THE BEATITUDES (MATTHEW 5:3-8)
The Beatitudes are the opening statements in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. They set a tone for the rest of the sermon. In these Beatitudes Jesus is telling us the inward character of a person who is fit for God’s kingdom, i.e. inherit the earth. These are not six individual independent characteristics, they are all uniquely tied together and all identify character aspects of a person that fearfully respects and honors God as their Supreme Authority. We need to have these seven characteristics to be in God’s kingdom, and Jesus wanted us to know that so we may examine ourselves to see how we measure up. Where we fall short of these characteristics is what we need to work on. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus leaves no question as to what type of person is fit for the Kingdom of Heaven.
It’s important to note that just a few verses following these Beatitudes, Jesus tells us (Matthew 5:17-20) that we are to keep the Old Testament ‘law and prophets’ every jot and tittle until heaven and earth pass away, then he tells us in verse 20 that keeping the ‘law and prophets’ is the source of our righteousness we need for heaven, and unless our righteousness exceeds the Scribes and Pharisee we won’t be allows into heaven. Knowing that, we have to understand that the Beatitudes will paint a picture of the character and attributes of a commandment keeping person. As we will see, having the beatitude characteristics is not an way to heaven apart from the keeping of God's law, these beatitudes are describing the type of person who is fit for the Kingdom of God because they are those who seek and desire to know and keep God's laws.
The Beatitudes… Matthew 5:3-10. Since, in the Greek, these are all written in emphatic voice, we should read them this way;
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs and theirs alone is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they and they alone shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they and they alone shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they and they alone shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they and they alone shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they and they alone shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they and they alone shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs and theirs alone is the kingdom of heaven.
It’s important that I preface the study of the Beatitudes with the understanding that according to the Scriptures, there are two types of sinners. There is what the Scriptures refer to as the ‘unintentional’ sinner and then there is the ‘presumptuous sinner’. Since all people are sinners, all people fit into one of these two categories.
The presumptuous sinner (Deuteronomy 17:12, Number 15:30, others) is the person who knows God’s law and rejects it, and that happens for a number reasons. God has given us many laws to keep, and to intentially reject even one of them makes us a presumptuous sinners. To reject just one of God’s laws is to say ‘no’ to God’s supreme authority and thereby we have selected a new supreme authority. The problem is when we reject one of God’s laws, or all of them, we will freely sin and never feel guilt, godly sorrow and therefore never repent. The church wrongly creates presumptuous sinners when it tells people that they are not under God’s law and they don’t need to keep it.
When the people have been told that they don’t need to keep God’s law, then they presume that the law(s) is not for them and they presume that there will be no consequences for breaking that law. For example if I keep all of God’s law but reject just the law to keep Sabbath law, by the rejection of just one law, I am spurning God’s authority, and I am then a presumptuous sinners. The same is true with God’s dietary law forbidding pork, or to celebrate Passover – those are all God given laws, and they were never rescinded, not even by Jesus. Now you may argue that the church said it was OK to eat the Easter Sunday ham dinner- but on the other hand, God said ‘don’t eat pork’, ‘keep the Sabbath day holy’, and ‘commemorate Passover for all generations’ - whose authority should we accept as supreme? God? or the Church? Jesus himself told us to keep the Old Testament law and prophets, every jot and tittle, even the least commandment, until heaven and earth pass away – should we obey him or the church? If we don’t keep all of God’s laws which we know about we are presumptuous sinners who feels no need to repent and will be judged as law breakers, or ‘lawless’. And according to the Scriptures, unless we repent, there will be no atonement for our sins, not even Jesus’ blood.
We are severely warned in the New Testament about rejecting any of God's laws, therefore causing us to sin (presumptuous sins), in Hebrews 10:26-27, “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.” Rejecting any of God's laws would make us lawless for which there is no sacrifice (atonement) because there is no repentance. Matthew 13:41-43, “ The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
A presumptuous sinner, or the ‘lawless’, may repent for breaking the laws of God which they choose to keep. But they will not repent for breaking the law(s) which they have rejected, and therefore will receive no forgiveness or atonement.
People are deceived into be ‘lawless’ (Rejecting one or more of God’s laws) forgetting that Jesus gave us plenty of warnings about deceptions, and if we then ignore those warnings we are without excuse. God is our supreme authority, not the church, or church workers.
The other type of sinner is the ‘unintentional sinner’ (Numbers 15:24-29, Leviticus 4:2, Deuteronomy 4:42, others) . The unintentional sinner knows God’s laws and aims to keep them all – because they submit to God’s authority as supreme. They do however fail, or sin, from time to time because of ignorance, or being overcome with temptations at a time of moral weakness. An unintentional sinner will know they did wrong when the sin, and will feel guilt, godly sorrow and repent, recommitting themselves to God’s supreme authority. Through repentance, according to the Scriptures, our sins are pardoned, forgiven, forgotten, atoned for, blotted out, dumped in the depths of the sea, and we are was justified and washed as white as snow. God considers the repentant sinner to be righteous.
In the Parable of the Broad and Narrow ways, Matthew 7, those on the Broad way headed for destruction are the ‘presumptuous sinners’ and those on the Narrow way, leading to life, are the ‘unintentional’ sinners. Repentance is narrow gate to get on the narrow way, or to get back on it.
The Prodigal Son, in his rebellion, was a presumptuous sinner, not caring or heeding his father’s will or law. He, however, changed his heart and mind and repented and become obedient to the father. He moved from the category of presumptuous sinner to unintentional sinner. Luke 15 says he was dead (presumptuous sinner) and became alive (through repentance) again (now being an unintentional sinner). To go from spiritual death back to spiritual life is being ‘born again’. Judas was a presumptuous sinner who never repented, but died in his sins.
Proverbs 24:16, “For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity.” This verse says that a man (unintentional sinner) may still be considered righteous, even though he falls into sin many times, and rises again through repentance. However, the one who falls into sin, even once, and doesn't rise by repentance, is considered ‘wicked’ and he falls to his own destruction (presumptuous sinner).
Having this background will help us understand the Beatitudes, which speak of ‘unintentional sinners’ who aim to keep God’s laws, and while they are not perfect or sinless, but they want to be and they try.
Verse 3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs, and there’s alone, is the kingdom of heaven”.
Who are the ‘poor in spirit’? The Greek word for ‘poor’ in this word means beggar poor, or destitute. And we are speaking of a spiritual situation, not an economic or social condition. The Publican in Luke 18:9-14 was an example of being ‘poor in spirit’. He felt such shame of his sinfulness that he would not even lift his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast and said ‘ God be merciful to me a sinner’. Jesus said this man when home ‘justified’. That’s key to being blessed. Being poor in spirit, involves fear and loving God, then acknowledging that we are sinners, with godly sorrow, and feeling a desperate need of God’s forgiveness and mercy.
The word ‘spirit’ in the Greek and Hebrew is the same word as ‘breath’. When we breathe, words come out of our mouths and those words reflect our thoughts, feelings or character. Spirit is synonymous with a person’s character or demeanor, because their words of our breathe reflect what’s in our hearts. Jesus said (Matthew 12:34), “Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” What we speak comes out of a person’s heart comes… A proud person will speak proud words, an angry person will speak angry words and is said to have a proud spirit, an evil person will speak evil words and is said to have an evil spirit, and a humble person will speak humble words and has an humble spirit. We know a person’s character by their words, or their spirit. So being ‘poor in spirit’ means spiritual poor in the demeanor, as evident in their words when they speak from their heart. The words 'God be merciful to me a sinner' reflect a person who spiritually bankrupt, seeing no ability within himself to save himself.
Presumptuous sinners are not ‘Poor in spirit’ because they are ‘lawless’, rejecting some, or all of God’s laws, so when they violate those rejected laws, they don’t even see it as a sin, and feel no remorse, godly sorrow or guilt, and therefore will not repent. They may repent the violation of a law which they didn’t reject, but that doesn’t make up for the lack of repentance for the breaking of the laws which they have rejected.
Somehow in the culture of today, of tolerance and acceptance, we don’t respectfully fear a God who referred to Himself as a ‘Jealous God and a Consuming Fire’. Perhaps we lost the fear of God because Christians are told that Jesus will save them on Judgment Day, even though Jesus denied that. I fear many who think Jesus will save them from an angry God on Judgment Day because they 'believed in him', 'pleaded the blood', 'received sacraments', 'went to church', or 'said the sinners prayer' or 'loved Jesus', will be consumed by the fire of a jealous God, on the Day of Judgment.
Jesus will save no one just because they have an emotional ‘love’ him, or have a mental belief in him or because he died on the cross, Jesus has told us many times that he will judge according to the law of God, what we did in the flesh, good or bad; Matthew 7:22-23, John 5:20-23, Revelation 22:14 and others. According to Luke 12 there are different levels of punishment for the lost, Some with many stripes and some with few stripes.
We must submit to God’s supreme authority and obey all He says, obey what Jesus told us and repent when we fail.
Presumptuous sinners are never poor in spirit and therefore never repent and then kingdom of Heaven is not theirs. Those who truly repent are those who are ‘poor in spirit’.
Verse 4, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they, and they alone, shall be comforted.”
Again, we are speaking here of the spiritual truths, not the emotional or physical conditions. To ‘mourn’ is to mourn, not just over our sins, but to mourn over are sinfulness. Who today mourns over their sins? Only those who know God’s law, attempt to keep it, and acknowledge their sinfulness when they failed. To mourn over sin and sinfulness is to have godly sorrow and that leads to repentance. Repentance is not just to cease sinning, but it’s a change of heart from rebellion, to one that is willing to submit to God’s supreme authority.
2Corinthians 7:10, “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.” Those who acknowledge their sinfulness will have 'godly sorrow' and mourn over their sin.
And when people are told that they don’t need to keep God’s law, for whatever reason, they will not acknowledge that they have sinned when they violate those laws. They will fail to see that they are sinners and will not mourn over those sins or feel the need to repent – making them presumptuous sinners, i.e., wicked or lawless. And they may keep 99% of God’s laws, but the 1% they reject is an act of rebellion against God’s supreme authority. The 99% they keep then is not because they have submitted to God’s supreme authority, which they spurn, but for religious, family, legal, or some other reason – or perhaps they feel they can bargain with God by keeping most of His laws.
Those who mourn over the sins and failures will receive comfort in the knowledge that their sins are forgiven. But perhaps the greatest comfort will be given in the judgment. For those with godly sorrow who repent of their sins, will rejoice to find out on Judgment Day that their sins were blotted out, washed away, forgiven, forgotten, and atoned for. What comfort that will be, enough to make one want to sing God’s praises for all eternity.
Verse 5, “Blessed are the meek, for they, and they alone, shall inherit the earth.”
This verse is a quote from Psalm 37:10-12 (NKJV); “For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; Indeed, you will look carefully for his place, But it shall be no more.
11 But the meek shall inherit the earth, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
12 The wicked plots against the just, And gnashes at him with his teeth.”
Who are the meek? In Psalm 37:10-12 the ‘meek’ who are called ‘the just’ (same Hebrew word as 'righteous') in verse 12 are contrasted with ‘wicked’ in verses 10 and 12. The ‘wicked’ are the bold presumptuous sinners, or lawless, who have rejected, or ignored, some or all of God’s laws and spurn His authority. The ‘wicked’, ‘lawless’ or ‘presumptuous sinner’ presume that God’s law(s) are not for them and they presume there will be no consequences in breaking God’s law(s), so they break them with no guilt or godly sorrow. The meek are not so presumptuous that they boldly reject God’s laws, but will submit to God’s supreme authority and repent when the fail – they are called ‘just’ or ‘righteous’.
The meek are those who are not proud or arrogant, they are humble and submissive. They are those who are not assuming or presumptuous, they are those who are willing to submit to God’s supreme authority, in attempt to keep God’s law, mourn when they fail, and are poor in spirit. When they sin, they then seek God’s mercy and restoration through repentance.
Prodigal Son in the midst of his arrogant prideful rebellion and depravity, was living as a presumptuous sinner, not caring about the will or the law of his father. Then he looked at his life’s condition, his surroundings and filled with sorrow and remorse he become humble and meek – through the process of repentance. (Changing of mind and character.) He became willing to confess his wrong before his father, and begged for forgiveness and then asked to be one of his servants. When the father saw that he was poor in spirit, meek and humility, the father restored him to full sonship. This is indeed a picture of our Heavenly Father.
The meek, (just/righteous) people will not inherit this present and decaying earth as we see it today, but in the ‘new earth’ they will be the kings of the earth.
Verse 6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they, and they alone, shall be filled.”
Who hungers and thirst for righteousness, those who acknowledge that they have not yet achieved the level of righteous that they want and God’s wants of them. In just a few verses following the Beatitudes Jesus will tells us that our righteousness is in keeping God’s ‘law and prophets’ (Matthew 5:17-20). Those who understand that, and believe Jesus, will try to keep God’s law, and repent when they fail. (Unintentional sinners).
The Greek structure tells us that the ‘hunger and thirst; in this verse, are a type of hunger and thirst that can never be satisfied, as if those hungering and thirsting can never get enough. We are sinners, and even though we try to keep God’s law we fail, and then we repent. Even with our best attempt we try to be perfect but we fall short. We can be perfect, but not on our own, we become perfect when we repent and our sins are blotted out, we are justified and made white as snow – it's God’s grace, coming through repentance that does it.
We can get some insight in to this in Proverbs 24:16 where we read, “For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity.” This proverb tells us that a ‘righteous person’ falls into sin ‘seven’ times but rises again. Rising is a reference to repentance. But the ‘wicked’ does not repent and therefore does not rise again – he falls to his own calamity, or destruction.
Yes we are all sinners, but some sinners repent and are restored, while others don’t repent and are never restored. According to Proverbs 23:16, those who repent are restored are even called ‘righteous’. In contrast to that; Those who won’t repent are called ‘wicked’. The righteous repent because they hunger and thirst from more and more righteousness.
Only those who understand that they are under God’s law and need to keep His law will feel the guilt and godly sorrow that moves them to repentance. 2Corinthians 7:10, "For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death." When people are told by their churches, or others, that they don’t need to keep God’s law, they then become presumptuous sinners, presuming that God’s law is not for them and presuming that there will be no consequences for violating it, and therefore they will never feel godly sorrow, guilt or a need to repent. And even though Jesus told us in Matthew 5:17-20 to keep the Old Testament ‘law and prophets’, church theologians have reasoned it away and tell people that they don’t need to keep God’s law, and God doesn’t care.
Because of the churches I was raised in, I ate pig, I violate every Sabbath, I ignore Passover and keep Easter, and I worshiped the Trinity - for 50 years. I never felt any guilt or shame, because I didn't know I was sinning. I had been deceived, not studying the Scriptures thoroughly and no taking Jesus' warning about deception seriously. I thought I was OK, because I trusted my religious leaders, perhaps too much. Jesus warned us about the lawless deception in Matthew 7:13-28. (See the page on the 'Broad and Narrow way'."
Righteous, according to Deuteronomy 6:25, Luke 1:6 and other verses is the keeping of God’s law. In Matthew 13:40-43 the righteous are contrasted to the ‘lawless’, or presumptuous sinner. Those who reject God’s law are not seeking for righteous – or perhaps they are seeking it is the wrong place. Most Christians are told that they will automatically wear Jesus’ robe of righteous at the Judgment seat, so why would they hunger or thirst for their own righteousness? You don’t need to hunger and thirst for something you think you already have.
Righteousness is by faith, but only an obedient faith. God will certainly not consider the disobedient, lawless, wicked, presumptuous sinner, who rebels against God’s authority, despises His word, ignores His commands and will not repent as righteous – and I don’t care what you say you believe in, or what church you belong to.
Jesus said we don’t have to have a perfect sinless life, but rather those that actually hunger and thirst for righteousness, who want and struggle to be righteous, because of their love and fear of God, will be considered righteous.
Verse 7, “Blessed are the merciful, for they, and they alone, shall obtain mercy.”
The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) was a great example of a merciful person. And he will receive mercy at God’s judgment seat because he showed mercy. But equally good picture of mercy is in Matthew 25:34-36, “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me. Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?”
Showing mercy (loving kindness) is a key on which the law hangs, Jesus even called those who showed mercy ‘righteous’ and welcomed them into God’s kingdom.
Being merciful is a fulfillment of the Law of God. Showing mercy is keeping of God’s law and to those who keep God’s law He will show them mercy according to the Scriptures. Exodus 20:6, “but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” God promises mercy (saving grace) to those who love Him and keeps His commandments. That is written in stone with the finger of God, as part of the Ten Commandments.
The merciful will receive mercy, but mercy is not always received on this earth from fellow humans, but it is a future reward. We will need mercy at God’s judgment seat…it's called ‘saving grace’.
Jesus quoting the prophets said on more than one occasion, “‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.” Our being merciful is more important to God than any religious activities. And when you consider that sacrifices were often used for worship, free will offering to God, sign of commitment, for sin offerings and to atone for sins, but yet Jesus said mercy is more important. That is a monumental statement.
By being merciful you will not steal, hurt, kill, commit adultery, you will be fair and honest in your dealings, you will forgive, you will feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give drink to the thirsty, give to charities, and seek shelter for the homeless. You will love others as you love yourself. You will be a good Samaritan. Being merciful is keeping God's commandments. Those in Matthew 25 who fed and clothe the hungry and those sick and in prison, did it as their second nature, because the law of God was on their hearts and in their minds - the 'spirit of God' was in them.
Verse 8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they, and they alone, shall see God.”
‘Pure in heart’ doesn’t mean pure as in sinless. Psalm 24:4, “He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully.” ‘Clean hands’ has to do with and godly outward behavior, ‘pure heart’ has to do with having a godly inner character.
‘Pure in heart’ means a pure, or undivided heart that loves God first and foremost and is dedicated and committed to Him. We are told to ‘love Yahoveh your God will all of your heart, mind and soul’. When He is our first love, and we put His will first in our decisions, we have an undivided heart. To have a pure, or undivided heart means to have Yahoveh God as our Supreme authority.
We have many authorities in our lives, all of which make demands on us, but we all have just one supreme authority, and the demands of that supreme authority are never questioned, or trumped by any other authority. Our obedience to our supreme authority will never be compromised by the demands of some other authority. Our supreme authority trumps all other authorities. That is to have an undivided heart, undivided in commitment and loyalty, or pure heart.
Hebrews 12:14 tells us that without holiness, no one shall see God. With ‘holiness’ we will see God. Holiness is then equivalent to ‘pure in heart’.
‘Holiness’ means to be set apart for God, set apart to do His will, which happens when we make God our Supreme Authority. Having a ‘Pure in heart’ is equivalent to being ‘holy’, which is what happens when we submit to God as our Supreme authority. Neither ‘pure in heart’, ‘holiness’, ‘righteous’ or submitting to God as our Supreme Authority means that we will be sinless. It does mean that when we do sin, we will repent with godly sorrow and our sins will be blotted out, cast in the depth of the sea, forgiven, forgotten, pardoned, atoned for and we will be justified and made white as snow. That makes us holy, righteous, and pure in heart, and then we will someday see God.
Verse 9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they, and they alone, shall be called sons of God.”
Who are the peacemakers? Those who seek to end war, violence, hatred, strife, battles, arguments, fights, etc.
Now if we consider the cause of all that strife, whether it is personal, tribal, or national, we can then understand how to end it.
The cause of all wars, strife, divorce, violence, battles, arguments and fights is ‘sin’. It is always sin, whether it is pride, greed, jealously, hatred, lust, adultery, uncontrolled anger, thief, coveting, etc. If all people lived according to God's Torah, there would be no more suffering caused by humans.
So if sin causes the lost of peace, the true peacemaker has to deal with the root of the problem, and that is sin. Jesus did that, he pointed out people’s sin and told them to repent of their sin. Had they listened to Jesus and obeyed him, that would have ended their problems and made them right with God. But most people don’t want to hear about their sin, and they will turn on the peacemaker, and the peacemaker will be persecuted. Having people turn from their sin, is having them seek righteousness. Peacemakers are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.
Verse 10, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs, and theirs alone, is the kingdom of heaven.”
What is righteousness? Righteousness is being right with God. We are right with God when we do His will, and His will is that we keep His commandments (Matthew 7:22-23).
Deuteronomy 6:25, “Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the Lord our God, as He has commanded us.”
Luke 1:6, “And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.”
Luke 5:32, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Here Jesus contrast ‘righteous’ and ‘sinner’. The righteous keeps God’s law, but the sinner does not.
Proverbs 24:16, “For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity.” It’s not that a ‘righteous man’ keeps God’s law perfectly, but when he fails, he repents, and by true repentance a person is considered righteous. Jesus calls the sinner to repent and be “righteous”.
Who is it that is persecuted for righteousness’ sake. It happens when being righteous means more to us than our reputation, friends, family, health, work, freedom, etc. Persecution can happen when we seek to do God’s commandments and it angers or irritates others, or we when seek to have others keep God’s commandments, follow the way of righteous, for the sake of peace.
So the idea that one is willing to accept persecution, for the sake of righteousness, means the they highly values it and would rather be rejected and dis-fellowshipped by man than by God. Those who don’t esteem righteousness enough to suffer for it, or esteem it enough to endure persecution for it, either don’t believe God or trust God, and that’s essential for entrance into His kingdom.
Unfortunately, many are told in the church today that they don’t have to be righteous, or keep the commandments of God, because they will receive Jesus’ righteous, imputed to them, on Judgment Day. And righteousness is by faith, but only an obedient faith that keep God’s commandments, not an intellectual belief. John wrote, (1John 3:7), “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.” To believe that you don’t have to be righteous is to be deceived. God will never declare a person righteous who rebellious sinner, who despises God’s word, ignores His commands, and spurns His authority.
We will not receive Jesus’ robe of righteousness to wear on Judgment Day, don’t believe that lie. God demands that we be righteous, and that’s it not requiring sinless perfection, even though that should be our goal. Being righteous requires that we truly repent when we sin. Matthew 5:20, " For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven."
Each of the Beatitudes is required for salvation. You can’t skip any of these characteristics as though it wasn’t necessary, or as if they are multiple choice, but rather we must have them all. All truly repentant sinners are ‘poor in spirit’, because they ‘mourn over their sins’, and that makes them humble and 'meek' in character, and they are then willing to submit to God’s supreme authority – to hear and heed His voice above all others. And they do that because they hunger and thirst for righteousness, seeking to keep God’s law. In keeping God’s law means that they must show mercy to those in need, as the law demands. They have a pure heart and they are holy, not because they are sinless, but rather because they repented of their sins. And through that repentance their sins are blotted out, pardoned, atoned for, forgiven, forgotten, they are justified and made white as snow – that makes them holy, righteous and perfect before God – no wonder they will see God. And then knowing how to make peace between peoples, they work as peacemakers, pointing out their sin which causes strife, and for that they are persecuted.
This indeed is a powerful message from Jesus, giving us good insight into what we need to be ‘blessed’.