Sunday, June 13, 2010

Reading the Beatitudes Correctly...

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled...

- Matthew 5:3-6
Many read the beatitudes thinking Jesus is recommending these as ideals to strive towards. This being contrary to logic we try redefining them into something more palatable like recognizing our spiritual poorness", mourning our sins, "controlled strength" (meek), always seeking righteousness.

Dallas Willard has a different take it:
"Those poor in spirit are called "blessed" by Jesus, not because they are in a meritorious condition, but because, precisely in spite of and in the midst of their ever so deplorable condition, the rule of the heavens has moved redemptively upon and through them by the grace of Christ."1
In this view Jesus is not recommending a spiritual goal, but offering wonderful opportunity even to the most disadvantaged!

- fritz

1 The Divine Conspiracy, pg.102, published by HarperCollins, copyright 1998 by Dallas Willard

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