What Jesus Meant: The Beatitudes

“Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” – Those impoverished in body and soul are welcome in the dramatic reordering of world Jesus is undertaking.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” – The endemic sadness which defines our lives will no longer have dominion over our days.  We will not be alone in our brokenness.

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” – Those called weak, without a voice, who live and exist on the whims of the powerful will receive safety and sanctuary.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” – Those who see what others do not, they who fast for a vision of the kingdom’s realities made known for all God’s children; they will receive God’s abundance.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy” – The merciful are those whose mercy isn’t limited by time, money, geography, denomination, immigration status, race, color, sexual orientation, or creed. They will know mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” – We see with our hearts. If our hearts are blind we cannot see God working around us. God works through our hearts.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God” – Make peace with yourself and others. Do this and you will make peace with God. God is a peacemaking God.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” – No one is going to like you for doing these things. These ideas will make people uncomfortable.

“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you on my account” – When people accuse you of virtue signaling because you’re saying and doing these things, it’s going to be OK. In fact, be happy about it. It means you’re doing things right.

Richard Lowell Bryant