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Christianity. The Sermon on the Mount - The Beatitudes

Updated: Oct 29, 2023


This is the first in a series that will discuss the beliefs of various religions. This article is about Christianity and one part of The Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes.


The Sermon on the Mount is a collection of teachings by Jesus Christ recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, chapters 5 through 7. It is considered one of the most important teachings of Jesus and contains many of the major ideals of the Christian life. Some of the main points of the Sermon on the Mount include: The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12): A series of blessings that describe the characteristics and rewards of those who follow Jesus.


Overall, the Sermon on the Mount emphasizes the importance of living a life pleasing to God and following Jesus’ teachings. It serves as a call for Christians to live wholeheartedly for God through faith, not simply through external actions of keeping the law.


There are eight Beatitudes in total, and they are as follows:

1) Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

2) Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

3) Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

4) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

5) Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

6) Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

7) Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

8) Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


The Beatitudes offer a roadmap on how to live a pleasing life to God. They encourage humility, compassion, and a strong desire for justice.


1. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” is the first of the eight Beatitudes that Jesus delivered in his Sermon on the Mount, as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 5.

One interpretation is that being “poor in spirit” refers to those who recognize their own spiritual poverty and their need for God’s grace. In this sense, being “poor in spirit” means being humble and acknowledging one’s own limitations and dependence on God. Those who are “poor in spirit” understand that they cannot save themselves and that they need God’s help and mercy.

Another interpretation is that being “poor in spirit” refers to those who have a humble heart and are not proud or self-satisfied. In this sense, being “poor in spirit” means not thinking too highly of oneself and recognizing one’s own sinfulness and need for God’s forgiveness.

In either interpretation, the “poor in spirit” are blessed because they recognize their need for God and are open to receiving his grace. The reward for being “poor in spirit” is the kingdom of heaven, which refers to both the present experience of God’s rule in one’s life and the future hope of eternal life with God.


2. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” is the second of the eight Beatitudes that Jesus delivered in his Sermon on the Mount, as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 5.

One interpretation is that those who mourn are blessed because they mourn over their own sins. When we mourn over our sins, it brings our hearts to repentance. This is why the Lord says we will be comforted when we mourn because God will forgive us our sins and give us comfort in our hearts. If we mourn over our sin, it demonstrates the truth that we see sin the same way God sees it — completely wicked, vile, and evil. By feeling guilt and mourning over our sins, it shows that we are having great Christian growth and that the Holy Spirit is working in our hearts.

Another interpretation is that being “blessed” refers to those who are afflicted with the loss of friends or possessions. In this sense, being “blessed” means being comforted by God during times of grief and loss. God Himself comforts us and gives us the peace that only He can provide.

In either interpretation, those who mourn are blessed because they receive comfort from God. The reward for mourning is comfort, which refers to both the present experience of God’s peace and the future hope of eternal life with God.


3. “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” is the third of the eight Beatitudes that Jesus delivered in his Sermon on the Mount, as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 5.

One interpretation is that being “meek” refers to those who are gentle, humble, and lowly. The meek are those who do not assert themselves over others in order to further their own agendas in their own strength, but who will nonetheless inherit the earth because they trust in God to direct the outcome of events. Meek people don’t envy, don’t retaliate, and exercise patience in the face of adversity. They show joy and happiness under dire circumstances. No matter what happens in the world around them, they latch on to God’s provision and plan for their lives.

Another interpretation is that being “meek” refers to those who have a mild, gentle, long-suffering, and forgiving disposition. They are slow to anger and averse from wrath; not easily provoked, and if at any time at all provoked, soon pacified. They never resent an injury nor return evil for evil but make it their care to overcome evil with good. By the sweetness, affability, courteousness, and kindness of their disposition, they endeavor to reconcile such as may be offended and win them over to peace and love.

In either interpretation, the meek are blessed because they trust in God and are open to receiving his grace. The reward for being meek is inheriting the earth, which refers to both the present experience of God’s rule in one’s life and the future hope of eternal life with God.


4. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” is the fourth of the eight Beatitudes that Jesus delivered in his Sermon on the Mount, as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 5.

One interpretation is that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are those who have a strong desire for justice and right standing with God. In this sense, being “blessed” means being joyful and nourished by God’s goodness. Those who actively seek righteousness will be completely satisfied.

Another interpretation is that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are those who sincerely, earnestly, and perseveringly desire universal holiness of heart and life, or deliverance from all sinful dispositions and practices, and a complete restoration of their souls to the image of God in which they were created. In this sense, being “blessed” means obtaining the righteousness which they hunger and thirst for, and being abundantly satisfied therewith.

In either interpretation, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed because they receive satisfaction from God. The reward for hungering and thirsting for righteousness is being filled, which refers to both the present experience of God’s peace and the future hope of eternal life with God.


5. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” is the fifth of the eight Beatitudes that Jesus delivered in his Sermon on the Mount, as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 5.

One interpretation is that being “merciful” refers to those who are compassionate, helpful, kind, and giving towards the weak, sick, and poor. The merciful are those who are so affected by the sufferings of others as to be disposed to alleviate them. This is given as an evidence of piety, and it is said that they who show mercy to others shall obtain it.

Another interpretation is that being “merciful” refers to those who have taken on the nature of Christ as they abide in him and walk by his Holy Spirit. God is merciful, and so should we be. If we are merciful, then we will be shown mercy. Because of this, we are blessed. Again, we will likely not show mercy if we have not seen our own need for mercy and have not seen God as merciful to us.

In either interpretation, the merciful are blessed because they receive mercy from God. The reward for being merciful is being shown mercy, which refers to both the present experience of God’s peace and the future hope of eternal life with God.


6. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” is the sixth of the eight Beatitudes that Jesus delivered in his Sermon on the Mount, as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 5.

One interpretation is that being “pure in heart” refers to those whose minds, motives, and principles are pure. In this sense, being “pure in heart” means seeking not only to have the external actions correct but also desiring to be holy in heart. Those who are pure in heart desire to be so and are so. They seek not only to have the external actions correct but who desire to be holy in heart, and who are so.

Another interpretation is that being “pure in heart” refers to those who have integrity, moral courage, and godly character. In this sense, being “pure in heart” means anticipating God’s presence and being spiritually mature.

In either interpretation, the pure in heart are blessed because they will see God. The reward for being pure in heart is seeing God, which refers to both the present experience of God’s peace and the future hope of eternal life with God.


7. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” is the seventh of the eight Beatitudes that Jesus delivered in his Sermon on the Mount, as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 5.

One interpretation is that being a “peacemaker” refers to those who actively work to promote peace and reconciliation between people. In this sense, being a “peacemaker” means seeking to resolve conflicts and promote harmony in relationships. Peacemakers are those who strive to bring people together and help them find common ground.

Another interpretation is that being a “peacemaker” refers to those who have taken on the nature of Christ as they abide in him and walk by his Holy Spirit. In this sense, being a “peacemaker” means anticipating God’s presence and being spiritually mature.

In either interpretation, peacemakers are blessed because they will be called sons of God. The reward for being a peacemaker is being called a son of God, which refers to both the present experience of God’s peace and the future hope of eternal life with God.


8. “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” is the eighth and final Beatitude that Jesus delivered in his Sermon on the Mount, as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 5.

One interpretation is that being “persecuted because of righteousness” refers to those who suffer for doing what is right. In this sense, being “blessed” means being joyful and nourished by God’s goodness. Those who actively seek righteousness will be completely satisfied.

Another interpretation is that being “persecuted because of righteousness” refers to those who are persecuted for living a godly lifestyle. In this sense, being “blessed” means anticipating God’s presence and being spiritually mature.

In either interpretation, those who are persecuted because of righteousness are blessed because they will inherit the kingdom of heaven. The reward for being persecuted because of righteousness is the kingdom of heaven, which refers to both the present experience of God’s rule in one’s life and the future hope of eternal life with God.


The Bible contains many teachings highlighting the morals that Christians must observe in their daily lives, but the Sermon on the Mount collects all the values and places them in one teaching.


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