The Eight Beatitudes
In Matthew's Gospel, starting with Chapter five verses three through twelve, Jesus tells us of the Eight Beatitudes. These verses are much like The Ten Commandments in nature, but more philosophical: ·"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." ·"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." ·"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth." ·"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." ·"Blessed are those who are merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." ·"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."
·"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." ·"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven."
The Beatitudes are promises from God. Promises for the Kingdom of Heaven. They are also requirements for the type of people who would receive the promises. They stress the importance of what is on the inside as opposed to what appears on the outside. This exegesis will explore the Historical and Social settings for which the Beatitudes were written, examine the Literary Content of the Beatitudes in the Gospel of Matthew, and will attempt to explain the meaning of the text.
This passage is part of the passage known as the Sermon on the Mount because Jesus gave it on a hill near Capernaum. This sermon, most likely, covered more than one day of preaching. Matthew, Chapter Five, is filled with sermon after sermon, and teaching after teaching where Jesus tells of his attitude toward the law, and explains how social rank and money are not important in his kingdom. People came from miles around to hear him speak. Accompanying him, were his Disciples whom he warned of all the fame and fortune they might receive through traveling with him. Jesus also warned his Disciples of using God's message to...