Greek Reading: Matt. 5:1-12

1Ἰδὼν δὲ τοὺς ὄχλους ἀνέβη εἰς τὸ ὄρος: καὶ καθίσαντος αὐτοῦ προσῆλθαν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ: 2καὶ ἀνοίξας τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ ἐδίδασκεν αὐτοὺς λέγων, 3Μακάριοι οἱ πτωχοὶ τῷ πνεύματι, ὅτι αὐτῶν ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν. 4μακάριοι οἱ πενθοῦντες, ὅτι αὐτοὶ παρακληθήσονται. 5μακάριοι οἱ πραεῖς, ὅτι αὐτοὶ κληρονομήσουσιν τὴν γῆν. 6μακάριοι οἱ πεινῶντες καὶ διψῶντες τὴν δικαιοσύνην, ὅτι αὐτοὶ χορτασθήσονται. 7μακάριοι οἱ ἐλεήμονες, ὅτι αὐτοὶ ἐλεηθήσονται. 8μακάριοι οἱ καθαροὶ τῇ καρδίᾳ, ὅτι αὐτοὶ τὸν θεὸν ὄψονται. 9μακάριοι οἱ εἰρηνοποιοί, ὅτι αὐτοὶ υἱοὶ θεοῦ κληθήσονται. 10μακάριοι οἱ δεδιωγμένοι ἕνεκεν δικαιοσύνης, ὅτι αὐτῶν ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν. 11μακάριοί ἐστε ὅταν ὀνειδίσωσιν ὑμᾶς καὶ διώξωσιν καὶ εἴπωσιν πᾶν πονηρὸν καθ’ ὑμῶν [ψευδόμενοι] ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ: 12χαίρετε καὶ ἀγαλλιᾶσθε, ὅτι ὁ μισθὸς ὑμῶν πολὺς ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς: οὕτως γὰρ ἐδίωξαν τοὺς προφήτας τοὺς πρὸ ὑμῶν.

I’ll reserve some other comments for the comment boxes, but I wanted to note that Jesus went up on a mountain to teach, and he begins with giving blessings. One of the underlying structures of the book of Matthew is Jesus as the true Israel. First, Jesus goes down to Egypt and back again. Then, Jesus is baptized, as Israel was “baptized into Moses” at the Red Sea (1 Cor. 10). Then, he wanders in the desert for 40 days as Israel did for 40 years. Here at the Sermon on the Mount, I believe we’re meant to read this as Jesus’ covenantal discourse for his people. The parallel with Deut. 28 is striking.

Published in: on February 22, 2010 at 10:09 am  Comments (2)  

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  1. I find it interesting that every subject who is blessed is presented as either a ptcp. or a strongly verbal noun. Should we conclude that only those who are active in the Kingdom will be blessed/happy?

    • Well, technically, most of these are adjectives, not participles or nouns. οἱ πτωχοὶ, οἱ πραεῖς, οἱ ἐλεήμονες, and οἱ καθαροὶ are all adjectives used substantivally, but that really doesn’t affect your point, since one would presume that they have some relation to character of the people. I think you’re right, and we should not be afraid to preach the living, active quality of true faith.

      I was meditating on this passage and how relevant it is to a hedonistic culture. Everyone wants to be “blessed,” that is, happy, satisfied, well-off. Yet, if you were to poll an audience as to what constitutes blessing and how you can receive it, no one would give the answers Jesus gives here. It’s a hard saying (or a collection of them), and it needs to be taught in churches, because it’s not as if people’s notions of the blessed life automatically get straightened out when they get saved.

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