He Taught His Climbing Companions

The Beatitudes are impossible to accomplish through our natural tendencies and desires.  They crush us to the ground.  They fly in the face of self-confidence, self-sufficiency, and self-righteousness.   They show us the absolute necessity of the new birth and the operation of the Holy Spirit for their implementation.  This is the way that disciples are meant to be, even how we are expected to be.  The Beatitudes show us the clear difference between belief and unbelief, between following Christ and conforming to a superficial religious system, and between Christianity and other religions of the world.  The Beatitudes require radical and supernatural regeneration.

A few thoughts about the structure of the Beatitudes are insightful.  A consistent and humble study of these qualities will reveal certain interesting and purposeful characteristics.  We initially begin to discern that they are both sequential and simultaneous.  The previous beatitude flows into the next, but we are expected to manifest all of them all of the time.  Then we discover that the result of the first and eighth beatitude is a comprehension of “the kingdom of God.”  Living out these qualities reflects the kingdom of God.  Further study will reveal that the fourth beatitude, “hungering and thirsting after righteousness,” is a kind of watershed of the first three (what God does within us), and the following three (how we manifest this to the world).  Finally, the eighth beatitude, “being persecuted” is comprehensive as the result of living out the first seven.

The posts in the next several weeks will develop from these spiritual qualities.  We begin with what Jesus said would be the overarching characteristic of those disciples who leverage the life of the Spirit in themselves:  They will be “blessed.”  We will explore that next time.