Matthew 5:1–12 (Listen)
5:1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
The Sermon on the Mount is probably the greatest sermon of all time. Jesus sets the tone for this sermon by displaying the characteristics He desired in His followers. The blessings from above would indeed fall upon those who lived out these characteristics. Though many, if not all, of these characteristics contradict the flow of the culture, Jesus acknowledges the difficult task of building up these characteristics. But He has given us an example to follow in Him. We have been provided with an eternal destiny – a display of temporal life endured being worth eternal glory. If we want to display the character of Jesus, then living out the Beatitudes will challenge us to grow and develop our righteousness in God.