JAVA WITH JOE presents

the view from the bottom

10 days of digging into the beatitudes

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day 1

The beatitudes are some of the most beloved, easily-memorized, often-quoted, and completely ignored passages in Scripture. For me, the times I’ve ignored them weren’t because I didn’t believe Jesus or didn’t want to be blessed… it’s because at times, I’ve forgotten what the blessed life is all about. Jesus came that we would have life in abundance (John 10:10), so when instructs us on how to live, he’s leading us to fullness - a plan that is better than ours, 100% of the time.

The word ‘blessed’ in these verses can be understood a few different ways. Throughout history, the greek word used, which is ‘makarios’, has taken on a few different meanings.

  1. It was used to refer to the Gods in ancient times - this state of blessedness signified the ultimate peace, joy, and separation from the turmoil we mere mortals face.

  2. In other instances, the word was used to describe people who had died - they, too, had gone beyond the issues we face here on Earth, were with enjoying the land of the Gods.

  3. More recently to Jesus’ time, the same word ‘makarios’ was used to describe the upper echelon of society, the rich and famous, the highest among all the people.

What I hope you’ll realize is that, in each meaning, there’s a common thread. The people who are blessed, or ‘makarios’, are experiencing an elevated existence. There’s something transcendent about their lives.

Jesus knew that this is how his audience would perceive this word, and he was getting ready to turn it upside down. He was preparing to redefine what it means to be ‘blessed’ - to be in the ultimate state of joy, peace, purpose, belonging, and trust in God.

Jesus invites us to something more than we’ve been settling for. Take a moment to think of some friends you think might benefit from a reflection on these Scriptures.

Send them this page. Have them text JAVAWITHJOE to 41411 to take the journey with us. We’ll start with the first verse tomorrow.

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