This is the beginning study in Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount. I hope The Lord uses these studies in your life to teach, exhort and encourage you as you follow God’s calling in your life!
When Jesus began His ministry people began to follow Him around to listen and see what was going to happen next. Jesus looked at the crowds from Galilee, Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and from beyond the Jordan. He then went up on the mountain, and began what many have called the greatest sermon ever preached. In Matthew 5:3 we read His first statement: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
The first nine verses of this sermon are commonly referred to as The Beatitudes. Each of these statements open with the word “blessed,” and this can be easily understood as “God blesses.” This is important to understand when we look at who is blessed by God first. The very first trait that Jesus focuses on in the beginning of this entire sermon deals with humility, but it’s not just being humble in a general sense. Just being a humble person will not get you into heaven, but listening and obeying Jesus will. It is as if He shuts down anyone that could be argumentative to Him during His sermon in the very first line. If someone would have disagreed with Jesus because they didn’t know the nature of His true being, they were standing at odds with His first statement. At the end of this sermon the crowds were astonished at His teachings because He spoke on His own authority and not as a religious leader preaching with God’s authority. We see this in Matthew 7:28-29. In this opening statement He set the tone for the remainder of His message. The ones who humbled themselves before Him as Lord would receive the kingdom of heaven.
I don’t see Jesus ever being on the defense in His ministry. Here He has laid the groundwork for some radical ideas to the original hearers on that mountain side and to many people today. Jesus spoke with authority so many years ago, and His words still ring true with the same authoritative tone. It is not just humility that is a good thing in the big picture, it is humility before God. We, in our nation, should listen well to His first statement in the Sermon on the Mount. We should respond to our Creator with humility and await His guidance in our lives.
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Matthew 5:3 – “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”