Who are the blessed? Some might say that the blessed are those with power, prestige, self-esteem, and charming personalities. The Word of God reminds us in Matthew 5 who the blessed truly are.
In Matthew 5, we see Christ teaching His disciples some very important truths. In vv. 3-11, the word ‘blessed’ is used nine times to describe those characteristics that are to be lived out in the life of a disciple of Christ.
As we consider these verses, ask yourself if you are among the blessed.
Ask yourself: Are you truly poor in spirit? This refers to poverty in spirit. The idea is how one views himself. It has no relation to a man’s accumulation of wealth or lack of wealth. Rather, the one who is poor in spirit has an absence of pride, self-assurance, and self-reliance. This is so contrary to the philosophy of the world that tells people to be self-confident and self-reliant.
Do you mourn over your sin? Those who mourn over their sin will be comforted. This is in contrast to the world system that says to forget your troubles and drown your sorrows in the sea of pleasure. The world does all they can to get away from mourning.
Are you meek? This refers to a realization of who I am before God. It leads to a submission to God’s will. Matthew Henry said, “They are meek who are rarely and hardly provoked, but quickly and easily pacified; and who would rather forgive twenty injuries than avenge one, having the rule of their own spirits.” This is completely opposed to the thinking of the natural man who thinks in the terms of strength, ability, and aggressiveness in order to get things done.
Do you hunger and thirst after righteousness? Do you view your life in light of the gospel or do you view it in light of earthly accumulations and accolades? Many people hunger and thirst for happiness, security, and acceptance. All these are not the things we are to seek after. Rather, they are the result of our seeking after righteousness.
Are you merciful? The question isn’t whether you have been shown mercy, but do you reciprocate God’s mercy to others?
Are you pure in heart? God is concerned with the heart. This is where Christianity must begin. One’s heart, which is impure by nature, must be cleansed by God and made pure by faith in Christ.
Are you a peacemaker? A peacemaker is not a ‘peace at any cost’ person. It is not the man who avoids saying or doing anything that might ‘rock the boat’. Rather, he is one who makes true peace. He is a man that is ultimately concerned with the fact that all men should be at peace with God.
Are you persecuted for righteousness sake? This does not refer to persecution for being contentious, self-righteous, or haughty. Rather, it is persecution that comes because of the gospel truth that you are proclaiming and pursuing.