The Eight Beatitudes – Their Meaning and Significance

 There is sometimes a lot of confusion when it comes to the meaning of the Beatitudes, and I hope to clear a few things up if there is any confusion.  I want to thank you for reading, and if you disagree with my interpretation of the Beatitudes please let me know.

Matthew 5:3

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

I think this is probably one of the more difficult Beatitudes to live by.  To be humble can be very difficult at times.  There are many individuals that I know personally that can sometimes really have a problem living with humility.  If one is living very well, that person may continue to talk about one’s accomplishments or how one lives.  Don’t do this.  Remember you are the person you are because God willed it.  There is no reason to be arrogant, because He can take everything away if He wills it.  Act humbly and find your place in heaven.

Matthew 5:4

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

There are plenty of reasons to mourn, and there is no reason to be ashamed of it.  If a loved one dies, it is okay to mourn.  You may not see that person for many years until you are reunited with them, but rest assured, you will see them again.  It is okay to mourn for those lost in acts of violence or natural disasters.  It shows that you feel compassion toward other people.  Through your mourning you will one day be comforted for all eternity in God’s Kingdom.

Matthew 5:5

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

To be meek is to be docile, kind, and gentle.  I can definitely refer to the Golden Rule on this one.  Be kind of to people, so that they may return the favor.  It is very difficult for a person to be mean or cruel to a person when that individual was kind to them.  It is common for those who are having a rough day to take it out on other people.  If at any time you are having a bad day, remember this Beatitude.  The world has always been dominated by evil people – corrupt governments, cruel despots, vicious conquerors, and many others rooted in wickedness.  Remember, one day the meek will be the ones who look over the land.  The earth will be theirs.

Matthew 5:6

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Simply put – Justice.  We want to see the good rewarded and the wicked punished.  This may not always happen in a court of law.  A lot of times our imperfect system gets it wrong.  Those who live by this Beatitude want something that can, at times, be unattainable on earth.  This thirst will one day be quenched by the Almighty.  A murderer, for example, may get away with a crime even though deep down inside you knew that person was guilty.  They may go through the rest of their life dodging punishment, but it will eventually come the time when that person passes away from this world and into the next.  It is at this time that person will be judged, and those who’ve hungered for righteousness will get their fill.  This is different than the rest of the Beatitudes in a sense that, instead of promoting forgiveness and mercy, it cries for justice when warranted.

Matthew 5:7

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

I think this is probably one of the more straightforward Beatitudes.  Be merciful and forgiving and that same favor will be returned to you.  None of us are perfect so sometimes you need to forgive a transgression.  In fact, this fits right in with part of the Our Father Prayer – Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.  If you’ve done something you really regret and every day you pray for it to be forgiven, it wouldn’t hurt forgiving someone who has done something ill willed to you.  When the times come for us to be judged – Wouldn’t you want to be shown mercy?  One may also refer to the Works of Mercy which can be found towards the bottom of the page.

The Eight Beatitudes in Order

Matthew 5:8

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

This is another one of the more difficult Beatitudes to live by especially in this day in age.  There is so much stuff out there that people want or crave.  To be selfless can be near impossible with all the distractions and advertising.  A lot of people claim, ‘You need this’ or ‘You need that.’  Don’t be deceived and don’t be selfish.  You probably don’t need whatever those people are talking about.  There are a lot of counties in which the inhabitants have plenty.  This isn’t to be thought of as only material goods but also immaterial things as well.  Don’t possess too much of a person’s time, attention, etc.  Try to be free of selfishness.  To see God would be a wonderful privilege.

Matthew 5:9

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

It can be difficult to make peace with oneself and others.  Human history has been littered with warmongering.  It can be very tough at times to move past something that has stained history.  Instead of reacting with violence or in anger, be peaceful.  It is very easy to say something like that, but to act it out is a totally different story especially if you have a temper.  Also, don’t go out of your way creating problems.  I’ve met people throughout my years that seem to go out of their way to cause trouble.  It would probably be better to just avoid these people unless you really want to be tested. 🙂

Matthew 5:10

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

All of the other beatitudes listed above would be considered easy compared to this one.  Very few people would be willing to be put to death for their faith.  I mean, very few.  Most would probably say, ‘I would die for my faith.  No problem.’  If you are every really in that situation, would you?  There have been quite a few that have been put to death in the name of what they believe in.  Right now a lot of Christians are being persecuted in the Middle East and some of these have died for their faith and what they believe is right.  Giving up one’s life is the ultimate sacrifice.  They now live in the Kingdom of Heaven.

I hope this clears up a few things regarding the Eight Beatitudes.  If I missed anything or if there is anything you would like to contribute, let me know.

The Seven Corporal Works of Mercy

The Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy