Matthew 5:2-5 The Be Attitudes: Poverty, Mourning, & Meekness

The foundation of them all

The Foundational Piece

I feel ill-equipped to try and bring anyone the all-encompassing answers on what Jesus meant when He taught these attitudes. I was unable to find my workbook that I referenced in yesterday’s writings, so I turned to my other resources; my bible’s notes and Google. They provided me with a lot of answers in my search to understand what I’m reading. I’m going to share some direct quotes from my Google sources and links to the websites I found them on, in case you want to check them out too. So let’s dive into the deep end and trust God’s previous swimming lessons to get us safely back to shore.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (verse 3). Understanding what “poor in spirit” meant was the hardest one for me. Not the hardest to do, but initially unsure of the meaning. In searching Google, I found an article from the Billy Graham Organization that helped me understand the meaning of being poor in spirit. The article says that to be poor in spirit means to recognize one’s need for God. Read more »

Matthew 5:1 Settle in brothers and sisters, because we’re going to be here a while.

jesus teaching 6

Jesus sitting down to teach

Once upon a time, I found an awesome book on the Beatitudes. I was in a pretty dark place in my life when I found this book and it helped me a lot. I am still trying to locate it in all my old writing stuff. If I do locate it I will find it on Amazon and give you a link to it.

After reading that book, I feel ill-equipped to do justice to Jesus’ sharing of the BE attitudes in His sermon on the mountain that day. BUT here we are anyway. I’m going to dive in and see where God takes us. I don’t know how long it will take us to get through this deep water but I plan on staying the course and going as slow, or fast, as He sees fit.

First thing I notice is that Matthew doesn’t break things down into: this happened, then this happened, then this happened. He lumps a LOT of time together into a few verses. Yesterday when Matthew talked about Jesus’ increasing fame, he didn’t put time qualifiers on it. So as we approach the mountain today I have no clue how many months have passed since Jesus started teaching. How many disciples were included in the statement “his disciples came to Him”? Read more »

Matthew 4:23-25 Jesus, the Itinerate Preacher

God had been silent for around 400 years (according to scholars) when John the Baptist and then Jesus appeared on the scene. It was time for the “greatest story ever told” to be lived out in “Technicolor” before their eyes. Jesus, God’s own Son, would be that story. The people living it with Him were unaware of the significance of what was happening right under their very noses.

Jesus walks

Jesus walking the dusty roads of Galilee

Jesus’ message to the people started out with the same message John the Baptist was sharing; REPENT for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand! His message expanded from there. He also didn’t stay in one place or one region like John did. Jesus “went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom…” (Verse 22a). Read more »

Matthew 4:18-22 Jesus Calls His First Disciples

fishing boat 2

Boats by the sea

What prompted Jesus to call Peter & Andrew? They weren’t doing anything spiritual or hanging on the edge of their seats at a religious conference. They were busy fishing when He walked by. What about James and John? They were in the boat helping their dad mend fishing nets. These four ordinary men were about their ordinary jobs when Jesus walked by and said, “Follow Me.” And THEY DID! Matthew says the “immediately” followed Him.

Luke 5 gives us a little more information on this encounter. In Luke’s account of the events Jesus taught a message from Peter’s boat and performed a miracle for the group before asking them to follow Him. This explains their “immediate” reaction but not His for choosing them in the first place. He was still walking along, trailing a crowd behind Him from Luke’s account, and chose four men from the most unlikely place.

What about those following Him around that day? Why didn’t He call some of them to be His disciples? They apparently were hanging on His every word, as I would expect any “true disciple” should be. What about calling someone from the religious sects? I’m sure that would have been a logical choice for anyone wanting to enter the religious scene. Read more »

Matthew 4:12-17 Jesus Takes the Stage

Galilee mapHow long after Jesus’s baptism did John get arrested? Was it just as Jesus was finishing His fast? How long was John held in prison before he was killed? I have been doing some research this morning trying to answer this question and have not found a definitive answer. John was in prison during Jesus’ ministry and Luke tells John even sent some of his disciples to ask Jesus if He was the one they were waiting for. How quickly problems crowd in and wipe out certainty. God Himself had just testified to Jesus’ deity in the river Jordan.

John was also killed by Herod while Jesus was still teaching. John’s disciples brought back Jesus’ reply to John’s question. Did that settle his heart and mind before his death? Did John expect Jesus to come and rescue him from prison? John knew he was on a mission from God, so how could being in prison be part of that? John didn’t ask his disciples to ask Jesus to free him though. John probably consoled himself with knowing how all the previous prophets had been treated. He was in good company on that point. I trust that God walked with him and gave him reassurance even to the second of his death. Read more »