Analysis of the Beatitudes and Their Application to Our Culture

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Analysis of the Beatitudes
and their Application to our Culture

The Beatitudes and their Application to our Culture
Christ calls the most unlikely people “blessed” at the start of His Sermon on the Mount as read in Matthew 5:1-12. Tod Lindberg has offered a rather in depth analysis of these in his essay on “What the Beatitudes Teach.” Lindberg points out a pattern in the beatitudes. They start with the most oppressed and seemingly hopeless people and progress to those that suffer for their right doing. First are the “poor in spirit” who Lindberg believes are those people who society has run down and essentially used or ignored. They are demoralized and have all but given up, resigning to their lowly status. Yet Christ tells us that “theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Then there are those who mourn who will be comforted. This blessed group is said to consist primarily of those who are temporarily incapacitated due to the loss of something or someone they held to be very dear. Jesus goes on to say that the meek will inherit the earth. These people are very unimposing and ask little of anyone else. They do their best with their circumstances but are not likely to strive for anything greater. The rest of the beatitudes relate to those who desire change and take action to facilitate it. First there are the people who “hunger and thirst” for righteousness. Jesus tells us that these people who desire to see that which is right triumph will eventually have their yearnings fulfilled. Lindberg suggests that they are a people who “[seek] for themselves something outside themselves.” Then the merciful take their desire for righteousness a step further by actively contributing to their goal. They show mercy and in turn are promised mercy themselves. Then there are those inwardly uncorrupted, the pure in spirit. They do not consider doing evil and act out of pure intentions and thus are also further contributing to righteousness. These selfless people, Jesus promises,...
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