Sunday, December 18, 2016

Christmas: Harmonized Birth of Christ Jesus



Birth of Christ bAntoine Pesne, 1745

LUKE’S INTRODUCTION

Simone Martini, Circa 1330

Luke 1:1-4
Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things, which are most surely believed among us, even as they delivered them to us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word. It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you in order, most excellent Theophilus,that you might know the certainty of those things, wherein you have been instructed.

ETERNAL EXISTENCE OF CHRIST AS THE SECOND PERSON OF THE TRINITY


John 1:1-5; 9-13
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
And the light shined in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. That was the true Light, which lights every man that comes into the world. [The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. (NIV)]
He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came to his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.


HISTORICAL GENEALOGY OF JESUS FROM ABRAHAM THROUGH JOSEPH


Matthew 1:1-17
The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren. And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;
And Jesse begat David the king and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias. And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa. And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias. And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias. And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias. And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon.
And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel. And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor. And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud. And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob. And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generation


LEGAL GENEALOGY OF MARY


Luke 3:23b-38
[Jesus] being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son [-in-law] of Heli. Which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Janna, which was the son of Joseph. Which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Amos, which was the son of Naum, which was the son of Esli, which was the son of Nagge. Which was the son of Maath, which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Semei, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Juda. Which was the son of Joanna, which was the son of Rhesa, which was the son of Zorobabel, which was the son of Salathiel, which was the son of Neri. Which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Addi, which was the son of Cosam, which was the son of Elmodam, which was the son of Er. Which was the son of Jose, which was the son of Eliezer, which was the son of Jorim, which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi. Which was the son of Simeon, which was the son of Juda, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Jonan, which was the son of Eliakim. Which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, which was the son of David. Which was the son of Jesse, which was the son of Obed, which was the son of Booz, which was the son of Salmon, which was the son of Naasson. Which was the son of Aminadab, which was the son of Aram, which was the son of Esrom, which was the son of Phares, which was the son of Juda. Which was the son of Jacob, which was the son of Isaac, which was the son of Abraham, which was the son of Thara, which was the son of Nachor. Which was the son of Saruch, which was the son of Ragau, which was the son of Phalec, which was the son of Heber, which was the son of Sala. Which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad, which was the son of Sem, which was the son of Noe, which was the son of Lamech. Which was the son of Mathusala, which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jared, which was the son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan. Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.

THE BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST FORETOLD


[The Temple in Jerusalem B.C. 6]
Luke 1:5-25
There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias [which means YAHWEH Remembers], of the course [priestly division] of Abia [or Abijah]: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth [Elisheva: meaning -My God is abundance]. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.
And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course, according to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people was praying without at the time of incense.
And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, “Fear not, Zacharias: for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elisabeth shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name John [Yochanan: YAHWEH is gracious].
“And you shall have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias [Elijah], to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
And Zacharias said to the angel, “Whereby shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.”
And the angel answering said to him, “I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak to you, and to show you these glad tidings. And, behold, you shall be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because you believed not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.
And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he tarried so long in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak to them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned to them, and remained speechless.
And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, “Thus has the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.”

THE BIRTH OF JESUS FORETOLD

 (Nazareth in Galilee Late B.C. 6 or early B.C 5)
Luke 1:26-38
And in the sixth month [referring to the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy] the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph [Yosef:  meaning he will add], of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary [Miryam: Most likely is derived from Egyptian mry or beloved].
And the angel came to her, and said, “Hail, you that are highly favored, the Lord is with you: blessed are you among women.”
And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
And the angel said to her, “Fear not, Mary: for you have found favor with God. And, behold, you shall conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give to him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
Then said Mary unto the angel, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?”
And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God.”

MARY VISITS ELIZABETH


(Judea Early B.C. 5)
Luke 1:39-56
And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judea [a distance of 90 to 120 miles]; and entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.
And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: and she spoke out with a loud voice, and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of your salutation sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.”

Mary's Song
And Mary said, “My soul does magnify the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty has done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He has filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he has sent empty away. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.”
And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.


THE BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST


Luke 1:57-79
Now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbors and her cousins heard how the Lord had shown great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.
And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, “Not so; but he shall be called John.”
And they said to her, “There is none of your kindred that is called by this name.” And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.
And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, “His name is John.”
And they marveled all.
And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, and praised God.
And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea. And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What manner of child shall this be!”
And the hand of the Lord was with him.
Zechariah's Song
And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he has visited and redeemed his people, and has raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; the oath which he swore to our father Abraham, that he would grant to us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
“And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Highest: for you shall go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high has visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

THE ANGEL’S APPEARANCE TO JOSEPH


 (Nazareth B.C. 5)
Matthew 1:18-25a
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. [Secretly or privately. The NIV translates this as: “He had in mind to divorce her quietly.”]
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, fear not to take to you Mary your wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name JESUS [Hebrew: Joshua, which means God is Salvation]: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” [Isaiah 7:14]
Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took to him his wife and knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.


THE BIRTH OF JESUS


(Bethlehem Autumn of B.C. 5)
Luke 2:1-7 and John 1:14a
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus [63 B.C – 14 A.D.] that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius [Quirinius, circa 51 B.C. – 21 A.D.] was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city..

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (because he was of the house and lineage of David [See the earlier genealogy given in Luke 3]) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

THE SHEPHERDS AND THE ANGELS


 (Near Bethlehem)
Luke 2:8-20
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said to them, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For to you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign to you. You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men”.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, “Let us now go even to Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us”.
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things, which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.


JESUS PRESENTED IN THE TEMPLE

 (Jerusalem, eight days after the birth; distance from Bethlehem to Jerusalem is 6 miles)
Matthew 1:25b and Luke 2:21
And when eight days had passed, before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb and [Joseph] called his name JESUS.

PURIFICATION
(Jerusalem, 40 days after birth according to Jewish Law)
Luke 2:22-39a
And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the LORD, Every male that open the womb shall be called holy to the Lord [Exodus 13:2]) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon [which means “he heard” or “obedient”]; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, “Lord, now let me your servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.”
And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things, which were spoken of him.
And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
And there was one Anna [which means “Grace”], a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, [which means “Face of God”; the apocryphal Book of Enoch gives the name Phanuel to the fourth Archangel] of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fasting and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise to the Lord, and spoke of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. And … they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord.


THE VISIT OF THE MAGI


Matthew 2:1-12
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod [the Great, 73 BC – 4 BC] the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, “Where is he that is born King of the Jews for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him?” 
When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
And they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, ‘And you Bethlehem, in the land of Judea, are not the least among the princes of Judea: for out of you shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel’ [Micah 5:2].”
Then Herod, when he had privately called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, “Go and search diligently for the young child; and when you have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.”
When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented to him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.
And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.



After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." Matthew 2:1-2 (NIV)


When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
And they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, ‘And you Bethlehem, in the land of Judea, are not the least among the princes of Judea: for out of you shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel’” 


Then Herod, when he had privately called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, “Go and search diligently for the young child; and when you have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.”

When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.
And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

THE ESCAPE TO EGYPT


Matthew 2:13-18
And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be you there until I bring you word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.”
When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt and was there until the death of Herod that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt have I called my son”. [Hosea 11:1 (Greek: egontos, eks aiguptou ekalesa ton huion mou meaning, “Out of Egypt have I called the son of Me”.)  Matthew was saying the statement was made perfect in Christ.]
Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not [Jeremiah 31:15]”.


THE RETURN TO NAZARETH


 (4 B.C. – Year Herod the Great died)
Matthew 2:19-23 and Luke 2:39b; 1:80; 2:40
But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life.”
And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus [Herod Archelaus, 23 BC – Circa 18 AD. Ruled 4 BC – 6AD] did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go toward that place: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside. 
They returned into the parts of Galilee and he came to and dwelled in their own city, a city called Nazareth that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene”.

THE BOY JESUS AT THE TEMPLE


(Jerusalem 8 A.D.)
Luke 1:; 2:40-52
Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.
And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.
And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amaze, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you thus dealt with us? Behold, your father and I have sought you sorrowing.”
And he said to them, “How is it that you sought me? Wist [Knew] you not that I must be about my Father's business?”
And they understood not the saying that he spoke to them.
And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
And the child [John the Baptist] grew, and waxed strong in spirit and was in the deserts till the day of his showing unto Israel.

And the child [Jesus] grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Another Look at the Beatitudes, Part 1

Before continuing further, it might be well to take another look at the Beatitudes, because there are always layers to what is in God's Word. 

       And he  [Jesus] came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases;
And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed.
And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and he opened his mouth, and taught them, and said saying,

You will note that this text is a combination for Matthew 5 and Luke 6. The text from Luke is in Orange and the text from Matthew is in purple.

Some Bible scholars believe that the passages in Matthew and Luke constitute two separate occasions. The Matthew section is called "The Sermon on the Mount", while they give the title of "The Sermon on the Plain" to that in Luke. 

It is possible these sermons were given at two different times. I imagine that Jesus as an itinerant preacher probably repeated his message on numerous occasions, just as Tent Preachers would have done as they traveled from town to town in the recent past. Jesus probably had his version of the "stump speech".

However, when you put the two text together as a narrative it seems to resolve the question.  Jesus was on a plain surrounded by the multitude, but then he withdrew with his disciples up the mount and their he spoke The Sermon to them. Luke just didn't give quite as much detail as Matthew.

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of God.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst now after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, hate you and persecute you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you,  and shall cast out your name and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my, the Son of man's, sake.
Rejoice, ye in that day, and leap for joy:  and be exceeding glad: for behold great is your reward in heaven: for so in the like manner persecuted they their fathers the prophets which were before you.

We addressed these as steps to salvation as one becomes a Christian in previous posts, but let's look at these using some Bible verses to guide us in meaning.

Blessed are the poor in Spirit: For this is what the high and exalted One says—he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. (Isaiah 57:15 NIV).

       Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (James 4: 7-10 NIV)

We must become humble, giving up our independent pride and recognize our sin and mourn our lost state.

Blessed are those who Mourn: The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor  and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn... (Isaiah 61: 1-2)

This is, of course, the passage that Jesus read in the synagog at Nazareth when he began his ministry (See Luke 4).

We may be poor in spirit and we may mourn, but what is the promise we have from God? Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV).

We can also use the passage  from James 4: 7-10 again here. The essence is we reach a point where we feel poor in spirit and then we begin to mourn our low state, things we come to as we become broken by our sin that will turn us to calling on God for salvation. Read Psalm 61. The psalm was written by David after he had committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered her husband.  David is poor in spirit at this moment and he is mourning, not the loss of the baby, which died, but mourning his separation from God, mourning because he recognizes his sins and is now begging God for mercy.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth: Commit your way to the Lord, trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,  your vindication like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land. A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found. But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity. (Psalm 37: 5-11 NIV)

      When Jesus spoke this Beatitude, he was reiterating God's promise from the Old Testament, not something new. We can gain this promise when we humble ourselves and approach God to claim the mercy and grace he has given through his Son, Jesus Christ.

“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11: 27-30 NIV).


   

Accepting the Yoke offered by Jesus is the only way to shed our yoke of sin.
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TO BE CONTINUED.