This is the second of a two-part series on the Beatitudes that Jesus taught in His “Sermon on the Mount.” The Beatitudes contrast kingdom values (which are eternal) with worldly values (which are temporary). They describe how we should act as followers of Christ.
Last week, we focused on the first four Beatitudes. This week, we look at the last four Beatitudes: Mercy (Mt 5:7), the Pure in Heart (Mt 5:8), the Peacemaker (Mt 5:9) and the Persecuted (Mt 5:10).
Beatitude #5 – Mercy
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” Matthew 5:7
God promises mercy to those that show mercy to others. God honors self-sacrifice for the good of others. The worldview of mercy, in contrast, is to kill those who are seen as providing no value in living…the disabled, the elderly and the sick. It is only in giving mercy that we will receive mercy.
Blessed is he who considers the poor! The Lord delivers him in the day of trouble… Psalm 41:1
To develop a merciful heart, we are to love others as Christ loved us, giving Himself up for our salvation. Mercy is particularly important in families. This is where children will learn the concept of God’s mercy and forgiveness through the actions of their parents.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2
Beatitude #6 – The Pure in Heart
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8
God promises to reveal Himself to the pure in heart. The world, in contrast, encourages deception over honesty.
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully. Psalm 24:3-4
To develop a pure heart, seek to know God better. God reveals Himself to us in His Word. Spend time reading Scripture and get to know God on a personal level. He will speak to you if you have a heart that seeks to know Him more fully.
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And every one who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. 1 John 3:1-3
Spend time in Scripture as a family. Introduce your children to the merciful Father. Through your love for them, they will come to know the love of the Father.
Beatitude #7 – The Peacemaker
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9
God honors the peacemaker, calling those who seek peace His sons. The world, in contrast, advocates personal peace at the expense of others. It is “all about me” and “getting my share,” ignoring the needy and the downtrodden of the world. Ask God to make you a peacemaker in your family so that He may restore peace to your home.
“I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will lead him and requite him with comfort, creating for his mourners the fruit of the lips. Peace, peace, to the far and to the near, says the Lord; and I will heal him.” Isaiah 57:18-19
To be a peacemaker, love others, placing their needs ahead of your own.
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:9-12
Beatitude #8 – The Persecuted
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:10
God promises the kingdom of heaven to those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake. As a follower of Jesus Christ, you may face persecution at the hands of well-meaning relatives and friends. You may be told that only the weak believe in God and that religion is nothing more than a crutch. God is pleased with His righteous ones. The world, in contrast, promotes the fulfillment of personal desires over the needs of others, leaving shattered lives in the wake of selfish pursuits and cravings.
Behold, my servant shall prosper, he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high. Isaiah 52:13
This final beatitude is the way of the believer. Scripture states that despite persecution followers of Christ can rejoice, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted… 2 Timothy 3:12
Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Beatitudes. Seek to be more Christ-like in your thoughts, words and actions. God promises blessings for all who abide by His commands. God’s rewards are eternal, while worldly rewards are fleeting. Seek God with all your heart. Submit to His holy will. Your attitude of faith and obedience will witness to others. Stand firm in the faith and you will be blessed.
“Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:11-12
Peace and blessings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.