Presentation on theme: "The Beatitudes: From Another Point of View Fettes Park Baptist Church 23 rd Mar 2014 Alvin Chew Matt 4:23 – 5:12."— Presentation transcript:
The Beatitudes: From Another Point of View Fettes Park Baptist Church 23 rd Mar 2014 Alvin Chew Matt 4:23 – 5:12
Matthew 4:23-23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, [g] Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.g
Matthew 5:1-5 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them... 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Matthew 5: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5: “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
What’s been said about the Beatitudes A Religious Treasure Deep Spiritual Insights “Puzzling”
Various Interpretations The “Impossible Ideals” - Martin Luther They are not for Commoners, only meant for the Disciples of Jesus - Albert Schweitzer They are not meant for this age, it is for the next age or the Millennium - Dispensationalists
Quote The Beatitudes are God’s standard for our living. But, God didn’t just set the rules, he provided us the power by which we can reach up to them. Selwyn Hughes The Divine Attitudes
The General Interpretation Generally, the Beatitudes (as the word suggests) are treated as kingdom attitudes or values revealed and taught to his disciples by Jesus. We will be truly blessed or “Makarios” if we are able to learn these values and live according to them.
Another Point of View for us to consider..
Pretty Poison? Misunderstanding of the “blesseds” given by Jesus have caused much pain and confusion down through the ages and continue to do so today. Strangely enough, his blesseds have not uniformly been a blessing. For many they have proved to be nothing less than a pretty poison. Once after I had spoken on the Beatitudes, a lady approached me expressing great relief at what she had just heard. She told me her son had dropped his Christian identification and left the church because of the Beatitudes. Dallas Willard The Divine Conspiracy (p. 99)
Pretty Poison? He was a strong, intelligent man who had made the military his profession. As often happens, he had been told that the Beatitudes – with its list of the poor and the sad, the weak and the mild – were a picture of the ideal Christian. He explained to his mother very simply: “That’s not for me. I can’t be like that.” He was certainly not perfect as he stood and could have made several changes for the better. But, is that what we are suppose to do with the Beatitudes – “Be like that”? Frankly, most people think so. But, they could hardly be more mistaken Dallas Willard The Divine Conspiracy (p. 99)
Jesus didn’t say “Be like that” Willard
We need to see the Beatitudes as a Development of the primary theme of his talk - “The Availability of the Kingdom of the Heaven”. Willard
Understand the Teaching Context Jesus was proclaiming the “Good News” of the Kingdom Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. Mattt 4: 23
25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him. The Location. Sidon Jerusalem. Judea
Matthew 5:1-2 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, “He went up on a mountainside and sat down”. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them... Was Jesus teaching only the disciples or also the crowd? The Audience
…People brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed ; and he healed them. The Condition of the People
“Unblessedness” or unfortunate things happened as a result of sin. For example John 9:1-3 Their Religious Beliefs
-Jesus used the “show & tell” method -Demonstrating the impact of the arrival of the kingdom through miraculous healing. -Declaring that the kingdom is available to ALL including the poor and the sick. The Teaching Method Used
Jesus wanted the listeners to know the extent of the kingdom being available to them, not just through physical healing, but ALL and INCLUDING whom the world had “written-off” are also BLESSED because of Jesus and the availability of the kingdom to them. The Point
Quote “The sat upon, spat upon, ratted on” … (… are also blessed because the kingdom of God is made available to them) Simon & Garfunkel
Quote In the Sermon on the Mount… the promises attaching, for example, to the so-called “Beatitudes” must not be regarded as the reward of the spiritual states with which they are respectively connected. It is not because a man is poor in spirit that his is the kingdom of heaven, in the sense that the one state will grow into the other, or be its result; still less is the one the reward of the other. The connecting link is in each case Christ Himself : Because He…. “has opened the kingdom of Heaven to all believers” Alfred Edersheim
It’s the Good News of Grace & Hope The poor in spirit are called “blessed” by Jesus not because they are in a meritorious condition, but because, in spite of and in the midst of their deplorable condition, the rule of the heavens has come upon them by the Grace of God. Meritorious attitude or circumstances cannot guarantee “blessedness” with God. The Beatitudes simply cannot be “good news” if they are a set of “how-tos” to achieve blessedness - that would amount to a New Legalism. Alfred Edersheim
The Meaning of the Beatitudes
1. Blessed are the spiritually poor, the deprived and deficient for they are qualified for kingdom of God. The Beatitudes Paraphrased (Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven)
2. Blessed are those who are overwhelmed with sadness in life for they will receive comfort from God. The Beatitudes Paraphrased (Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted)
3. Blessed are those who are “mild” and unassertive for the earth are theirs. The Beatitudes Paraphrased (Blessed are those who are meek for they will inherit the earth)
4. Blessed are those who burn with desires to set things right for they will be satisfied. The Beatitudes Paraphrased (Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled)
5. Blessed are those whose hearts are soft (always give-in to others) for they will receive kindness from God The Beatitudes Paraphrased (Blessed are those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy)
6. Blessed are those who are striving to maintain a clear conscience for they will see God The Beatitudes Paraphrased (Blessed are the pure in heart, they will see God)
7. Blessed are those who are trying to maintain peace and harmony for they will be called the children of God The Beatitudes Paraphrased (Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God)
8. Blessed are those who are attacked for standing for what is right for they will enjoy the protection of heaven. The Beatitudes Paraphrased (Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of God)
The Beatitudes are not meant to be a set of “Be Like That” commandments. The Beatitudes are God’s declaration in the light of the arrival of the kingdom that the ones whom the world regarded as “UNBLESSED” are also blessed. Its not “Be like that”, it is “Like that also can”. In Conclusion