25 Oct 2015 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are Those who are Persecuted because of Righteousness

Jesus’ first public sermon was recorded in the Gospels of Matthew (Matthew 5) and Luke (Luke 6).  His eighth blessing from God, called the “Beatitudes,” that Matthew recorded was:

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

In an earlier post we’ve already looked at what the word “righteousness” means. If you missed that one, I recommend going and reading that post first. For this verse, I want to take a closer look at what “persecution” means. In the original Greek, it is διώκω and is transliterated “diókó” (pronounced dee-o’-ko), which means to “persue with haste” or “aggressively chase.”  It can be used in a positive way, such as to “earnestly pursue,” or a negative way, such as to “zealously hunt down” or “earnestly desire to apprehend.”

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9 Sep 2015 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the Pure in Heart

Jesus’ first public sermon was recorded in the Gospels of Matthew (Matthew 5) and Luke (Luke 6).  His sixth blessing from God, called the “Beatitudes,” that Matthew recorded was:

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

What does it mean to be pure in heart? What does it mean that those who have a pure heart will see God? The word used in this verse for “pure” in Greek is καθαροὶ and is transliterated “katharos” (pronounced kath-ar-os’), which means “pure,” “clean,” “unstained,” “guiltless,” “innocent,” and “upright.” In Hebrew the word for “pure,” in the spiritual sense, is זַ֥ךְ and is transliterated zaḵ, meaning “pure” and “clean.”

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23 Aug 2015 Blessed are the Merciful, for they will be shown mercy

Blessed are the Merciful

Jesus’ first public sermon was recorded in the Gospels of Matthew (Matthew 5) and Luke (Luke 6).  His fifth blessing from God, called the “Beatitudes,” that Matthew recorded was:

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

We all have an idea of what it means to be merciful, so what I want to do is examine what the Bible says about mercy. In the Old Testament, the word “mercy” in Hebrew is חֶמְלַת, transliterated “chemlah” (pronounced khem-law’) and “merciful” is חָסַד, transliterated “chacad” (pronounced khaw-sad’); meanings are to “be good,” “kind,” “pious,” “compassionate” and to “bow in courtesy to an equal.”  In the New Testament, the word “mercy” in Greek is ἔλεος, transliterated “eleos” (pronounced el’-eh-os), and “merciful” is ἐλεήμονες, transliterated “eleémón” (pronounced el-eh-ay’-mone); meanings are to have “pity,” “compassion” or “covenant-love” for someone. Additional words we can look at in Hebrew are חַנּוּן, transliterated “channun” (pronounced khan-noon’), meaning “gracious,” and רָ֫חַם , transliterated “racham” (pronounced rakh’-am), meaning “compassionate.”

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20 Jul 2015 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted

Blessed are Those Who Mourn

Jesus’ first public sermon was recorded in the Gospels of Matthew (Matthew 5) and Luke (Luke 6).  His second blessing from God, called the “Beatitudes,” that Matthew recorded was:

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

The subject of human suffering is a stumbling block to a great many people, tripping people up in their understanding of who God is.  The oldest conundrum that people have mulled over for generations boils down to this one thing:  If there is a God that is all powerful how can he allow suffering?  Either he isn’t all powerful and can’t stop suffering, or he is all powerful and chooses not to stop suffering, and either way they don’t want to follow “that kind” of God. Read More “Blessed are Those Who Mourn” »

22 Jun 2015 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

The first time it was recorded that Jesus spoke in front of a crowd, it was immediately following a night that he spent in prayer to God, apparently praying over which of his estimated 120 believers (Acts 1:15), called disciples, would be chosen to be the apostles that would help Jesus spread his message to the world after he died.  In the morning, Jesus declared God’s decision on the 12 apostles and then all the disciples, the apostles, and a great number of people from all over Judea, Jerusalem, Tyre and Sidon followed him, seeking healing from diseases and to hear what he had to say (Luke 6:12-19).

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