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Yeshua in Context » Aims of Yeshua, Beatitudes, Besorah/Gospel/Good News, Kingdom Future, Kingdom Present, Teaching of Yeshua » Why the Beatitudes Are Much Loved

Why the Beatitudes Are Much Loved

The Delitzsch Hebrew-English version (DHE), a forthcoming translation of the gospels from the Hebrew version of Franz Delitzsch, renders Matthew 5:3 as follows:

O the gladness of the poor in ruach, theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Yeshua makes desirable what is commonly regarded as unpleasant or pathetic. Our emotions are stirred by such talk. The imaginations and hopes of peasants sitting on the Galilean grass were stirred. It is something greatly to be desired, a reversal so needed by those of us who deeply feel our poverty of spirit.

What makes these Beatitudes pleasantly sweet is a combination of our trust in the one who speaks them and the attractiveness of their message. There is nothing in all Jewish literature after the Bible to compare with them.

The king, if we believe that about Yeshua, offers his kingdom to the unlikely. It is not because we are poor in spirit that the time of God’s rule on earth is extended to us. Rather, we can know our destiny is gladness and draw on that blissfulness now because the kingdom is ours.

In other words, poverty of spirit is not a condition of the kingdom, though some have read it that way. Rather, poverty of spirit is a condition in which many of us find ourselves without any say in the matter, just as mourning happens to us rather than being a virtue we cultivate.

The Beatitudes are further attractive to us because they are not spoken by just another religious teacher. Yeshua had two things that proved his words worthy of devoting one’s life. He lived what he professed and he gave evidence of having authority to back up his assurances. He comforted mourners and lifted up unimportant people. He showed that the kingdom of heaven can be partially here amongst those who will bring its qualities into life now. His kingdom aims were not simply to draw a following of desperate poor with a false assurance of future hope. Rather, he taught the movement that followed him how to become communities of healing while waiting for the full arrival of God’s reign.

And who could deliver such a counter-intuitive message with authority like Yeshua? He spoke of granting the right for his disciples to sit at his table in his kingdom (Luke 22:29-30) and demonstrated in life, death, and resurrection that he can keep his word.

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Filed under: Aims of Yeshua, Beatitudes, Besorah/Gospel/Good News, Kingdom Future, Kingdom Present, Teaching of Yeshua

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