In His famous Beatitudes from His Sermon on the Mount,
did Jesus just come up with some good attitudes
off the top of his head to satisfy the crowd?
The fact that he drew attention by sitting down—the position rabbis assumed when about to give authoritative teaching—and that Matthew would write “He opened His mouth,” the phrase used in the Old Testament when representatives of God made proclamations on behalf of God, would suggest that
Jesus carefully chose which attitudes. And in what order
Lists in the Bible turn out to be important in item and order. Consider how important the fruits of the Spirit are, and who wouldn’t expect LOVE to lead the list since “God is love” (1 John 4:8). Self-control serves as capstone to the list because none of the fruits are possible without self-control given by the Holy Spirit. Other interesting deductions can be drawn from the fruit selection and placement.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Tim. 3:16) so Paul’s list of the fruits of the Holy Spirit were inspired by God. Jesus is the Word of God—written and living. He inspired all the words of the Bible, and in time a Bible student discovers how even words that are often skipped beget vital information on certain subjects.
When Jesus was asked in Matthew 24 about what would be the signs of the end and His coming, his first four items identify the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse! He didn’t just ad lib a few end-time events to placate a challenging press conference!
And imagine that, Jesus was able to inspire John to match horsemen to His Olivet Prophecy!
The Barna Group finds in surveys of millennials (18 to 29 years old) that so many of them dismiss the Bible as fairy tales and myths. What ignorance is the most charitable comment to make. The Bible is so intricately woven together in themes and passages to be astoundingly breath-taking!
So why did Jesus give the specific Beatitudes He did and in the order they’re in?
From the Pauline formula the obvious guess for the first Beatitude would logically be “Blessed are the loving.” And to follow would undoubtedly be “Blessed are the joyful” or “Blessed are the faithful.” True, but the promised reward would be “for they shall be wrong!”
The Beatitudes are the foundational principles of the Kingdom of God. Lo and behold, they match up with a foundational revelation of God’s plan of salvation about how to become part of the Family of God in the Kingdom of God.
Details at 10! Hope that doesn’t make you mourn. But you can be comforted if you read the next post: “What the Beatitudes Match Up With.”