLAD!  BECAUSE YOU ARE MARKARIOS!" 




No comments:

Post a Comment