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The Beatitudes

Greg and Susan Williams
Greg and Susan Williams

Dear GCI Family and Friends,

If you are like me, you get saturated with media that is filled with stories promoting prideful self-centeredness, willful hate, destructive violence, and all forms of godlessness. Australasia Superintendent, Daphne Sidney introduced me to the term “learned helplessness.” It is a wearing down over time that leads to hopelessness and despair. You and I are prone to it also.

One of the most beautiful parts of the Sermon on the Mount is a section we call the Beatitudes. It paints a picture of hope and restoration. But it’s also a passage that can be wrongly interpreted. It is vital to know how to read this with Christ’s intended meaning. We need “ears to hear.”

Allow me to begin with a couple of wrong postures.

Us and Them

“Us” means we see ourselves as the disciples gathered on the hillside, eager learners at the feet of Jesus. “Them” are the ones who revile and persecute us; the ones who aren’t pure, who break the peace, the unmerciful. We have embraced a worldview of good guys and bad guys and inserted ourselves into the good guy category. (Imagine a loud buzzer sound to indicate, “wrong answer!”)

The real answer here is “us and him.” We may be sitting on the hillside, but which one of “us” is humble, merciful, pure, and seeking the good for all? That one would be Jesus, and him alone. “Us,” all of humanity, have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

It is only Jesus who has fulfilled the beatitudes, and get this, you and I are “blessed” because he has.

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4 thoughts on “The Beatitudes”

  1. “Jesus, Willard says, “does not call us to do what he did, but to be as he was, permeated with love. Then the doing of what he did and said becomes the natural expression of who we are in him.” ― Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God

  2. Thank you, Greg! Wow! NOT “us and them”! But Jesus, the ONLY truly righteous PERSON, EVER! Then, ALL HUMANITY in need of Jesus Holy Life and by His Spirit, we are able to participate with Him in the good things He is doing!

  3. Wow, another level of maturity! Yes indeed! I pray that my eyes may be open to having a greater level of maturity as I read the scriptures! Thank you for this!

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