Beautitudes – Matthew 5:1-12
Poor in spirit: Not proud; Humble; no independent/ self-dependent; dependent on God and people he uses.
Mourn: Mindful other people may be going through difficult situations; probably we don’t know about it. “Blessed are they that mourn. This is another strange blessing, and fitly follows the former. The poor are accustomed to mourn, the graciously poor mourn graciously. We are apt to think, Blessed are the merry; but Christ, who was himself a great mourner, says, Blessed are the mourners. There is a sinful mourning, which is an enemy to blessedness—the sorrow of the world; despairing melancholy upon a spiritual account, and disconsolate grief upon a temporal account. There is a natural mourning, which may prove a friend to blessedness, by the grace of God working with it, and sanctifying the afflictions to us, for which we mourn. But there is a gracious mourning, which qualifies for blessedness, an habitual seriousness, the mind mortified to mirth, and an actual sorrow. 1. A penitential mourning for our own sins; this is godly sorrow, a sorrow according to God; sorrow for sin, with an eye to Christ, Zech. 12:10. Those are God’s mourners, who live a life of repentance, who lament the corruption of their nature, and their many actual transgressions, and God’s withdrawings from them; and who, out of regard to God’s honour, mourn also for the sins of others, and sigh and cry for their abominations, Ezek. 9:4. 2. A sympathizing mourning for the afflictions of others; the mourning of those who weep with them that weep, are sorrowful for the solemn assemblies, for the desolations of Zion (Zeph. 3:18; Ps. 137:1), especially who look with compassion on perishing souls, and weep over them, as Christ over Jerusalem.” (Matthew Henry Commentary).
Meek: “The meek are happy (Matt. 5:5); Blessed are the meek. The meek are those who quietly submit themselves to God, to his word and to his rod, who follow his directions, and comply with his designs, and are gentle towards all men (Titus 3:2); who can bear provocation without being inflamed by it; are either silent, or return a soft answer; and who can show their displeasure when there is occasion for it, without being transported into any indecencies; who can be cool when others are hot; and in their patience keep possession of their own souls, when they can scarcely keep possession of any thing else.” (Matthew Henry Commentary).
Hunger and thirst for righteousness – doing what is right, even if it costs.
Merciful – Kindness, compassion or favour; compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one’s power.
Pure in heart: The pure in heart are happy (Matt. 5:8); Blessed are the poor in heart, for they shall see God. This is the most comprehensive of all the beatitudes; here holiness and happiness are fully described and put together.
Here is the most comprehensive character of the blessed: they are pure in heart. Note, True religion consists in heart-purity. Those who are inwardly pure, show themselves to be under the power of pure and undefiled religion. True Christianity lies in the heart, in the purity of heart; the washing of that from wickedness, Jer. 4:14. We must lift up to God, not only clean hands, but a pure heart, Ps. 24:4, 5; 1 Tim. 1:5. The heart must be pure, in opposition to mixture—an honest heart that aims well; and pure, in opposition to pollution and defilement; as wine unmixed, as water unmuddied. (Matthew Henry Commentary).
Peacemakers: Willing to address issues, important, uncomfortable at times to talk about. From Matthew Henry Commentary: “The peace-makers are happy, Matt. 5:9. The wisdom that is from above is first pure, and then peaceable; the blessed ones are pure toward God, and peaceable toward men; for with reference to both, conscience must be kept void of offence. The peace-makers are those who have, 1. A peaceable disposition: as, to make a lie, is to be given and addicted to lying, so, to make peace, is to have a strong and hearty affection to peace. I am for peace, Ps. 120:7. It is to love, and desire, and delight in peace; to be put in it as in our element, and to study to be quiet. 2. A peaceable conversation; industriously, as far as we can, to preserve the peace that it be not broken, and to recover it when it is broken; to hearken to proposals of peace ourselves, and to be ready to make them to others; where distance is among brethren and neighbours, to do all we can to accommodate it, and to be repairers of the breaches. The making of peace is sometimes a thankless office, and it is the lot of him who parts a fray, to have blows on both sides; yet it is a good office, and we must be forward to it. Some think that this is intended especially as a lesson for ministers, who should do all they can to reconcile those who are at variance, and to promote Christian love among those under their charge.”
Persecuted for righteousness. “Those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, are happy. This is the greatest paradox of all, and peculiar to Christianity; and therefore it is put last, and more largely insisted upon than any of the rest, Matt. 5:10-12. This beatitude, like Pharaoh’s dream, is doubled, because hardly credited, and yet the thing is certain; and in the latter part there is change of the person, “Blessed are ye—ye my disciples, and immediate followers. This is that which you, who excel in virtue, are more immediately concerned in; for you must reckon upon hardships and troubles more than other men.” ” (Matthew Henry Commentary)