The 8 Beatitudes, or blessings, or the be-attitudes, are the core of the core teachings Jesus came here to share.
What we often don’t realize is the power within the statements. To many of us they have become meaningless. So often when we read through the Beatitudes we skim over them without any realization of the power and depth of their meaning. For one, our lifestyle is so very different, and for another, many of the words either had no accurate translation in the English language, or often the meanings don’t make sense any more, or they come across ho-hum, or they’ve actually come to mean the opposite of the original language.
First, the phrase “blessed are,” when the original Greek word is translated accurately, it means “Oh, the godlike joy of…” The reason that is important is because they are not just wishes of what might be; they are not hopes for future blessings; they are celebrations of what exists right now, at this moment. They are exultant shouts of joy for the Divine blessings that nothing in this physical world can ever take away from us.
5:3 #1 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Poor in spirit, (not financially, but in spirit). The original meaning for poor spoken at the time describes absolute and abject poverty. it describes the poverty which is beaten to its knees, someone who is absolutely destitute. Why is that something to celebrate? Because it celebrates the person who is so spiritually destitute they realize their own utter lack of resources to meet life, and with nowhere else to turn, put their whole trust in God. It means surrender, the most significant choice we make. Surrender isn’t only about giving, it is mainly about receiving. We are to empty ourselves in surrender so that total love and Truth and guidance can flood into us and fill us to overflowing without restriction. That is when we truly celebrate the fullness of life that is ours to experience from that inner kingdom of heaven that is within us. Not from anything outside of us, but Inside of us always. That is freedom. That is true joy. To personalize this proclamation of triumph.
Oh, the godlike joy when we feel so spiritually destitute that we finally surrender our lives to God, putting all of our trust in our indwelling Unlimited Supplier, not a human. This is joy!
- William Barclay’s Commentary on The Gospel of Matthew
- The Hidden Gospel, Neil Douglas-Klotz
Next: #2: Blessed are those who mourn…