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WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE “BLESSED” AND HIGHLY FAVORED?

JESUS SERMON ON THE MOUNT

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BkT6-CDIjw]

Let us begin by understanding the word “BLESSED.”  It is a Greek word that is derived from the root mak, which means “large or “lengthy,” and means “fortunate” or “happy.”  The Greek word was used in Greek literature, in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament,)  and in the New Testament to describe the kind of happiness that comes from receiving divine favor.  The word can be rendered happy.  In the New Testament, it is usually passive; God is the One who is blessing or favoring the person.  God says the Blessed person is a “Happy Person” and He describes that person in this manner, BLESSED is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” ( Psalm 1:1-2)

In the Beatitudes, each one describes how to Be Blessed.”  They describe how the followers of Christ should live their lives.  To be blessed means more than happiness, it means to be “favored” and “approved” by God.

THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount and it challenged the teaching of the proud and legalistic religious leaders of the day. It called people back to the messages of the Old Testament prophets who, like Jesus, had taught that God wants heartfelt obedience, not mere legalistic observing of laws and rituals.

The most well-known portion of the Sermon on the Mount is known as the Beatitudes. These are, a series of “blessings,” promised to those who exhibit, the attitude of God’s kingdom. They are called the “Beatitudes.”

In verse three, we note that the Beatitudes describe how Christ’s followers should live. According to worldly standards, the type of people whom Jesus described does not seem to be particularly blessed by God. However, God’s way of living usually contradicts the world.  Jesus explained that “God blessed those who realize their need for him, for the kingdom of heaven is given to them.” Only those who humbly depend on God are admitted into the Kingdom of Heaven. The final consummation of all these rewards, and of the kingdom itself, lies in the future. However, the believers can already share in the kingdom by living out Jesus words.

In verse four it seems a contradiction in terms, Jesus explained that “God blesses those mourn, for they will be comforted,” tied with a Beatitudes in verse three, this means that humility (realization of one’s unworthiness before God) also require sorrow for sins.  Whether Jesus followers mourn for sin or in suffering, God’s promise is sure that they will be comforted. Only God can take away sorrow for sin; only God can forgive and erase it. Only God can give comfort to those who suffer for his sake because they know their reward in the kingdom.

5Blessed (happy, blithesome, joyous, [a]spiritually prosperous–[b]with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the meek (the mild, patient, long-suffering), for they shall inherit the earth!(A)

6Blessed and fortunate and happy and [c]spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God [d]enjoys His favor and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they shall be [e]completely satisfied!(B)

7Blessed (happy, [f]to be envied, and [g]spiritually prosperous–[h]with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy!

8Blessed (happy, [i]enviably fortunate, and [j]spiritually prosperous–possessing the [k]happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His grace, regardless of their outward conditions) are the pure in heart, for they shall see God!(C)

9Blessed (enjoying [l]enviable happiness, [m]spiritually prosperous–[n]with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the makers and [o]maintainers of peace, for they shall be called the sons of God!

10Blessed and happy and [p]enviably fortunate and [q]spiritually prosperous [r](in the state in which the born-again child of God enjoys and finds satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of his outward conditions) are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake (for being and doing right), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!

11Blessed (happy, [s]to be envied, and [t]spiritually prosperous–[u]with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of your outward conditions) are you when people revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things against you falsely on My account.

12Be glad and supremely joyful, for your reward in heaven is great (strong and intense), for in this same way people persecuted the prophets who were before you. [II Chron. 36:16.]

Finally, Jesus described the way the disciples should respond to persecution; “be happy about it!” “Be very glad!” This refers to deep spiritual joy that is unhindered and unchanged by what happens in this present life. A person with righteous character can rejoice and be glad because of a promise: a great reward awaits you in heaven. The persecution will pale in comparison to the great reward.

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  14. What joy to be blessed and highly favored. Regarless of the things encountered while on this journey, Jesus let’s us know that he loves us and cares for us in so many ways. Its not about the out side appearence but the personal relationship we share with Christ. When totally commited to his ways we learn to trust him and know he will help us to make the right choicees in life. Beautifully written.. Bless you, the writer of these words!

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