Summary of 8 Sermons on the Beatitudes

By Nate Wilson for Christ the Redeemer Church


5:1 And when He saw the crowds, He went up to the mountain,

      and when He sat down, his disciples came up to Him.

5:2 And when He opened His mouth, He began teaching them, saying,

5:3 “Blessed are the ones who are lowly in spirit,

            because the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

5:4 “Blessed are the ones who mourn,

            because it is they who will be comforted.

5:5 “Blessed are the meek,

            because it is they who will inherit the earth.”

5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for it is they who will be satisfied.

5:7 Blessed are those who show mercy, bor it is they who will receive mercy.

5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God

5:9 Blessed are the peace-makers, for it is they who will be called the sons of God.

5:10. Blessed are those who have been hunted down for the sake of righteousness,

            because the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

1. Blessed are the poor (πτωχοι) in spirit (v.3)

A) Thayer Definition: From ptosso (to crouch)… 1) reduced to beggary… asking alms  2) des­titute of wealth, influence, position… lowly, afflicted… helpless, powerless… poor, needy
My summary: Lowly/poor

B) Ptwkos in 87 OT LXX passages + 27 NT:

1.      Many exhortations to the rich and powerful in the OT & NT to treat the poor with kindness, justice, and generosity.

2.      But what kind of blessings are there for those who are poor? The theme of scripture concerning the poor is that they are in the right place

-          to ask God for deliverance

-          and to experience His marvelous provision,

-          His tyranny-demolishing justice,

-          and His merciful salvation.

C) Qualification: “in spirit”

·         Not all poor people, but only those poor “in spirit.”

·         I take this as recognizing spiritual poverty and being humble before God, and the third beatitude as having more to do with humility in regard to other people.

·         CAL: “in spirit” means not railing against God during misery;
 not proudly stoic or comparing self with lesser men,
but internally submitted to God, humble, and prostrate.

D) This is first of all a characteristic of our Lord:

1)      2Cor 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor*, so that you through His poverty might become rich.

2)      Philippians 2:8 He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death by crucifixion.

3)      We are called to take on the attitude of our Lord

Beatitude #2 – Blessed are those who mourn (πενθουντες) (v.4)

A)    This mourning is related to spiritual poverty:

B)    Biblical instances:

1)      Over the death of a loved one:

2)      Over the consequences of sin, God’s terrible punishment

3)      Over the rebellion and sin of other people:

C)    This also is a character trait shown by our Lord which we imitate:

1)      (Isa 53:3) a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief

2)      Jesus wept (John 11:35)

3)      To join in mourning over sin is to distance ourselves from rebellion against God and align with Him in grieving over the same things He finds grievious.

#3 Blessed are the meek/gentle

A)    JFB: Lowly and gentle carriage… opposite of high-mindedness and a quarrelsome and revengeful spirit

B)    Meekness is an attribute of our Lord which He wants His people to mirror:

o       Zec 9:9 /Mat 21:4-5  This [triumphal entry of Jesus] took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: "say to the daughter of Zion, 'Behold your king is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.'"

o       Mat 11:29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

C)    Biblical usage of this word:

1.      Meekness typifies those who are saved by God:

2.      Meekness is a fruit of the Spirit and a characteristic of a Godly life

3.      Meekness is necessary to successfully confront sin in others:

#4 Blessed those who hunger & thirst for righteousness (Mt 5:6)

A)    Peinw is the word used of Jesus back in chapter 4 of Matthew to describe how hungry He was after fasting for 40 days in the wilderness (Matthew 4:2/Lk 4:2),
and how thirsty He was after He was hung up on the cross (John 19:28)

B)    FIGURATIVE: Although Jesus’ blessing can be considered literally for those who are literally hungry and thirsty because they have been denied justice and righteousness, it is also used figuratively, as in they have a craving for God’s righteousness:

o       Psa 42:2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?

o       John 6:35  Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger*, and he who believes in Me will never  thirst*… John 7:37  Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty*, let him come to Me and drink.

C)    So what exactly is this righteousness which we would be blessed to hunger and thirst after?

o       God’s character defines righteousness. He is righteous: Father, Son & Holy Spirit.

o       God has defined righteousness in His word, especially in the law, & Righteousness is also equated with “keep[ing] the way of the Lord” (Genesis 18:19)

o       Man is not righteous. He has to get righteousness from God, from outside himself.
2 Corinthians 5:21  He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness* of God in Him.

·         The first place this word occurs in the Bible is Genesis 15:6 “Then he [Abraham] believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.” This statement is repeated six more times throughout the old and New Testaments: Psalms 106:31, Romans 4:3,9,22 Gal 3:6, James 2:23. From the beginning to the end of Scripture, righteousness is believing in the Lord.

·         Philippians 3:9  and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness* of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness* which comes from God on the basis of faith,


·         Righteous People will declare God’s righteousness in salvation to others

#5  Blessed are the ones who show mercy, for it is to them that mercy will be shown. (Matthew 5:7)

God is merciful

A. Seek God’s mercy

B. Show mercy

1.      Is there anyone who has done you wrong that you can forgive? This is showing mercy.

2.      Is there anyone you know who is miserable and whose suffering could be alleviated if you were to share with them something you have? Show mercy.

3.      In your personal finances, do you regularly give to the church and other organizations that help the needy? That is showing mercy.

4.      And do you compassionately share with people about God’s merciful salvation accom­plished through Jesus? This is showing mercy regarding spiritual misery & poverty.

C. Be merciful for the right reason

1.      As Christians, our motivation for showing mercy to other people is NOT so that those other people will be nice to us

2.      It is also NOT in order to earn mercy from God: Tit 3:5  He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,

3.      Rather we should be merciful to show gratitude to God for having already shown us mercy: Eph 4:32-5:1 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.

#6  Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God (Mt 5:8)

New Testament use of the word “pure”

1) Inward right attitudes as well as outward right actions:

2) Jesus’ words create this cleanliness: John 15:3  “You are already clean* because of the word which I have spoken to you.” (cf. Eph 5:26)

3) Includes clean conscience, neither guilty of wrongdoing nor of neglect to do what is right


#7 Blessed are the peacemakers… Mat 5:9

o       Col 1:19-20 “For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him [Jesus], and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross...”
Once again, we see the character qualities Jesus calls out in His followers are His charact­eristics to begin with. He Himself was a peacemaker, and He calls us to be peacemakers.

Related to the verb eireneuw, which occurs 11x in the Greek Bible

o       Indicating political peace with surrounding nations either through conquest or through treaty

o       Indicating peace with God in the book of Job:

o       And indicating interpersonal peace in the New Testament:

§         Between Christians of different denominations: Mark 9:50b "…Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another." [Jesus’ disciples trying to stop another believer from praying because that believer didn’t associate with them.]

§         Between Christians and their persecutors: Rom 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. [Don’t take vengeance on enemies.]

§         Regarding other people in your church congregation .2Cor 13:11 Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

§         Regarding those in church authority: 1Thess 5:13 and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.

·         This is not merely avoiding conflict but actively bringing reconciliation and peace where strife exists, patterning ourselves after Christ, our peacemaker.


In the first seven beatitudes, we have seven characteristics of the followers of Christ, and Every follower of Christ who lives out these characteristics will experience backlash from the world which hates God and which hates God’s character reflected in us:

#8 - Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness (Mt. 5:10-12)

·         What it means to be persecuted– to pursue, to try to capture, chase down with the intent to take or keep for yourself.

·         According to Adam Clarke, it is also a forensic term, and signifies legal persecutions and public accusations.

·         Jesus was persecuted by the Jews, and He prepared his disciples to be persecuted as He had been: Mt. 5:44  love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you

The Blessing is not money or fame or anything you’d expect from a human standpoint.
The blessing is the relationship with God; it is God Himself.

1. “Because the kingdom of heaven is theirs”

o       The is the language of relationship, that of a citizen to his or her king.

o       The blessings of being under Jesus’ loving governance as king come as we acknowledge Him to be our Lord.

2. …They shall be comforted (παρακληθήσονται)

o       Parakalew - Thayer Definition: 1) to call to one’s side

o       This indicates not the numbing comfort of a drug, but the personal comfort of companionship.

3. …They will inherit the earth (τι αὐτοὶ κληρονομήσουσι τὴν γῆν)

-          Promised in Psalm 37:9 those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land

-          N.T. switches from “Land” to “Eternal life” & “the Kingdom”: Heb 6:12ff (so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit* the promises.) speaks of Abraham who was given a promised land, then calls us to be imitators of him so that we also inherit the promises. Together with the clear indication in Heb. 11 that the O.T. saints did not gain a lasting earthly possession of land but looked to an eternal place in heaven, it appears that the promise of a land to the O.T. believers symbolized a heavenly inheritance, Thus Jesus, in the N.T., switches from a focus on a land inheritance in this earth to a heavenly inheritance of eternal life in the kingdom of God:

4. …They will be pastured/filled/satisfied (χορτάζω)

·         literally “put out to pasture” or invited to take whatever produce you want from a garden

·         once again describing a personal relationship where God will provide our needs.

·         This of course is fulfilled to a certain extent in our earthly lives, but in heaven will receive it’s perfect fulfillment.

5. …They shall be shown mercy

6. …They shall see God

7. … they shall be called sons of God.

·         1Jn 3:1 “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are…”

o       Even here, there is both present “such we are” and future “that we might be called”

o       “…will be called the sons of God” just looks out to the future point in the last day when God himself will publicly declare us to be his beloved children (Rom. 8:23; 1 John 3:2)

·         God pours His blessing out upon His people and they are blessed. As blessed people they live out the characteristics of blessing in the midst of an imperfect world and demonstrate their relationship to God as His blessed people. Then at the fulfillment of time, God’s people will be formally recognized and completed in glory and blessing.