The Beatitudes are our “to be” list rather than just a “to do” list. We are all called to embody these as Jesus does. It’s not for a select few but for every one of us who follow Christ.
They are the foundation on which we build the rest of the Sermon on the Mount. The sermon starts out with a list of how to blessed. It’s the secret sauce to living a truly happy life. Now, when we think “Blessed” we usually think “free from hardship, pain, or lack”, but Jesus shows us that “blessed” is something we can be no matter our circumstances. We find that it doesn’t mean a life apart from suffering, but rather, even in the midst of suffering and adversity how we can be truly happy and deeply content in God.
The beautiful thing about Jesus calling us to be these things is that he already is these things. He is the one who perfectly does and is the beatitudes- he has gone before us and now invites us into partnership with him in his Spirit to become like him.
The beatitudes are also a window into the heart of God, what he cares for and what he’s looking for. We’ll find as we read the sermon on the Mount that God, of course, is interested in our actions, but he’s interested in actions that flow from a heart that is fully devoted to and abiding in Him.
He’s after the inward workings of our heart, our motivations and intentions. Nothing is hidden, nothing off limits. These places of our hearts matter deeply to Him. He wants to produce the beatitudes in us so that we relate to him in his ways, but also to represent him well to the world around us.
It’s so important to know that we cannot do or be these things without him. Reality is that apart from him we can produce no good thing. That’s why it all begins with being “poor in spirit”.