Prepare for the Beatitudes

Matthew 4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. 24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them. 25 And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan. Matthew 5:1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them…

In this first message of our new series on the Beatitudes, we’ll look at the circumstances of the times in which Jesus preached it. He is popular and people are coming from far-and-wide to hear Him. His messages are relevant to their lives and these people are under a lot of stress under the domination of their captors, the Roman Empire.

Jesus is going to describe how to be blessed, but not in the sense of a shallow happiness. The word is not bles-sed, like they are going to be some kind of perfect and saintly individuals. The word used means a deep-seated, spiritual, consuming joy that overcomes the situations of the world. His message is not that all the situations will be resolved and cured. His message is that these miserable situations and attitudes toward situations do not have to overwhelm you. He teaches that Christians can overwhelm their situations.

The eight situations he speaks of are not referring to eight people in eight situations. These are situations that can plague every individual Christian. It is a message of both preparation for when those things come and equipment to deal with them if they’ve already come.

This first message will be an opportunity to prepare you to get the most out of the following eight messages. Think of it as a spiritual tune-up for the receptivity of your heart.