The eight Beatitudes that are written in Matthew 5:3-11 are best known today as Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. The word beatitudes means supreme blessedness. It is because of this meaning that each verse starts with “Blessed are…”
- …those who are poor in spirit
- …those who mourn
- …those who are meek
- …those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
- …those who are merciful
- …those who are pure in heart
- …those who are peacemakers
- …those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake
These eight Beatitudes given by Jesus are essentially a consolidation of the entire book of Deuteronomy.
How Are the 8 Beatitudes a Consolidation of the Book of Deuteronomy?
First, we must recognize that every word Jesus spoke and taught was in alignment with and obedient to the Father. Therefore, when Jesus spoke of supreme blessedness—the eight Beatitudes—it had to be a reflection of the principles God had already given to Israel. By the very nature of Jesus, He could not teach in opposition to or replacement of any Word previously given.
The message of a loving relationship between the Father and those who humble themselves and call upon His name permeates through the Sermon on the Mount. It is a direct echo of the same relationship found in Deuteronomy.
In the book of Deuteronomy, the Lord pledged to be Israel’s sovereign protector against any evil pressing in on them if they would remain faithful to Him as their covenant Lord.
Deuteronomy also lists the blessings that came with obedience to the covenant as well as curses for disobedience. The book of Deuteronomy lays out the purpose for Israel’s upcoming generation as the Lord’s chosen people—to prepare them for the land of promise.
In the same way, the purpose of the Sermon on the Mount with the eight Beatitudes was to prepare those who would listen and teach them:
- How to live in alignment with God’s instruction
- How to understand the spirit of the Law and covenant relationship
- How to receive the blessings that flow from a heart of obedience
The covenant teaching was not a checklist to follow, but a relationship to be in. It was the partnership through which God’s people would thrive, be blessed, and experience more of Him.
But danger came when His people chose to operate outside of the covenant. They chose to place something above their relationship with God and gave the devil a foothold in their lives.
The Struggle to Live in Alignment | Living the Eight Beatitudes
Whether we have recently come to know the Lord or have walked with Him for years, each of us has wrestled with the question, “How do I make a shift from my old way of living to living in my new identity in Christ?”
We read the Sermon on the Mount with these eight Beatitudes and question if we will ever really be able to “live in alignment.”
The problem is we don’t know how to shift our thoughts to align with God’s path. We try to shift our behavior first. We attempt to earn the blessings instead of humbling ourselves before the Lord and being open to the Holy Spirit working His plan through us.
When we pause for a moment and call upon the Holy Spirit, seeking first the Kingdom of God, He will do the work. You do not have to worry about the work of righteousness or the process of sanctification. The Holy Spirit does the work. It is your responsibility to seek Him.
- “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”—Matthew 6:33 (emphasis added)
- “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”—Philippians 2:12-13 (emphasis added)
There Is a Responsibility to Seek and Respond
Some may read this and think they do not have a responsibility to respond, but this is far from God’s instruction or His best for us.
We clearly see that we are to seek God’s will, purpose, and ways (see Matthew 6:33). Then, when we are given an assignment by the Holy Spirit to take action, we have a choice to respond. We have a choice to be responsible.
And just as Jesus teaches in His Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30, when we are responsible, it releases blessings.
Living a life of alignment is about a mindset of activating the eight Beatitudes—your God-given blessings. It is an operation of working out your salvation, not working for your salvation.
It requires a response to what God has given. He has given you a new identity, a new purpose, and a new assignment through Christ.
In Summary | The Eight Beatitudes: Supreme Blessedness
As we see, Jesus’ teaching in these eight Beatitudes is much more than a list…
The eight Beatitudes are a word picture of an attitude that reflects God’s covenant relationship from the book of Deuteronomy.
The eight Beatitudes give depth and revelation for a generation that is open to understanding and seeking God’s Kingdom first.
The eight Beatitudes provide a backdrop for all Believers to work out their salvation and to respond in faith to the new identity, purpose, and assignment each are given as a member of God’s family and of the covenant relationship.
The eight Beatitudes list the new nature and desires that we, as Believers, have in Christ and the spiritual attributes we are learning during our journey of faith. As we grow closer to the Lord, He reveals more knowledge and understanding of how to activate each of these blessings into our own lives.
The key to living a life of supreme blessedness, which is the nature of the eight Beatitudes, involves…
- Seeking God’s Kingdom and His righteousness first
- Allowing the Holy Spirit to operate in your life
- Humbly responding to the responsibility and assignment you have been given
In Part 2 of The Eight Beatitudes of the Bible, we will dive deeper into the Beatitudes, break down each blessing, define their meanings, and learn how to apply them. Click HERE to read Part 2!