Matthew 5:1-7 The Blessed CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
During Jesus’ ministry, he preached to the Jews about their gospel of the kingdom, Matt 4:23. This passage, from Matthew 5 to Matthew 7, is Jesus’ teaching on their conduct under this gospel. He was not preaching to Christians, so there is no real doctrinal application to Christians in these chapters. You will find some spiritual application. But the doctrine is all Jewish, pertaining to the gospel of the kingdom. This is the beginning of a message from their king.
According to the King of the Jews, the blessed are:
1. Poor in spirit – Ps 34:18; Is 66:2. These were people who were contrite and brokenhearted because they were under Roman authority and the authority of Pharisees who were not obeying the law (Matt 23:2-4). Their spirit would not revive and rejoice until they were with their king and their enemies had been destroyed (Ps 149:2-9). Consequently, they were promised the kingdom of heaven.
The Pharisees, by contrast, were not contrite; rather, they were proud. They feared that if they did not kill Jesus, the Romans would take away their place and their nation (Jn 11:48). Therefore, they actually lost the kingdom (Matt 21:43).
2. Mournful – Is 57:18; Is 61:2-3. Until the Jews that sought for their king were actually with their king, and the nations that had oppressed them were overthrown, some of the Jews mourned. Therefore, they were promised comfort from their king.
The Pharisees, by contrast, had eased their lives so they wouldn’t have to mourn (Matt 23:3-4). Consequently, they will mourn in eternity forever (Matt 8:12).
3. Meek – Zeph 2:3. A Jew who was meek would have put himself under the authority of God’s words and would have been seeking the Lord. As a result, he would inherit the earth (Ps 37:11) when his Lord became the ruling king of the world (Rev. 11:15; Rev. 19:16).
The Pharisees, by contrast, were not meek and had established their own authority in the tradition of the elders (Mk 7:5-13). As a result, they lost their inheritance. Jerusalem was destroyed (Matt 23:37-38) and they went to hell (Matt 23:33).
4. Hungry and thirsty for righteousness – Jn 6:35. These Jews knew that they didn’t have righteousness and they wanted it so badly, they could taste it. Hence, they found Jesus, who satisfied their hunger and their thirst so much that they had rivers of living water flowing out of their belly (Jn 7:38-39). Indeed, they were filled (Acts 4:31).
The Pharisees, by contrast, established their own righteousness (Rom 10:3-4). Thus, they were not filled; they couldn’t even get a drop of water (Lk 16:24).
5. Merciful – James 2:12-13; Ps 18:25. The law of mercy in the kingdom of heaven is simple. You grant mercy and you receive mercy. You withhold mercy and you get judgment. The blessed were merciful and, thus, they received mercy.
The Pharisees, by contrast, had no mercy. Therefore, mercy was withheld from them (Matt 23:34-35; Matt 24:2). They received judgment, instead.