When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Matthew 5:1-10
Chapters 5, 6 and 7 of Matthew, this collection of great teaching from Jesus, is “The Sermon on the Mount.” Here, we have the preamble to His Sermon, “The Beatitudes.” To some scholars, these beatitudes are not held to be commandments but a description of a life that will be rewarded by God now and in the future.
Here, Jesus turns all our values and perspectives upside-down – he does not say blessed are those who are CEOs, or have oodles money, or have comfortable lives. Jesus regards the poor in spirit, the mourners, the meek, the righteous, the peacemakers, the pure in heart, and the persecuted as blessed. People who have been blessed with comfortable lives can also be a part of these blessed people. But those in any kind of distress, who can approach their lives with dependence on God, and with gratitude, humility, mercy, and love will be comforted and rewarded.