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Beatitude Facts for 3-8 Year Olds

Categories: Beatitudes

  • Jesus is on a mountaintop teaching his disciples.
  • He “sits down and opens his mouth.” He’s about to say something very important.
  • He gives them the beatitudes, which describe the way we are blessed by God now, and how we can be happy.

1. Oh the bliss of the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    • The Greek word used for poor means social poverty.
    • The Hebrew word means an inner, spiritual poverty.
    • Together the words identify someone who knows his or her absolute need of God.
    • Poor in spirit refers to those who are poor in self; it’s the opposite of somebody who is self-centered (“all about me”).
    • The poor in spirit are given a promise. The kingdom of heaven is theirs.
    • The kingdom of heaven is another way of saying the kingdom of God.
    • In the Lord’s Prayer Jesus says, “Thy kingdom come,” meaning of course, God’s kingdom, and follows this with, “Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.”
    • The kingdom of God is where God’s will is as perfectly done in earth as it is in heaven.
    • God’s will is always to bless, protect, and guide.
    • The poor in spirit live in the realm of God’s good will. Moreover, this kingdom is theirs.
    • This promise is written in the present tense. This kingdom is theirs right now; they don’t have to wait.

2. Oh, the bliss of the one who mourns, for they will be comforted.

    • The particular word for “mourn” means intense sorrow and grief.
    • But how can this be bliss?
    • The word is in participial form; this is mourning that’s going on right now.
    • There is nothing wonderful about being grief-stricken. However, when we find ourselves in this condition, something wonderful might just happen to us.
    • They get a promise too.
    • The word is “Com fort,” F O R T, “fort,” meaning strength, fortress. “Com” is from the Latin, meaning “with.” So we are really saying, “with fort, with strength, fortressed.”
    • Comfort also has the idea of encouraging, of filling up with new thoughts. This word is also in the passive. We don’t do this, God does.
    • God is with this sad, grieving individual, sending new thoughts, relieving the burden.

3. Oh the bliss of the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

    • Meek doesn’t mean wimpy or weak. In Greek the word has to do with the breaking-in of horses. It means taking all that energy and putting it under control.
    • It includes the idea of self-restraint, strength with gentleness.
    • In Jewish history it means the humble, the man who accepts God’s guidance, whatever God sends, who is dear to God and strengthened by God.
    • Together they mean perfect control—a God-controlled life.

4. Oh, the bliss of the one who hungers and thirsts after righteousness for they will be filled.

    • Hunger is real in the New Testament, and this is the most extreme word for hunger.
    • The same is true for “thirsting.” In a world where water is scarce, people oftentimes have to scrounge for water and often fight over wells.
    • The word for righteousness can mean justice—justice for yourself as well as for others. It can also mean right living.
    • The promise is that they will be filled.
    • God is the one doing the filling.
    • And the journey is what is important here, not just achievement. One simply has to “hunger and thirst” to receive the blessing.

5. Oh, the bliss of the one who is merciful for they shall obtain mercy. 

    • The word for mercy in the Old Testament is similar to kindness. Often it is connected with truth.
    • One way to think about mercy is the “outgoing, loyal love of God to His own people.”
    • To be merciful is to have the same attitude toward others as God has. They are to think, feel, and act toward others as God would.
    • Their promise is that they shall obtain mercy. Now some people see this as an if-then relationship. If you do it, then you get it.
    • However, mercy is not a reward for good behavior. God is merciful. The person who is merciful has been given to in abundance and now exists to pass it on, to deliver mercy to others.
    • In so doing, they become more like God, closer to Him.

6. Oh the bliss of the pure in heart for they shall see God.

    • The Hebrew people practice ritual and ceremonial purity. But it could also mean a moral and a spiritual purity.
    • In the Greek, purity starts with a physical meaning. It means things without blemish, things that are unmixed.
    • At the time of Jesus, purity is an outside thing.
    • So Jesus puts in a new twist. He says, “pure in heart.” Put it inside. It’s an inward thing. There is often a contradiction between the outward and the inward.
    • These people also have a promise; what do they get? They get to see God.
    • Seeing God means to know Him, to enjoy unbroken communion with Him, and to experience Him.
    • One whose heart is pure, unmixed, will be given nothing less than the vision of God. God will be real and close to that person.

7. Oh, the bliss of the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God.

    • The word for “peace” in the Greek is a direct translation of the Hebrew word shalom.
    • It wishes everything good, not just the absence of bad, but all the good that is possible. But it can also mean right relationships, well-being.
    • This beatitude says “peacemakers,” not peacekeepers, or peace lovers.
    • To make peace is to be a creator of positive good will. It requires resourcefulness, imagination, Christ-likeness. Hard work is needed to make peace.
    • Peacemakers have a promise too. They will be called the sons of God. Once again, this is in the passive.
    • God is doing the calling; He is naming these people.
    • If God names us, that is what we are. We are to be that something.
    • To be a “son of God” means one who is godlike. And surely, there is no more godlike activity than making peace.

8. Oh, the bliss of the one who is persecuted for righteousness’ sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    • This persecution is for righteousness’ sake. In this passage “righteousness” means righteous conduct.
    • The beatitude speaks to being able to feel joy and happiness in spite of the persecutions, not because of them.
    • What do these people get? They get the kingdom of heaven.
    • The first beatitude starts with the promise that the kingdom of heaven is theirs and the last one ends with the same promise forming a beginning and an ending to the content. This section is over.
    • There are remaining words: Happy are you when people insult you and persecute you and tell all kinds of evil lies against you because you are my followers. Be happy and glad, for a great reward is kept for you in heaven. This is how the prophets who lived before you were persecuted.
    • Many scholars argue that this is actually a commentary on what has just been said.
    • Jesus goes on to talk about commands, but the beatitudes come first.
    • First, people are blessed; then they can be a blessing to others.
    • The order is very important.