The Beatitudes: Developing Spiritual Character (Growing with God)

 
9781511842037: The Beatitudes: Developing Spiritual Character (Growing with God)
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The Beatitudes

Thomas Watson

Developing Spiritual Character

Growing with God

The Beatitudes are eight blessings in the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew. Each is a proverb-like proclamation, without narrative, "cryptic, precise, and full of meaning. Each one includes a topic that forms a major biblical theme". Four of the blessings also appear in the Sermon on the Plain in the Gospel of Luke, and these are followed by four woes which mirror the blessings.

The term beatitude comes from the Latin noun beatitudo which means "happiness". In the Vulgate (Latin), the book of Matthew titles this section Beatitudines, and "Beatitudes" was anglicized from that term.

Each Beatitude consists of two phrases: the condition and the result. In almost every case the condition is from familiar Old Testament context, but Jesus teaches a new interpretation. Together, the Beatitudes present a new set of Christian ideals that focus on a spirit of love and humility different in orientation than the usual force and exaction taken. They echo the highest ideals of the teachings of Jesus on mercy, spirituality, and compassion.

 

 Christian Reader,

I here present you with a subject full of sweet variety. This Sermon of Christ on the Mount is a piece of spiritual needlework, wrought with divers colors. Here is both usefulness and sweetness. In this portion of Holy Scripture, you have a summary of true religion—the Bible epitomized. Here is a garden of delight, where you may pluck those flowers which will deck the hidden man of your heart. Here is the golden key which will open the gate of Paradise! Here is the conduit of the Gospel, running wine to nourish such as are poor in spirit and pure in heart. Here is the rich cabinet wherein the Pearl of Blessedness is locked up. Here is the golden pot in which is that manna which will feed and revive the soul unto everlasting life. Here is a way chalked out to the Holy of Holies.

 

The Beatitudes, Spiritual Character, Growing with God, Sermon on the Mount,the Gospel of Matthew

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About the Author:

Thomas Watson (c. 1620-1686), the Puritan preacher and author, was probably born in Yorkshire, although the exact place and date of his birth are unknown. Cross-references from the entire biblical corpus are sprinkled throughout his sermons, revealing a deep understanding of many texts obscure to most modern day Bible students. A solid understanding of history, botany, medicine, physics, the classics, logic, and various trades are revealed in his sermons.

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