Saturday, October 31, 2015

Jesus' Meaning in the Beatitudes, Part III

This is the last part in my series on Jesus' teachings of the Beatitudes.

Matthew 5:9 NIV reads, Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God.

The term peacemaker is from the Greek word aranopois which means those who embrace or love peace. That's pretty straight forward.  The term "children of God" merely means a son or decendent.

Jesus tirelessly teaches the importance of living peacefully. Throughout his ministry he urged us to seek peaceful solutions. Whenver we use force or violence to solve our differences it only leads to more strife. We've heard the term, "like father like son."  If we adapt this peaceful way of co-existing with each other we verify that we are most definitely like our heavenly Father.

Verse 10. Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake or righteouness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Persecuted comes from the Greek word deoko meaning persecuted or mistreated on account of something.

The word righteouness was explained in my study of verse 6 and is the same meaning -- that of being approved by God and it has to do with purity, rightness, integrity and virtue.

The term "heaven" can refer to the sky but it can also refer to the place where God dwells.

This verse means that if we undergo persecution for teaching God's message then we are a citizen in God's kingdom. So when you weather such torments (either physical or mental) hold on to this sure knowledge that no one can take away your spritiual standing and place with the King.

Verrse 11. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

God loves us and is proud of us when we are unjustly accused of wrong doings or not speaking the truth. It doesn't go unnoticed by him.

Verse. 12.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven for in the same way the persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Don't dwell on these unjustices, In fact, be thankful.  That fact that you are being treated this way means that your message (Jesus' message) is having an impact and you are in good company. People didn't listen to the words of the prophets either and they were direct messengers of God. In the end you will have a greater reward so hold on to that treasure in heaven.

One thing I always wondered when studying the Beattitudes is why Jesus changed up his takeaway at the end of each verse. Sometimes he says, we will be the children of God. Sometimes he says we will inherit the kingdom of heaven. Nearly every statement has a slightly different end reward. Why is that?

My theory is that Jesus varied what he said to state nearly the same concept in different ways so that people grasped it better. Just as he taught the parables on the same subject matter with different illustrations, he changes up the takeaway for much the same reason.

In each circumstance he wants us to know that God understands the challenges and suffering we endure and they they don't go unheeded. Jesus' teaching in the beattitudes illuminates a peaceful kingdom, one where the underdog and down trodden are valued. We are challenged to mirror our lives based on Jesus' teachings. When we do, even when life gets us down, we can hold on to this truth, the suffering is only temporary.  There is a just and loving King who welcomes us into His spiritual kingdom and will balance out all the injustice in the end.

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