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"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Gospel of St. Matthew 5:3-10


Many Christians today agree that we should obey the Ten Commandments but are under no obligation to obey the rest of the statutes and judgments that God also gave Israel as part of the covenant. Christians often claim that we should obey the "moral law." By "moral law" they mean whatever law they themselves wish to obey. In this way, man becomes the lawgiver instead of God. Man has become the judge as to whether God's laws are good and moral. Christian should obey is that Man should obey the covenant that God has made with him. Thus the scripture is clear that the Christian must obey God's law if he claims to love God. John wrote under the inspiration of the holy spirit in 1 John 2:3-4: "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." Thus the Christian should examine himself according to the scripture whether or not he truly loves God. God promises in 1 John 2:4-5: "But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." Reflection in BEATTITUDE This section of the Beatitudes is one of the most loved portions of the Gospel. It forms the beginning of what has come to be known as the Sermon on the Mount which is recorded in Matthew 5-7. The preaching of this sermon may have come a little later in the chronology of the life of Christ; but Matthew placed it here at the beginning of Jesus ministry because it forms such a grand proclamation of the kingdom. It is the first of the five major discourses that Matthew includes. We first need to fill in what Matthew has included between this passage and the last one we studied. Matthew followed the account of the temptation of Jesus with a brief note that Jesus began to preach a message of repentance because the kingdom of heaven was near (4:12-17). In order to reach a wider audience, He moved from Nazareth to the city of Capernaum, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, but more importantly, on the main highway through the land. His declaration of beatitudes would come, but not until He called for repentance.
The Beatitudes are a little different to study than ordinary story-passages. Each saying is proverb-like. Cryptic, precise, and full of meaning. Each one includes a topic that forms a major biblical theme. So you could spend a lot of time on each one--and that would be worth doing if you so desired. But we will make this a brief, introductory Bible study on the passage, and leave more to be done later.