Christian Home Week -- The Beauty of the Beatitudes Introduction

The downloadable pdf is available at http://fbckilleen.com/wp-content/uploads/beatitudes.pdf

Introduction of Matthew
   Matthew was one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, a tax collector when called by Christ. This gospel was written primarily to the Jews, emphasizing the supremacy of Christ to Moses.

Introduction of the Sermon on the Mount
   The Sermon on the Mount was delivered to the disciples, but heard also by the crowd, similar but different from “Sermon on the Plain” in Luke.
   A simple outline of the Sermon on the Mount is as follows:
1. The Kingdom and Blessings (Matt. 5:1-16)
2. The Kingdom and the Law (Matt. 5:17-48)
3. The Kingdom and God (Matthew 6)
4. The Kingdom and Others (Matthew 7:1-20)
5. The Kingdom’s Foundation (Matthew 7:21-27)

Introduction of the Beatitudes
As a kid, my favorite cartoon was Peanuts and good ole Charlie Brown. I had a book called “Happiness is a Warm Puppy.” If we were to put a Charles M. Schulz title to the beatitudes, it might be “Happiness is …”
The word “Beatitude” comes from the Latin word beatus which means blessed but the word is elsewhere translated as “happy,” “how fortunate,” “God blesses” (NLT), “You’re blessed” (the Message), and the amplified Bible expounds to “to be envied and spiritually prosperous…with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions.”
We could call these beatitudes the “Be Happy Attitudes.” Someone has said that they are not the “Do” Attitudes, but the “Be” Attitudes, meaning it is not what we do in the sense of legalism, but rather who we are in Christ. We should concentrate on “being,” not “doing.”

   Each beatitude builds upon the previous one, like a staircase. The first and last beatitude promise that “theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” From the moment of our salvation, the Holy Spirit within us provides for us a portion of the qualities found in each beatitude, but we must nourish and encourage each aspect to grow in our lives.
Other Beatitudes in Scripture
   Four other times in Matthew, there are pronouncements of “blessedness.” Chapter 11, verse six speaks about not being offended in Christ; Matt. 13:16 speaks on those who were able to see and hear Jesus at work, 16:17 pronounces a blessing up Peter for his proclamation of Christ as the Son of the living God, and 24:46 proclaims a blessing on those who are faithful when Christ returns.
   Luke records similar uses of “blessed” in chapter 6 and uses the word a total of 15 times in his gospel. John’s two beatitudes include the famous rebuke of Thomas’ doubting when Jesus says “blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe.”
   Romans and James also have some beatitudes, and Peter echoes Jesus’ beatitudes in respect to suffering and facing reproach in 1 Peter 3:14 and 4:14. King James there translates makarios or makarios as “Happy” rather than “blessed.” And in typical numerical fashion, the Apostle John records precisely seven beatitudes in Revelation.
   The practice of issuing blessed promises goes back as far as the Old Testament, most notably Psalm 1:  “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night
    A beatitude can be traced back to the first occurrence in Scripture, found in Deut. 33:29, “Blessed are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD? He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword. Your enemies will cower before you, and you will trample down their high places.”
   As you study these blessed promises this week, look for blessings and sources of happiness in keeping God’s word and these “Be Happy Attitudes”. As Pharrell Williams might sing, clap along if you feel a beatitude is for you. Thanks Morgan Perry for making this happy for the kids too! 

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