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godfingerLast time, we started looking at Matthew 5:1-9 as I wanted you to see the meaning of this in the light of what we covered thus far. We only got through vs 4.  I would invite you to go back to last week’s post if you haven’t read that yet. I am not going to go over all of that even in summary as I need to wrap this up.  The one thing that I will go back over is the word “blessed.” We learned that this word is the Greek word makarios. It means to be supremely blessed and happy.  But it means more than this.  It is a prolonged blessing. I would put it as more of a lifestyle of blessing.  It is important to remember this as we continue.  Please turn with me to Matthew 5:1-9.

Mat 5:1 And seeing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain. And when He had sat down, His disciples came to Him. v2 And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying, v3  Blessed are the poor in spirit! For theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. v4 Blessed are they that mourn! For they shall be comforted. v5 Blessed are the meek! For they shall inherit the earth. v6 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness! For they shall be filled. v7 Blessed are the merciful! For they shall obtain mercy. v8 Blessed are the pure in heart! For they shall see God. v9  Blessed are the peacemakers! For they shall be called the sons of God.

Let us continue, beginning at verse 5

Blessed are the meek! For they shall inherit the earth.

The word translated as meek is the Greek word praus or praos which means gentle, mild or meek.  Notice that the definition does not include the term “door mat” as this is what many tend to think of when they see the word meek.  It also doesn’t mean weak.  What is interesting, is that the noun version of these words which is prautes or praotes take on a more powerful meaning that is worth noting here. It has little to do with ones natural disposition and everything to do with the quiet strength of the inward man that is fully reliant upon God instead of one’s own strength.  Therefore, the words praus or praos are describing someone who has taken on the qualities of the noun prautes or praotes. Before we go any further,  doesn’t  this definition sound familiar?  Go back to lesson # 5 for the details, but we learned that a valid reading of John 14:12 could be: “He who trusts in and is fully reliant upon Me, the works that I do he shall do also, and greater works than these he shall do, because I go to My Father.”

Let’s take a look at Jesus for a moment. Look at Matthew 21:5

Mat 21:5 “Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold, your King comes to you, meek, and sitting on an ass, even a colt the foal of an ass.”

…your King comes to you, praus or meek, and sitting on an ass…   Jesus is being described as meek and yet he was far from being weak. Take a look at Mathew 4:6-7

Mat 4:6 And he said to Him, If you are the Son of God, cast yourself down. For it is written, “He shall give His angels charge concerning You, and in their hands they shall bear You up, lest at any time You dash Your foot against a stone.” vs 7  Jesus said to him, It is written again, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God.”

You must understand that this was a real temptation for Jesus. You know, if I were to tell you that if you would go and do some foolish act that I would give you a ball of aluminum foil, you would probably just laugh. You would laugh because a ball of foil is no temptation at all.  But, if I were to offer you $10,000 in cash and I have it in my hands and I wave it in front of your face, you might be tempted to do something foolish for that kind of money especially if you have a great need.  Jesus was hungry and He did have the authority and the power to command the angels and He could have ended His suffering right there. But He didn’t because of the quiet, inward strength that comes from being fully reliant upon God. We see that again when He was being beaten and mocked, yet He said nothing.  We see it again while hanging on the cross and he says “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” We see the same quality in Stephan who even while being stoned he asked God to not charge this sin against them. This is the quiet strength of being “meek.”  Look at Peter, Paul, John and all the great men of God. They all possessed similar qualities.  Look at the miracles done by their hands.  Go to Acts 6:8 and let’s look again at Stephen.

Act 6:8  And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

Stephen wasn’t an Apostle, he waited on tables. He was in the Helps ministry!  Yet he did great wonders and miracles. Not your everyday variety, but GREAT wonders and miracles.  How?  Because he became meek, fully reliant upon God and filled with faith. Therefore, he was able to do the greater works that Jesus spoke of in John 14:12.

Let’s return to Mathew 5 and finish up this verse.

Blessed are the meek! For they shall inherit the earth.

The word translated as inherit is the word klēronomeō. It means to obtain or to receive as one’s own as in to take possession.  It’s one thing to be given land or property via inheritance or some other conveyance.  It’s another to actually take possession of it and make it yours.  Yet, this is a requirement to fully enjoy what you have been given.

Lastly we have the word earth which is gē. This word is sort of a “catch-all” as it is sometimes translated as land, the ground, region, country.  In the modern vernacular, I think we could include state, city and even your sphere of influence.  What is interesting, is this isn’t just the dirt, it includes the people who live upon it as well.  In essence, it is whatever ground you have been given and whoever is there.

Now let’s put this back together using what we have learned so far.

Supremely blessed and happy with life altering blessing are the meek, those who are fully reliant upon God and have completely surrendered to him, for the shall obtain and take possession of the land they have been given.

You want to take your city, workplace, region or wherever for God? Become meek. Become fully surrendered and reliant upon him and then go and do the greater works.

Verse 6

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness! For they shall be filled.

This verse is very similar in meaning as verse 3. The word translated as hunger is the Greek word peinaō.   Surprise! It actually means to hunger or to be hungry, to famish or even to crave. The word here for thirst is the word dipsaō which means to literally or spiritually thirst. The word for righteousness is the word dikaiosunē. In the context of this verse,  it means; whatever conforms to the revealed will of God or what meets with divine approval. Lastly is the word chortazō which means to fill or satisfy with food in abundance.

Let’s put this verse back together from everything we’ve learned thus far and see how it reads:

Supremely blessed and happy with life altering blessing are those who are hungering and thirsting after the revealed will of God in their lives! For they shall be filled with the knowledge of His will in abundance.

What are you seeking after? Are you hungering after his will or are you just handing him your will and hoping he will bless it? Are you truly seeking after him?  Do you know what his will is in your life for tomorrow, next week or next year?

Verse 7

Blessed are the merciful! For they shall obtain mercy.

The word for merciful is the Greek word eleēmōn. It means compassionate in the active sense and by this I mean; you see the need, you know you have the resources to meet that need, and you proceed to meeting the need.

The word for mercy on the other hand is the word eleeō which means compassionate, specifically by divine grace.

This has a deeper meaning than it would appear. Let’s put this back together and then I want to comment on that.

Supremely blessed and happy with life altering blessing are those who are moved with compassion towards the needs of others! For they shall obtain the divine compassion and grace of God on their behalf.

Basically what this verse is saying is that when you are sensitive to the needs of others and filled with compassion towards them, that God will use you to meet that need. Certainly this could mean meeting the tangible needs like food and clothing. But I think this goes much deeper than that.  Again, let’s look at Stephen who did GREAT wonders and miracles among the people. Why would he do that? What would motivate him to do these things? Perhaps to just show off? Impress his friends? So he could join the “big league” of ministry? No, no and no.  He did these things because there were needs to be met. He was moved with compassion so as to be “merciful.”  He knew his God and the spiritual gifts that were present within him. In other words, he had the divine resources to meet those needs.  He stepped out and called upon God as he prayed for those in need. God dispensed his power and grace upon the people and healings, miracles and GREAT wonders were done in Jesus’ name. THAT is what this verse is saying. Are you willing to be merciful?  Are you willing to call upon God on their behalf?  Food for thought.

Verse 8

Blessed are the pure in heart! For they shall see God.

The word used here for pure is the Greek word katharos. It means pure in the sense of having been cleansed or purified. The word translated as heart is the word kardia. We get our English words cardiac, etc., from this word.  One of the meanings is our physical blood pump heart.  However, in this context it is referring to our inward heart, our “hidden man” that lies deep within.  You might even call it the real you.  This isn’t our mind. It is our heart.  These are two different things.  It isn’t the …hidden man of the mind.  It’s the hidden man of the heart (1 Pet 3:4).  The word translated as see is the word optanomai. It means to look at, to behold or to appear.  Lastly is the word translated as God.  This is the word theos. It refers to the Godhead, trinity.  It can also refer to the things of God.  So let’s put this one back together and see what we have.

Supremely blessed and happy with life altering blessing are those whose inward man has been purified! For they shall behold God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and shall see the things of God.

Verse 9

Blessed are the peacemakers! For they shall be called the sons of God.

The word translated as peacemakers is the word eirēnopoios which is a combination of two words. Eirene (peace) and poieo ( to make).  The word eirene could also be translated as quietness.  The Hebrew equivalent is the word Shalom.  A viable fusion of these words could be shalom-maker. The other words in this verse are all valid and easily understood in this context.  Let’s go back to our fusion word of shalom-maker.  In the ancient Hebrew there wouldn’t be shalom-maker, there would only be the word shalom because “maker” is already implied in that word.  You may wonder why I’m mixing Hebrew with the Greek.  I’m not really, but the same God that inspired the Hebrew shalom is the same God that inspired the Greek for peacemaker.  I’m simply using it as an aide in understanding what is being said.  Although the word shalom is generally understood to mean “peace,” the ancient paleo Hebrew word Shalom literally means “Destroy the authority that establishes chaos.”  To the ancient Eastern mindset, the principle is basically to remove whatever is causing the chaos and the result will be peace.  Now let’s go back to just the Greek so we can make sense of this.  I am of the opinion that what is meant by peacemaker is NOT someone who negotiates peace between people who are fighting.  It is referring to someone who brings peace to the soul of another human being.  It is someone who destroys the authority that is causing chaos in the hearts of other people.  The result is they are at peace.  Peace with God and peace internally.  Someone who leads someone to the Lord would be a peacemaker.  Someone who prays and breaks demonic strongholds over someone’s life would also fit that same description.  Let’s put this verse back together and then we’ll get this wrapped up.

Supremely blessed and happy with life altering blessing are those who bring peace into the hearts of others. For they shall be called the sons of God.

Let’s take a look at the entire passage using the amplifications that we created as I have a few things to say.

Mat 5:3 Supremely blessed and happy with a life altering blessing are they that recognize they are severely lacking in the spirit. For theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. v4  Supremely blessed and happy with a life altering blessing are they that mourn and cry out for more of His presence! For they shall be comforted by His presence in their life. v5 Supremely blessed and happy with life altering blessing are the meek, those who are fully reliant upon God and have completely surrendered to him, for the shall obtain and take possession of the land they have been given. v6 Supremely blessed and happy with life altering blessing are those who are hungering and thirsting after the revealed will of God in their lives! For they shall be filled with the knowledge of His will in abundance. v7 Supremely blessed and happy with life altering blessing are those who are moved with compassion towards the needs of others! For they shall obtain the divine compassion and grace of God on their behalf. v8 Supremely blessed and happy with life altering blessing are those whose inward man has been purified! For they shall behold God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and shall see the things of God. v9 Supremely blessed and happy with life altering blessing are those who bring peace into the hearts of others. For they shall be called the sons of God.

You may be wondering what any of this has to do with the original topic “The Road to Golgotha” which is really about dying to one’s self. Mathew 5:3-9 is a picture of that very process.  In verse three it is the recognition that there is more and you are lacking. In verse four, you are mourning the lack of His presence and perhaps regretting those things that are blocking it in your life. In verse five you are becoming fully reliant upon Him and finally completely surrender to Him. In verse six you are hungering and thirsting for His will to be revealed in your life. Where shall I go? Send me.  In verse seven you are being moved with compassion for others and are bringing God’s mercy into people’s lives by praying for the sick or by blessing them in other ways as God directs. In verse eight you have completed the process of purifying your heart before God. In verse nine, you are taking everything you have learned and are pouring it into others and helping them to find peace.

There is a price to pay for this, which you find in the next few verses. The price is persecution in one form or another. But, you no longer care because you are already dead in Christ.  You can love those people no matter what because it is no longer you that lives, but Christ in you. This is “Beast Mode Christianity.”  But the “Beast” isn’t some sort of wild monster.  The “Beast” is someone who truly loves others unconditionally. The “Beast” lays their life down for others less fortunate.  The “Beast” becomes a father to the fatherless. The “Beast” lays hands on the sick, cleanses the leapers and raises the dead.

Take the time to prayerfully consider the things I have laid out for you in these seven lessons.  What is preventing you from fully letting go and letting God?  God wants you to have an amazing life.  His love for you goes beyond anything you have ever imagined.  He created you for a purpose and unless you have fully surrendered to Him, it is more than likely that you are not living anywhere close to your full potential in God.  So many of us are afraid He will take away the things we enjoy.  We think this way because we have such a negative view of who He is.  The truth is, many of those things we enjoy are put there by Him.  You enjoy them by design.  He wants you to enjoy these things.  What He doesn’t want are those things you enjoy, to have you.  So, you have to be willing to let these things go.  You have to be willing to die to the things of this world and then receive the spark of new life in Him.  When you do, you may discover that you weren’t really living anyway, just existing.  The new life in Christ will be more fulfilling and filled with more joy and blessing than you ever imagined.

Finally, I leave you with the following passage from 1 Peter.

1Peter 1:13 Therefore girding up the loins of your mind, being sober, perfectly hope for the grace being brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ, v14 as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance, v15 but according to the Holy One who has called you, you also become holy in all conduct, v16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” v17 And if you call on the Father, who without respect of persons judges according to the work of each one, pass the time of your earthly residence in fear, v18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, silver or gold, from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers, v19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot; v20 indeed having been foreknown before the foundation of the world, but revealed in the last times for you, v21 those believing in God through Him, He who raised Him up from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope might be in God.   v22 Purifying your souls in the obedience of the truth through the Spirit to unfeigned love of the brothers, love one another fervently out of a pure heart, v23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the living Word of God, and abiding forever. v24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of men as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls out, v25 but the Word of the Lord endures forever. And this is the Word preached as gospel to you.

There is a lot in that passage. I am going to let you dig in and think on that for yourself as I need to bring this to a close. For those who trudged through the word by word Greek study, thank you for your patient endurance. I hope you received something from this and if so, I would love to hear from you.  Next time, I start a new topic and I look forward to sharing that with you.  Until then, may God richly bless you.

 

Copyright (c) 2017  M. Unruh
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