I’ve been out of town for a few weeks so I’ll try and catch both series up.

So we are through the context and the opening verses of the Beatitudes:
5 Sermon on the Mount
1Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Last week I missed verse 6 so I’ll add it with verses 7-9

6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Jones’, as usual hits a home run in his practical theology. His point of view for those “who hunger and thirst for righteousness” reflects: To hunger and thirst for righteousness means a desire to be free from sin, because sin separates us from God. This is God’s response to our first three blessings. The first three blessings reveal our total inadequacy and this is His provision as we are satisfied as we hunger and thirst for righteousness. There is only peace, true happiness and blessedness in the gospel. To borrow again from Paul in Romans 7 “it means a desire to be free from the very desire for sin, because a man that examines himself in the light of the scriptures not only discovers that he is in the bondage of sin, still more he likes and wants it. So a man who hungers and thirsts wants to get rid of even the desire to sin.”1 To borrow from a biblical counseling illustration: Belief (truth) leads to-> Thinking rightly leads to-> Responding rightly leads to-> Peace and contentment This truth equation continuum allows that the godly man “hungers and thirsts for righteousness” is satisfied only by God’s truth, this allows him to think rightly, respond rightly and have the peace that transcends all understanding (Phil 4:7, 9). Then and only then is he satisfied, has peace, and is content. That continuum can never be satisfied out of order. This satisfaction can only come from God. Look at the antithesis for a minute: the world hungers for peace in everything but the truth. As a result they never have true peace. They find satisfaction in everything but God and as a result never have true satisfaction because it’s not from God. They look for contentment in wealth, in relationships, in sex, drugs and everything but God, only to find out what ever they thought gave them peace was easily taken and had no lasting peace. (Phil 4:6-7) The only peace that guards our hearts is in Christ Jesus.

Barclay took a lot of time to expose in the Greek that this is no ordinary hunger but an appetite for the whole extent of righteousness. He proved this through a very lengthy specific structure in the language (that I wont take time to bore you with). He used the example “That is in fact what people seldom do. They are content with a part of righteousness. A man, for instance, may be a good man in the sense that ,however hard one tried, one could not pin a moral fault on him. His honesty, his morality, his respectability are beyond question; but it may be that no one could go to that man and weep out a sorry story on his breast; he would freeze if one tried to do so. There can be a goodness which is accompanied with a hardness, a censoriousness, a lack of sympathy. Such a goodness is a partial goodness. On the other hand a man may have all kinds of faults; he may drink, and swear, and gamble, and lose his temper; and yet, if any one is in trouble, he would give him the last penny out of his pocket and the very coat off his back. Again that is a partial goodness.”2 So the language expresses specifically that the one that hungers will not be satisfied with anything less than whole goodness. Since these are present participles it means this desire of being hungry and thirsty are a current status. This continual, perpetual desire is only satisfied by God’s grace and mercy, that is new every morning.

7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
This verse again reveals a progression. Where we have seen so far the Christian in terms of his need, now we look at his disposition. As we’ve developed to be in the Kingdom one must enter being poor in spirit. We have seen ourselves as face to face with God and see apart from His provision our utterly desperate position. We mourn because of the residual sin left (1John 1:8) that we daily struggle with. We are comforted with His forgiveness upon repentance. The meekness revealed in our gentleness and humility as we see we are continually forgiven causes us by the power of the Holy Spirit to hunger and thirst for righteousness. As we see this continual pattern in our life and we see the desperation we feel because we see our constant need, we see the true litmus test of this in our mercy…mercy extended to others as a result of the mercy we have recieved. As Jones was quick to add (as I am) this mercy is not an agreement with sin in the lives of others but as we separate the sin from the sinner we can extend mercy because even Jesus said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”(Luke 23:34) The understanding of the mercy we need, is revealed as we give it. Jones also added a maxim “What makes me merciful is the grace of God. But the grace of God does make me merciful. So it comes to this. If I am not merciful there is only one explanation; I have never understood the grace and the mercy of God; I am outside Christ; I am yet in my sins, and I am unforgiven.”3 Strong words but very revealing. James (among many biblical authors, 2Tim 3:16, 2Pet 1:21) would agree “For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy.” (James2:13)

8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Remember from SM-2 that the verb tenses are not in the original but rather these are statements of congratulations for the reality of the new birth, realities for what it means to be saved. Understanding that it is still important to understand exactly what is significant about being pure in heart and seeing God. Jones is convinced (as am I) the order is definitely sequential and all encompassing. What I mean by that is we see the first 3 beatitudes expressing our need and the consciousness of that need. The next beatitude is God’s provision for that need in “hungering and thirsting for righteousness” and being satisfied. This provision has given us many things, as we have received mercy we have become merciful, and our status as pure in heart is being revealed.

In light of the issue of the “pure in heart” and why that is so significant, we have to go back to the declaration of the New Covenant in Ezekiel 36:26 we are told we will get a new heart and in Jeremiah 31:33 we are told He will put His law within us and will write It on our hearts. The point is everything we know about God revolves around our hearts. This is the seat of all of our problems. “Purity in the heart is not a qualification for salvation; it is a result.”4 Remember how Jesus said it wasn’t what we ate that defiled us but what comes out of the heart that defiles a man. (Matt 15:10-13) As Jesus quoted Isaiah 29:13 in Matthew 15:8 that the people honored Him with the lips but their hearts we far from Him. When we are dealing with sin always remember we have to go to the heart to deal with the symptoms of the sin (most importantly – our own). Though we are seen white as snow in God’s economy, we know we must deal with indwelling sin till glory. As John Owen (the Puritan) put it “Let us never recon that our work in fighting against sin – in crucifying, mortifying, and subduing it – is at an end.” His closing comment in regards to this says it well “; and he who dies fighting this warfare dies assuredly a conqueror.”5

So what does it mean “for they shall see God”? As Jones has pointed out “as with all the other beatitudes, the promise is partially fulfilled here and now.” Also the here and now is ” a mere nothing compared with what is yet to be.”6 We know we’ve seen God work, and Jesus said if you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father, but we know that time is coming when we shall see Him face to face.

9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
So we turn to another attribute in the life of a Christian. This attribute like the others represents a mindset, more importantly a heart set that flies totally in the face of the worlds point of view. Remember from the antithesis of being pure in heart Jesus said it wasn’t what we ate that defiled us but that which comes out “of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.” James also chimes in declaring “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and you do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.” (James 4:1-2) These are the exact opposites of what it means to be a peace maker. The work of the Holy Spirit into making us peacemakers flies against every natural inclination we have. The peacemaker has one concern and that is seeing God glorified among men. This like meekness, is not a compromise on sin. The peacemaker is one who is not always looking at everything in terms of the effect it has upon him, but how it affects the glory of God.

Notice the word is not peace-lovers but peace-makers. There is a sense in which this term is used evangelistically. The internal peace with God that is a result of being born again is reflected as we share the good news (gospel) with others. Paul states in 2 Cor 5:19 “that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” This ministry of reconciliation as it is shared, thus makes us peace-makers, bringing the good news to the lost.

side note: For those who question the meek inheriting the earth in verse 5. Sorry I didn’t develop it as the commentators thoughts ran long. The long and short of it is it seems this is the earth in an eschatological sense as we see later in how Jesus taught us to pray. In Matthew 6:10 “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” reveals the earth in context in a future sense as we see the Fathers will being brought to completion. Amen!

I’m trying to glean the high notes for you but they still seem to be rather lengthy. I’ll try and be more brief.