In today's study from Matthew 5:2-6, we take a closer look at the Law of the Kingdom to see what it means to the Jew and how it applies to the Church.
Just as a Reminder
These Laws here in Matthew 5 were given to the Jews and not the church. They will not be fully implemented until the Millennial Reign of Christ or the full establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. However, God does expect us as Christians to follow these principles. So, let’s look at the Jewish application and the Christian application. By the way, the word “blessed” mean happy.
Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit
vv.2-3 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, (3) Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the poor in spirit. The word poor in our way of thinking is to have no money, goods, or other means of support. However, that is not what the word means here. It is referring not to physical poverty, but spiritual poverty.
Psalm 34:18 “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” Contrite means remorseful. In this verse, it means to be remorseful for one’s poverty.
Is 66:2 “For all those things hath mine hand made, and those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” The Jews that Jesus were speaking to directly were those who were contrite and brokenhearted because of the authority of the Romans and the Pharisees. Both were placing tremendous burdens on the people: the Romans through taxes and the Pharisees through legalism (cf. Matthew 23:2-4).
To the Christian, blessed are the poor in spirit means blessed is the one who recognizes their need for God (spiritual poverty). Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
Blessed Are Those Who Mourn
v.4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are those who mourn. To mourn is to feel or express sorrow or grief.
Is 57:18 “I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners.”
Is 61:2-3 “To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”
The Jews that mourned for their King were promised comfort when their king does come. Of course, that King was Jesus and they failed to see him.
To the Christian, blessed are those who mourn is referring to those who mourn over their sin (cf. James 4:7-10).
Blessed Are the Meek
v.5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are the meek. Meek be definition is the act of being humbly patient or docile when under provocation from others.
Zeph 2:3 “Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD's anger.”
A Jew who was truly meek would place himself under the authority of God’s word and would seek the Lord. As a result, he would inherit the earth.
Ps 37:11 “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”
To the Christian, blessed are the meek is referring to those who submit to divine authority.
1 Peter 5:6 “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:”
Blessed are those who Hunger and Thirst
v.6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (cf. John 6:35).
These Jews knew that they didn’t have righteousness and they wanted it so badly, they could taste it. Unlike the Pharisees who felt that they were righteous already.
To the Christian, blessed are those who hunger and thirst is referring to those who desire justice or righteousness. Micah 6:8 “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”