Matthew 5:3-10 The Beatitudes are the key to the puzzle of a blessed life

Russell Minick 1 Comment


How so?

Poor in Spirit

Kingdom of Heaven

  • Mourning
  • Comforted
  • Meek
  • Inherit earth
  • Hunger for righteousness
  • Satisfied

τέλειός = mature

live for God

  • Merciful
  • Receive mercy
  • Pure in heart
  • See God
  • Peacemakers
  • “sons of God”

Persecuted for Righteousness

Kingdom of Heaven


They are the outline for what is about to be explained by Jesus. There are two sections explaining who lives in the Kingdom of Heaven:


  1. The spiritually poor /mourn/meek/hungry (doesn’t sound too positive)
  2. the persecuted righteous/peacemaking/pure hearted/merciful (sounds positive)


What we want to ask is: “Are these Christians?” Without a long evaluation on the assumptions in the question, I will answer as simple as the question would like: yes, these are what we would call Christians. Jesus is talking to his disciples. These are people who believe in God and follow the Messiah/Christ. This is not a teaching on how to become a “Messiah-ian/Christ-ian”, this is what life as a Christian looks like when followed through. This is the blessed life that follows from actually being more and more like the Messiah.

What comes in the center is a very short statement which is the key to the life that is best, the life that is blessed: Matthew 5:48-6:1

(5:48) You therefore must be telos (τέλειός), as your heavenly Father is telos (τέλειός).

(6:1) “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them,

for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.


So what is ‘the kingdom of heaven’? Isn’t that getting into ‘the good place’ when you die?        

The Kingdom of Heaven is the rule of the one who is in heaven: the Father. In other words, the poor in spirit (as defined by Jesus’ teaching) and the persecuted for righteousness sake (as defined by Jesus) are the blessed ones who actually experience the matured reality of the Father of heaven in charge of their life. That is for here and now as well as for the time of reward from the Father. That is blessed!

Chapter 5 :11-48 explains how the persecuted for righteous are blessed by explaining a sequence of changes as a person who belongs to God learns to grow up in God. They replace contempt with a pursuit of peace, they replace hypocrisy with an unmixed heart, they live out mercy as they receive mercy. These are people of God growing up to be like him in their character.


Persecuted for Righteousness





Sons of God

Pure in heart


See God



Receive mercy



Chapter 6:1-24 explains how the poor in spirit are blessed. This is done backwards, from the hope of being mature (τέλειός ) in God back to where one needs to start. Mature? You would have to give because you want things to be right (not just too look good). That would also be your attitude for prayer which also comes from a brokenness shown in fasting which comes from a vision of neediness- a poverty of spirituality.


Hunger/Thirst for righteousness





Inherit the earth




Poor in spirit




Chapter 6:25-27 is Jesus’ responses to anticipated questions. How can this be a blessed life if I have physical, relational and spiritual concerns? He answers these because he knows from his own temptations in the wilderness how real these challenges are. He has also been ministering to these types of needs for huge crowds who have come to him for help.

Physical concerns?


Seek the KINGDOM 1st

Relational concerns?


A.S.K. God for help 1st

Spiritual concerns?


Foundation of relationship is 1st

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Comments 1

  1. Wish I could be in Sojos right now, but glad to be getting the highlights . This is good stuff, Russ. We’ll finally be able to conceptualize the Sermon on the Mount as an organic whole, and the chiastic structure will help us live in it. Thanks for putting all this up.

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