For the next few days we will be reading Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount. The richness in this text could not be exhausted in a lifetime of meditation and study, so let us focus our attention today on the phrase, “Blessed are…”
A few days ago, we read Psalm 1, which begins, “Blessed is the one…” What comes across to our English speaking ears is a statement, but in the Greek or even more, in the Hebrew text, the phrase takes on the sense of an exclamation, or exaltation of the bliss of the person. The significance of what Jesus is saying gets lost on our ears and we focus on seaming contradiction:
– Blessed => the poor in spirit.
– Blessed => those who mourn.
– Blessed => those who hunger.
The age-old question is, what is so blessed about that?!?
To get a better sense of what Jesus is saying to us, William Barclay’s commentary on the subject expresses the exuberance of the text in these words:
“The beatitudes in effect say, “O the bliss of happiness of knowing Jesus Christ as Master, Savior and Lord!” The very statement of the joyous thrill and the radiant gladness of the Christian life. In face of the beatitudes a gloom-encompassed Christianity is unthinkable.”
In other words, The Christian blessedness is untouchable. As Jesus tells us in John 16:22: “No one will take your joy from you.”
Perhaps you know someone who is going through a tremendous amount of difficulty, yet despite their pain, loss, and/or grief, there is an undercurrent of joy in them, that shines through their tears. No loss or pain can take away the true joy of the Christian.
May God bless you!