Matthew 5:1-12 – The Sermon on the Mount, Beatitudes

MATT 5:1-12         LUKE 6:17-26


MATT 5:1 – And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:  {Similar to Luke 6:17-20}

[into a mountain] – Climbed on top so that all the people could see Him when He taught them.

[when he was set] – Sitting was the position that oriental teachers took when they taught (Matt 9:10, Matt 13:1, Matt 15:29, Matt 18:2, Matt 24:3, Matt 26:55, Mark 3:32, Mark 4:1, Mark 9:35, Mark 12:41, Luke 5:3, John 6:3, John 8:2).



MATT 5:2 – And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

[them] – Taught who?  He taught all of the people, not just the disciples, and the people were astonished at his doctrine (Matt 7:28).   That’s why He went up the mountain.  If Jesus wanted to only teach His disciples, He could have done it in private without climbing up a mountain for everyone to see.



MATT 5:3 – Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  {Similar to Luke 6:20}

[Blessed] – G3107 = supremely blest; fortunate, well off: — blessed, happy.  Means, “BE HAPPY”, similar to Matthew 3:12 where Jesus says, “Rejoice and be glad”.  The purpose of these “beatitudes” was to make the people happy!

[poor in spirit] – G4434 = Poor – G4151 = Spirit.  Literally, it means “a poor spirit”, not “spiritually poor”.  You can pretty much drop the “spirit” and consider this to mean, “Be happy if you’re poor, because you will/do own the kingdom of the sky/universe”.  Luke 6:20 says “Blessed be ye poor”.  The spiritually poor, or anyone who lacks spiritually should be sad, not happy; for example, those who do not believe in Christ.  Though they may be wealthy on earth, they are poor spiritually (Rev 3:17).  “But woe unto you that are rich! For ye have received your consolation” (Luke 6:24).



MATT 5:4 – Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.  {Similar to Luke 6:21}

[they that mourn] – G3996 = to grieve, to mourn, wail, bewail, lament.  This king of mourning is due to godly sorrow that leads to repentance, and the way they are comforted is by salvation (2Cor 7:10).  Blessed are those who weep, for they shall laugh (Luke 6:21) but woe to those who laugh, for they shall weep (Luke 6:25).  This also refers to all kinds of God related sorrow.  Anyone outside of Christ can be sad and depressed for any reason, but they won’t be comforted.  For example, the rich young ruler walked away sorrowful because he didn’t want to obey Jesus (Matt 19:22), so shall he be comforted?

[shall] – The Greek text has no “shall”.  It is my opinion that these blessings are present tense, not future tense.  Theirs is the Kingdom, they are inheriting the earth, they are being filled, they are obtaining mercy, they are seeing God, they are the children of God, etc.  This can also be future tense.

[they shall be comforted] – With salvation (2Cor 7:10).



MATT 5:5 – Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

[the meek] – G4239 = meek, mild, gentle, humble.  They are those who rely on God and do not resist His will.  Meekness/humility is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:23).

[they shall inherit the earth] – Quoted from Psalms 37:11.  Why would humble people inherit the earth?  It’s because proud arrogant and aggressive people ruled the earth then and now.  God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (1Pet 5:5).



MATT 5:6 – Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.  {Similar to Luke 6:21}

[hunger and thirst after righteousness] – “Blessed are ye that hunger now, for you shall be filled” (Luke 6:21), but “Woe unto you that are full, for ye shall hunger” (Luke 6:25); Luke doesn’t mention righteousness but physical hunger.  Hungry people pursue food.  We hunger and thirst for righteousness by ACTION, not DESIRE.  Those who are truly hungry and thirsty for righteousness first acknowledge that only God is righteous (Rom 3:4), and then live for righteousness like hungry people live for food.

[they shall be filled] – If you don’t work, you don’t eat (2Th 3:10).  If you don’t sow good seed, you can’t reap righteousness, which is ever lasting life (Gal 6:7-8).  Acts of obedience obtains righteousness (Rom 6:16). Righteousness is only produced through faith (Rom 1:17).  You can’t do nothing to be filled with righteousness, you must get up and work for it.



MATT 5:7 – Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

[the merciful shall obtain mercy] – Whatever a person gives will be given back to them.  If they give trouble, they’ll get trouble; if they give help, they’ll get help.  “With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” (Matt 7:2).  That’s why you should treat others how you want to be treated (Matt 7:12 & Luke 6:31).



MATT 5:8 – Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

[the pure in heart] – 2 words: pure heart.  Pure – G2513 = clean, clear, pure, free from corrupt desire.  You purify your soul by obeying the truth through the Spirit (1Pet 1:22 & 1Jn 3:2-3), therefore, the pure in heart are those who are obedient to God.

[see] – G3700 = to see, to gaze at with the eyes.



MATT 5:9 – Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

[peacemakers] – G1518 = peaceable, peacemaker, loving peace.  THIS IS THE ONLY TIME THIS WORD IS USED IN THE BIBLE!  How did Jesus make peace?  Judging from Jesus life, a peacemaker is a person who never resorts to physical violence.  We can also conclude that the way Jesus made peace was by preaching the kingdom that cured their un-peaceful sicknesses and infirmities.  How can we be peacemakers?  1) By being born again and 2) by preaching the kingdom as Jesus did, regardless of if it offends people.  “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things” (Rom 10:15).

Was Jesus a Peacemaker? – Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword” (Matt 10:34). Jesus said a lot of un-peaceful things such as, “you are of your father, the devil” (John 8:44), “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! …” (Matt 23:15), “Ye fools and blind” (Matt 23:17), “ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity” (Matt 23:28), “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” (Matt 23:33).  However, Jesus was a peacemaker in 2 ways: He taught not to retaliate (Matt 5:39) & He taught the gospel of peace.  Those who bring others back to God make peace, but those who turn them from God are peace breakers.

[the children of God] – Those reborn into a sinless state (1Jn 3:1-2 & 1Jn 3:9).  It makes sense that a person should be “born again” before spreading peace through the message that people should turn from their sin and be “born again” (John 3:3).



MATT 5:10 – Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness ‘sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

[persecuted] – G1377 = to pursue (in a hostile manner), to make to run or flee, drive away, to run swiftly in order to catch a person or thing, in any way whatever to harass or trouble.  It also means to pursue a goal such as righteousness (Rom 9:30), peace (Rom 14:19), love (1Cor 14:1), etc.  Does it make sense to call sickness persecution?  100% of the time that this word is used in a hostile manner it always concerns people pursuing people (Matt 5:10- 12, Matt 5:44, Matt 10:23, Matt 23:34, Luke 21:12, John 5:16, John 15:20, Acts 7:52, Acts 9:4-5, Acts 22:4, Acts 22:7-8, Acts 26:11, Acts 26:14-15, Rom 12:14, 1Cor 15:9, 2Cor 4:9, Gal 1:13, Gal 1:23, Gal 4:29 Gal 5:11, Gal 6:12, Phil 3:6, 2Tim 3:12, & Rev 12:13).  Jesus was persecuted by people, never by sickness, so God’s children aren’t persecuted by becoming sick either.

[for righteousness ‘sake] – Not that you can be persecuted for just any reason; it must be because you were doing God’s will when a person mistreats you.



MATT 5:11 – Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  {Similar to Luke 6:22}

[revile] – G3679 = “to defame, rail at, taunt, cast in teeth, suffer reproach, revile.  I say, it means to criticize, insult, or mock.  Jesus did this to the unrepeated cities, called “upbraid” (Matt 11:20).  The thieves who were crucified with Jesus did this to Jesus, called “cast the same in his teeth” (Matt 27:44) and “reviled” (Matt 15:32).  What was the same that they were doing?  They mocked as the priests (Matt 27:41).  Jesus did this to His disciples after He was resurrected for their unbelief (Mark 16:14).

[persecute] – G1377 = to pursue (in a hostile manner).

[say all manner of evil against you falsely] – This happened to Jesus (Matt 26:59-60 & Mark 14:57).

[for my sake] – For righteousness, like Matt 5:10.  This is the condition for a person to be happy and blessed.  If anyone says bad things about you that aren’t true for any other reason than because you are an obedient Child of God & follower of Christ, then this blessing doesn’t apply.



MATT 5:12 – Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.  {Similar to Luke 6:23}

[Rejoice, and be exceeding glad] – The greatest of the blessings

[your reward] – What is the reward?  It’s not salvation, because the people who are persecuted for Jesus sake are already saved, otherwise, they wouldn’t be doing anything for Jesus sake.  Also, salvation is a free gift, not a reward (Eph 2:8-9 & Rom 5:18).  The reward is based on a person’s actions.  To understand the reward, see the” Parable of the Talents” (Mt 25:14-30).

[your reward in heaven] – The reward that’s given to you by your Father in heaven (Matt 6:1).  It DOES NOT mean that you must die and go to heaven to get your reward.  The kingdom of Heaven is HERE (Matt 4:17), so the children of God can get their reward here by heaven.

[IN] – G1722 = in, by, with, among, at, on, through.  Just about 20 verses after this, Jesus says, “Swear not at all; neither BY G1722 heaven” (Matt 5:34), as it is here.  I’m saying this to prove that the reward isn’t necessarily in Heaven, waiting for you to claim it after death, but that the reward is “by heaven”, either now or soon within our lifetime depending on the circumstances.  A few other examples of this word translated as “by” are: BY Beelzebub cast out devils (Matt 12:27), swear BY (Matt 23:16-22), taught BY parables (Matt 22:1), this kind of demon only comes out BY prayer & fasting (Mark 9:29), etc.  Therefore, G1722 doesn’t have to mean, “inside of” or “at” all the time.

[persecuted they the prophets which were before you] – The ancestors of those priests mistreated and killed the prophets of the past (Matt 23:29-39 & Matt 21:33-39).


Go back to Matthew – Owen’s Bible Study Notes


Matthew 5 - The Sermon on the Mount; Beatitudes

Kent Owen

Author: Kent Owen

After college I lived in China for 5 years, working as an English teacher and foreign marketing manager. Now i'm an insurance salesman, but my real passion is Christ and learning the bible.

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