The word, “Beatitudes” is an abbreviation and combination of blessings and attitudes. The Hebrew “ashiri” and the Greek “makarios” depict blessedness, contentment, happiness, joy, satisfaction and whatever else that cause a good and grateful feeling in a person. These blessed attitudes result from doing what is right in the eyes of God. Psalm 01:1 and 02:12 indicate that a person is blessed when he or she avoid sinners and trust God. Listening to a wise person creates contentment (Prov.8: 34). Maintaining justice and keeping God’s laws also makes a person feel satisfied (Isa.56: 1-2). Perhaps the greatest feeling of having been blessed abundantly is when one escapes persecution and death (Dan.12: 12). I can identify with Daniel. Like his people, we too were driven from our homes and nearly lost our lives.
The Sermon on the Mount is very similar to the examples above. The followers of Jesus would also face similar difficulties and were challenged to accept and regard hardships as a blessing or a privilege. James wrote to the Hebrew Christians to regard their trials a pure joy because it built character and endurance (Ja.1: 2-4). The followers of Jesus shall be in the world, but not of the world (Jn.17: 6-19). Their success and survival in the world shall hinge on their attitudes. They shall represent the values of a heavenly kingdom that shall clash with the earthly kingdom and values (Jn.18: 36). Jesus was very specific about where the heavenly kingdom was located. It was within each of His followers; namely, in the heart or in the attitude (Lk.17: 20-21). What it amounts to is a Christian can be bitter or better.
The modern Christian in a free and tolerant western culture is not subject to the conditions that the first Christians faced. Hence, the Sermon on the Mount is humanly impossible, too perfect and intended for another world. But to those that live in areas of persecution and death, it is the only attitude one has to have in order to serve Christ. It is because these witnesses, who suffer for Christ that they feel blessed. It is when Christians share in Christ’s suffering that they shall also share in His glory (Ro.8: 17). Job asked his wife in the midst of tragedy, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble (Job 02: 10)?” Persecution and tribulation for Christians are inevitable (Mt.24: 9-14; Jn.16: 33). Perhaps then, The Sermon on the Mount shall make a lot more sense. In addition to the nine blessings, there are eleven more blessings in The New Testament. All of the beatitudes reflect the mind of Christ and create contentment for the Christian (Phil.2: 5; 04: 11).