Matthew 5:1-12 Commentary
Many unsuspecting Christians approach the Beatitudes as they would a personality test. Though they may not be poor in spirit or pure in heart, they are delighted and relieved when they think that they possess one traits they believe qualifies them for the Kingdom of God. But Jesus is not giving descriptions about those who will enter his Kingdom, but a single description. He is not describing qualities that some of his people may posses and that others will not. Jesus is giving a description of the attributes of the most plain, most ordinary Christian who will spend eternity with him.
The average Christian is humble, but they also mourn over their sin. They are gentle, but they thirst to know Jesus more through the Scriptures. They hunger to do the righteousness Jesus teaches them and they pray with meekness. Christians are a merciful people, but they are also unselfishly caring without an agenda. They are a people who seek peace, but they expect persecution because their character stands so opposite of the world.
Jesus opened his famous sermon describing what his people will look like, must look like, because he was describing himself. Since the Christian has Jesus living inside them, it is only natural that they look like him in every respect. They do not have just one or two of his qualities they have all of them. So the Beatitudes describe the Christian fully and they serve as warning for all pretenders. They are not perfect people. They are not perfectly humble, seekers of righteousness and peace, and persecuted for his name’s sake. But they do possess faith, which slowly leads them down the paths of righteousness that swallows them up, day by day, into Christ’s perfect character. The Beatitudes show the goodness of Christ’s heart and the heart he offers us if we would place our hope and trust in him.