A few months ago, we spent a Sunday studying the Beatitudes. In our Sermon on the Mount series, we come to the same text again, Matthew 5:3-12. Don’t worry, I am not going to preach the same sermon; there is plenty to say about these familiar verses.
On Sunday, we will explore Jesus' description of those who are blessed. What we did not talk about in February was the fact that these blessings stand in contrast to a set of curses or woes in Matthew 23. In fact, in Luke’s version of the Sermon on the Mount, the woes follow the blessings in Luke 6. So we have the blessed and the cursed. And as we study them together, we might be surprised at which characteristics go in each list.
Let me encourage you to read this week’s passage as you prepare for worship on Sunday. I will include it below in the NTE version.
(Matthew 5:3-12 NTE) “Blessings on the poor in spirit! The kingdom of heaven is yours. “Blessings on the mourners! You"re going to be comforted. “Blessings on the meek! You"re going to inherit the earth. “Blessings on people who hunger and thirst for God’s justice! You"re going to be satisfied. “Blessings on the merciful! You’ll, receive mercy yourselves. “Blessings on the pure in heart! You will see God. “Blessings on the peacemakers! You’ll, be called God’s children. “Blessings on people who are persecuted because of God’s way! The kingdom of heaven belongs to you. “Blessings on you, when people slander you and persecute you, and say all kinds of wicked things about you falsely because of me! Celebrate and rejoice: there’s a great reward for you in heaven. That’s how they persecuted the prophets who went before you.”
I will also include the verses from Luke’s version.
(Luke 6:20-26 NTE) He lifted up his eyes and looked at his disciples, and said:“Blessings on the poor: God’s kingdom belongs to you! “Blessings on those who are hungry today: you’ll, have a feast!“Blessings on those who weep today: you’ll, be laughing! “Blessings on you, when people hate you, and shut you out, when they slander you and reject your name as if it was evil, because of the son of man. Celebrate on that day! Jump for joy! Don’t you see: in heaven there is a great reward for you! That’s what their ancestors did to the prophets. “But woe betide you rich: you’ve, had your comfort! “Woe betide you if you’re, full today: you’ll, go hungry!“Woe betide you if you’re, laughing today: you’ll, be mourning and weeping! “Woe betide you when everyone speaks well of you: that’s what their ancestors did to the false prophets.”