Matthew 5:1-12 - The Beatitudes Explained

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.
He said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

These beatitudes - I like to call them BE Attitudes - are eight attitudes that Jesus says will bless us. They are not easily understood, but let me try to explain them in a sentence or two.

One, the poor in spirit are essentially people who recognize how impoverished they are without God’s grace and assistance. 

Two, those who mourn are people who struggle with life and sinfulness, constantly seeking God’s help in overcoming their difficulties. 

Three, the meek are those who are like little lambs allowing themselves to be led by the shepherd, or if you prefer, led by the Spirit. 

Four, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are those who don’t want their will in their lives, but only the will of God. These are people who offer their lives to God as a living sacrifice as Paul advises (see Romans 12:2).

Five, the merciful are those who understand how much in need of mercy they, themselves are, and consequently do not hesitate in extending mercy towards others. These are people who will forgive those who hurt them no matter how often or how deep the hurts are. 

Six, the pure in heart are those who seek to do everything for the love and glory of God.

Seven, the peacemakers are those who heal instead of hurt, repair instead of break, seek harmony instead of turmoil. 

And, finally—eight—blessed are those who accept suffering  gladly because it allows them to be partakers in Christ’s suffering. This is especially true when it is because of their faith in him, or  because of their proclamation of his kingdom here on earth. 

These are the eight beatitudes. This is the checklist that will tell you how you are faring in your spiritual journey.

May the Spirit be with you.