2And He [Jesus Christ] opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Here we call Jesus Christ, Yahshua (or Yeshua) by His Hebrew name. It means “YAH saves.”
May be divided into eight lessons.
1. HAPPY ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Granny Vee writes:
What does it mean to be poor in spirit? You may think that Yahshua is talking about poor people who do not have enough to money to eat and live. Poor people sometimes beg for help. They ask people to help them because they are in need.
But here, Yahshua is talking about those who are poor in spirit. “Poor in spirit” means you know that you have nothing without God! It means that you know that you need God’s help. And it means you are humble to ask Him for His help! It means that you know that you have done wrong and so you ask Yahshua to save you from your sins!
So being ‘poor in spirit’ means humbly asking God to forgive you!
“Blessed” means happy. But it is more than the kind of happy you are when you eat your favorite food or play your favorite game. That kind of happy is over soon after the food is eaten or the game is over. This “blessed” is a happiness that becomes a part of you! We call it “joy.” It is a happiness that stays inside you! Even when you’re sad, you can think about how much God loves you and you can bring that joy deep inside you, bubbling up to the surface!
Children sing this song at church:
“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart
Down in my heart, down in my heart
I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart
Down in my heart to stay!
And I’m so happy! So very happy!
I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart, down in my heart!
And I’m so happy! So very happy!
I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart!”
When you ask Yahshua to be your Savior, He comes into your heart and stays! He is always there and He is your joy! And if Yahshua is there, a bit of the Kingdom of Heaven is there in your heart! The Kingdom of Heaven is “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”! (Romans 14:17)
So our verse
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”
can be understood this way:
“Happy are the humble for they get to live in heaven!”
People who know they need Jesus to save them will live happily in heaven forever with King Jesus!
SUGGESTED SONGS: “I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy!”; “Heaven is in My Heart”
2. HAPPY ARE THOSE WHO MOURN
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Granny Vee writes:
We will learn how to be truly blessed, happy people through the words of Jesus Christ.
Let’s go back to when Yahshua was living in Israel. He often taught outside to large crowds of people. The Beatitudes are in His teaching called the “Sermon on the Mount” which He taught while sitting on top of a hill near the Sea of Galilee.
People came from near and far to be healed and to listen to Yahshua. Some were very sick and Yahshua would command the sickness to leave their bodies. People were healed instantly, right then and there! God wants to heal us. (James 5:14-15)
But Yahshua knew that the people needed more than just healing in their bodies. He knew that they needed healing inside in their hearts. So He spoke “wonderful words of life” to them, words that could change their hearts. His words teach us how to be truly happy.
“Blessed” means happy, a deep joy in your heart. But why would Yahshua teach that “Blessed are they that mourn”? This sounds like an oxymoron!
Do you know what an oxymoron is? An oxymoron is the combining together of two opposite words. Did you ever eat jumbo shrimp? Well, “jumbo” means “big” and “shrimp” can mean “small” so when you put the two opposite terms together it is called an oxymoron. It is a fun little game to think of oxymorons or to make some up.
“Blessed” means “happy”. “Mourning” means “to feel sadness”. Wait! That’s an oxymoron. How can one be happy and sad? Was Yahshua really saying “Happy are the sad”? Yes, He was. But how can that be?
In our normal thinking, that doesn’t even make sense! But remember that God is way wiser than even the smartest rocket scientist! His ways are higher than our ways! (Isaiah 55:9) God’s ways are quite different than what people might think.
For example, Yahshua also said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35) You are blessed to receive a gift, but the giver is more blessed! Our Father in heaven is a Giver and He is happy to give us the best gifts! If you want to be happy, give freely and joyfully!
But let’s get back to mourning. Mourning is sadness and sorrow and crying and weeping. In the Kingdom of heaven, God promises to wipe away all our tears. But here, in this sinful broken world, where we don’t always follow God’s higher ways, there are often many reasons to be sad. Pets die. People die. People are sick. People are hungry. People are hurt. People get angry. People are mean.
Do you know that God is sad over these things too? God wants us to pray about these things! God hears us when we cry and He will comfort us through all our problems, big or small.
Did you ever cut your finger and start crying because it hurt? Perhaps your mom washed your sore. But then after she put on the bandage, maybe she picked you up on her lap and hugged you! When we go to Our heavenly Father with our hurts, He can fix our problems and He will “hug” us, too! In the Bible, the Holy Spirit of God is even called the “Comforter”!
We can always go and sit on our heavenly daddy’s “lap”! Oh, you can’t see this “lap” with your eyes, but you can sense Him hugging you! Being on our Abba’s “lap” (“Abba” is Hebrew for “daddy”) is a place of comfort and joy! It’s a great joy to know the love of God, so even when we are crying on our Abba’s lap, we are blessed with His love!
For now, God comforts us in sadness. But we can be happy that He is also making all things right. He is fixing all wrongs. Some glad day, when Yahshua returns, there will no longer be anything to cause us hurt. We have that promise and that promise brings joy to those who believe!
God is faithful to keep His promise to bring His Kingdom of Heaven which is “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”! (Romans 14:17) There will be no more sorrow there! He will turn all our mourning into joy! (Jeremiah 31:13) HalleluYAH!
SUGGESTED SONGS: “Soon and Very Soon”; “Kumbayah”
3. HAPPY ARE THE MEEK
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
Granny Vee writes:
This is the third Beatitude, teaching us how to be truly blessed, happy people.
Many people came to listen to Yahshua when He lived on the earth amongst them. Some of these listeners knew that He was special by His wise words and by the miracles He did. Some of them were meek. The meek wanted to learn how to live right, how to please God. The meek wanted to obey God, to do His will. The meek were gentle and teachable. The meek were willing to live under God’s rules, to be submitted to God, the King of Kings. Yahshua was encouraging them that someday they, the meek, would inherit the earth!
This was really good news for the meek! At the time Yahshua was speaking, the people of Israel were living under the Roman rulers. They were forced to pay many taxes, to give a lot of their hard-earned money to the Romans. Sometimes that left them little money to care for their families. In this world, sadly often the big, the strong and the powerful rule over other people by force. They mistreat people and abuse them, sometimes even making them slaves. This is not the way of God!
Story after story in the Bible teaches us that when these mean people tried to rule over God’s people, if God’s people continued in prayer, God would raise up a warrior from amongst His meek people to defeat the bad guys! David was a meek shepherd boy but he defeated the mean giant Goliath! God wants His people to fight for justice and good. God wants people to be free and happy in His kingdom of “righteousness, peace and joy”! (Romans 14:17).
God sent His Son, the meek Yahshua, to defeat the devil, once and for all! Yahshua said “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33)
Yahshua promised the people of Israel and all people in the future who would follow Yahshua the King of Kings, that they would inherit the earth! When will this happen? When Yahshua returns to earth! The meek who obey God now will rule with Yahshua when He returns. (Rev 1:6; Rev 2:26; Rev 3:21)
Yahshua told us “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33) In other words: Be happy! King Yahshua has already won! Yahshua has already won in the courts of heaven. But satan doesn’t want to give back the earth. Satan is NOT meek. So right now he still is fighting against God. But when Yahshua comes back satan will be locked up, thrown into a jail, so to speak, that the Bible calls the “bottomless pit.” (Rev. 20:1-3) (Granny Vee thinks this “bottomless pit” might be like the “black holes” scientists have found in space, but I can’t be sure of that!)
But I am sure, because the Word of God says so, that those who follow Yahshua, the meek, will inherit the earth with Him! (Rev 20:6) Christians now are being trained to rule as kings under the loving leadership of Yahshua, the King of Kings!
Are you meek? If you are humble and meek, you will want to please your Creator God. God wants you to receive Yahshua the Messiah as your KING and Savior. Then God will move you from satan’s dark kingdom of sin into His Kingdom of “righteousness, peace and joy”! Oh, most likely you’ll still live in the same house, on the same earth, but there will be a change in the spirit world, the world that we can’t see with human eyes. But you will sense the love of God and the peace of God within you and around you! This is God’s kingdom on earth! What Good News! Yahshua, Jesus Christ came to earth to defeat the devil and to proclaim, “Repent! [Turn back to God] for the Kingdom of Heaven is near!” (Matthew 3:2)
If you haven’t yet meekly turned back to God, you may pray:
“God I’m sorry for disobeying you. I believe Jesus Christ, Yahshua, is the Savior who died for my sins. I choose to follow Jesus Christ as my LORD and my King! Please help me to be meek by Your Holy Spirit, living my life to please You, the Creator of all, who gave me the wonderful gift of life!”
SUGGESTED SONGS: “Trust and Obey”; “Joyful, Joyful”
4. HAPPY ARE THOSE WHO HUNGER & THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”
Granny Vee writes:
This is the fourth Beatitude teaching us how to be truly blessed, happy people.
We all know what it feels like to be physically hungry. When your stomach growls, you want to eat! We know what it feels like to be physically thirsty on a hot day! You want to gulp down a big glass of water.
But this Beatitude is not talking about our stomach growling or our mouths being dry. Yahshua was talking about our hearts being hungry, needing to be filled. We need spiritual food and spiritual drink! Yahshua is that spiritual food and drink. That’s what He meant when He said:
“I am the Bread of life; whoever comes to Me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)
Yahshua satisfies hungry, thirsty hearts, hearts who want to be filled with the Spirit of God! Without Yahshua in our hearts, our souls will always be hungry and thirsty.
But Yahshua said, “whoever drinks the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14) Yahshua fills us with His Holy Spirit!
The Word of God says that our Creator-God made us with a space in our hearts that only He can fill. People without God feel empty. They look here and there to be filled, to be satisfied but they are still not satisfied or happy.
But people who know Yahshua and have His Spirit living in their hearts are truly happy forever! We may feel gloomy sometimes if something sad happens, but deep in our hearts we are filled with the peace and joy that can only come from our Creator God!
“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!” (Psalm 34:8)
SUGGESTED SONGS: “I’ve Got Peace Like a River”; “Seek Ye First”
5. HAPPY ARE THE MERCIFUL
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”
Granny Vee writes:
This is the fifth Beatitude, teaching us how to be truly blessed, happy people.
What is mercy? Mercy is being kind to someone even when they don’t deserve it, even when they have been mean to you.
Has someone ever been kind to you when you didn’t deserve their kindness? Let’s suppose in a burst of anger, you threw a glass across the room and smashed it to smithereens (small pieces). Okay, you’re in trouble now! Rightly, some of your punishment was to buy a new glass and clean up the mess you made.
But then your mom helps you clean up the glass shards. That’s mercy. Your dad then helps you with the extra chores you’ve been given to pay for the glass. That’s mercy. They didn’t need to help you. It was your punishment for your sin. You deserved the punishment but your parents had mercy on you, so they took some of the burden of your punishment.
Yahshua took our punishment for us when He died on the cross instead of us. That is extreme mercy!
God wants us to be merciful like Yahshua. Yahshua, later in this same Sermon on the Mount, taught us to pray “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12) God wants us to forgive and to show mercy to others as He has shown great mercy to us.
So this Beatitude teaches us that if we are forgiving and merciful, God will also show us His great mercy and forgiveness. He won’t give us the punishment we deserve for our sins!
So the next time someone calls you a mean name, don’t get angry and call them something mean, too. Smile at them and tell them, “Jesus loves you!” That’s being merciful!
SUGGESTED SONGS: “Friendly Philemon Frog”; “Live It!” Words may be seen on this site.
6. HAPPY ARE THE PURE IN HEART
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
Granny Vee writes:
This is the sixth Beatitude, teaching us how to be truly blessed, happy people.
Pure means to be clean and unmixed with dirty things. Our bodies do get dirty. That’s okay. We can easily wash our dirty hands or dirty feet.
But people get dirty hearts, too! They get dirty hearts when they do wrong things and when they think wrong thoughts. Only Yahshua can wash dirty hearts. When we do something wrong, we can ask God to forgive us. He will wash our hearts clean. But God wants us to do our best to keep our hearts and minds clean. We can do this by thinking about good things.
“Finally, brethren [brothers], whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8
Yahshua taught that we can sin even by thinking bad thoughts. Our minds are like living computers. If you type bad things into your computer, it will have bad things in it. We must be careful what we see, what we hear, and what we do so that we do not put bad things into our hearts and minds.
Television, movies, radio, the internet and the culture around us are full of bad things such as witchcraft and evil, things which God said NOT to do. We should be careful to choose only good shows and games and music. If we love God, we will choose to obey Him rather than to do what is popular with those who do not know God’s ways! We need to be careful not to fill our hearts and minds with things that are sinful.
But God wants us to be happy. He gave us a beautiful, lovely creation to enjoy and “think on.” We can play outside in God’s beautiful world and learn and “think on” the flowers and the animals. God’s animal kingdom is absolutely amazing! We can see God’s greatness is His creation.
God gave us the gift of music. We can “think on” beautiful songs. We can enjoy music that makes our hearts leap for joy. Music can inspire us to praise God. But there is some music that has been twisted to be bad and has words that are not good to hear. God does not want us to listen to bad songs. They will not give us the peace of God. May we close our ears to dirty sounds. May we listen to beautiful, pure music with good words, especially songs that we can sing back to Him who is the Maker of musical tones, sounds, and harmonies.
Another way we can “think on” good things and keep our hearts pure is to think about what God wrote in His wonderful Word: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” We will see GOD!
SUGGESTED SONGS: “Positively Give Praise”; “Oh, Be Careful Little Eyes What You See”
7. HAPPY ARE THE PEACEMAKERS
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
Granny Vee writes:
This is the seventh Beatitude, teaching us how to be truly blessed, happy people.
Peace is very important to God as He Himself is the great peacemaker! In the Bible, He is even called the God of peace: Yahweh-Shalom in Hebrew. (Judges 6:24)
In Hebrew, people say “Shalom!” which means “peace” as a greeting. Instead of just ‘Hello!” or “Good-bye!”, we can speak a blessing of “Peace!” to one another. Isn’t that wonderful?!
Peace means to be quiet and still and at rest. God can bring us peace in our hearts even when all around us there is trouble and turbulence.
Have you ever been in a storm? A storm is not peaceful at all. The wind blows hard. The rain pounds down. The waves of the sea grow big and scary!
One day at a lake, Granny Vee saw a storm blow in. We had been swimming and the weather was hot but calm and peaceful. It was a beautiful day! Then suddenly, out of nowhere, a wild and crazy storm blew in. We all ran quickly out of the suddenly rough water! The beach umbrellas were blown inside out and everything on the beach was being whipped around by the wind. People started running to catch their floaties and beach towels and hats. It was amazing to see such a sudden change from calm to chaos.
One day, a long time ago, when Yahshua lived on the earth, He and His followers were in a boat on the Sea of Galilee. Suddenly, a wild storm blew in. The disciples were afraid. The sea was so turbulent and rough that the disciples thought the boat could be turned over and that they could possibly drown. But Yahshua merely spoke to the angry, wild sea “Peace, be still!” and the sea again became calm and peaceful. The disciples were amazed and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” (Mark 4:41) Yahshua is the Master of the Sea! He can calm any storm and bring peace. He is a great peacemaker.
God wants us to be peacemakers, too. Oh, maybe we won’t calm an angry sea but we can help to calm down an angry person.
We can say we’re sorry when we make someone angry and help calm their heart.
We can speak softly and gently to someone who is angry instead of getting mean and angry ourselves.
We can remain calm and pray to God when storms upset people’s lives. Sometimes stormy weather like hurricanes and tornados can destroy people’s homes. This can be a very hard time for people. We can help them during that rough time and pray for God to restore peace and order to their lives. We can point people to God and encourage them that God can calm their hearts even in the middle of their storms.
Our hearts can always be at peace when we have peace with God through our faith in Yahshua. We can know that God works all things together, even storms, for our good, if we love and obey Him! (Romans 8:28) God can always keep us in perfect peace!
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You: because he trusts in You. Trust in Yahweh forever; for in Yah, Yahweh, is everlasting strength.” (Isaiah 26:3-4)
SUGGESTED SONGS: “I’ve Got Peace like a River”; “Don’t Fret!”
8. HAPPY ARE THOSE WHO ARE PERSECUTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS’ SAKE
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Granny Vee writes:
This is the eighth and final Beatitude, teaching us how to be truly blessed, happy people.
Yahshua said that:
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.” (Matthew 5:11)
In other words: You are really blessed when people don’t like you or treat you badly or lie about you just because you are behaving like a good Christian. People may be cursing you but God is blessing you for your obedience!
Maybe someone has called you a “sissy” because you tried to avoid a fist fight. Maybe someone has called you a “goody-goody” because you won’t play a bad video game. Maybe someone has dared you to use a curse word or to do something that you know is absolutely wrong. Maybe someone has called you a “chicken” because you won’t steal something. If someone is persecuting you for being good, don’t worry – be happy! You are blessed when you stay obedient to God. Yahshua said that you should even rejoice!
“Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven…” (Matthew 5:12)
Yes, the LORD has a great reward for you in heaven someday! Think about that! If you remember that God Almighty, your Heavenly Father is pleased with your obedience to Him, you will not be shaken by someone’s silly teases and taunts. You have a reward in heaven waiting for you!
Nobody gets into heaven by being good, because no one is 100% good for 24/7. We gain entrance to heaven because we have accepted Yahshua as our Savior. But we can earn rewards on earth that will be waiting for us in heaven! So our actions and attitudes matter a lot! Yahshua promises us great rewards for enduring patiently persecution.
Today in some places in the world, it is very hard to live as a righteous Christian. Many people from other religious backgrounds and cultures lose their friends and even family when they believe in the Truth of Yahshua. Some people are thrown in jail just for reading the Word of God! There are children whose good Christian fathers or mothers have been put in prison just because they told people about the Good News of Yahshua! That’s not a very fair thing to do to nice people! But while these persecuted families may endure a hard life here on earth, they have great rewards in heaven! They love Yahshua so much that they will be obedient to Him even if they must suffer for that obedience. The LORD says we must obey Him first. So even if an unfair man-made law puts them in prison for preaching, they still preach the Holy Word of God because God commands us to speak forth the Truth!
Please remember to pray daily for persecuted Christians.
Pray that they remain faithful and obedient to God, for the Holy Spirit to comfort them through their troubles, for their daily needs, for their health, for their safety and for their release from prison. Our Heavenly Father is very pleased when we pray for our Christian brothers and sisters who are being persecuted for their faith in Yahshua. And someday we will share great joy together with them in the happy kingdom of heaven!
SUGGESTED SONGS: “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen”; “Trust & Obey”; “Don’t Fret!”