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Who is Blessed?



Ben Stuart kicks off a brand new collection, Passion City on the Hill, and walks us through Jesus’ teachings about the kingdom of God in the sermon on the mount.

Key Takeaway

Jesus tells us exactly who is blessed, meaning having God's approval, grace, love, and peace, and why. He is not trying to keep secrets from us. He plainly declares His intention for the people of God.

All through history, people have declared manifestos to state their intentions. Jesus gives the greatest of all manifestos in what is called "The Sermon on the Mount". It's a manifesto of the Kingdom. A kingdom is a system of rule, a way of operating with one another, organized under a king. Jesus is the King and is organizing His Kingdom. He says constantly that "the Kingdom of God/Heaven" is at hand because it's God's idea and not man's, and He is here.

At this point in Scripture, it's early in Jesus's ministry, and people have seen and heard about the miracles Jesus had done. Miracles authenticate the message and the messenger, so people want to know what He has to say. And what does He tell them? He talks to them about becoming a city on a hill and how to live.

Cities were built out of limestone that reflected the sun during the day and were illuminated by candles at night. Since it was on a hill, it could be seen for miles. That's who we are to be as people. Jesus wants us to work with each other in a way that is good so God gets glory and people are drawn toward us.

Context: Jesus is the Jewish Messiah.

The Jewish people are under Roman authority. They don't just have a political problem. They have a moral and spiritual problem as well. God promised a land and He would be their King, but they rejected Him, and God allowed them to be taken over by different human authorities. So, they have a restlessness about them. They know that they're not living as who they are fully meant to be. Jesus is the redemption they've been hoping for. And Gentiles, people who are not Jewish, are grafted into the Kingdom as well.

How do you enter into the Kingdom? Matthew 5:1-20

Beatitudes - means blessed. In this context, God's approval, love, grace, and peace (external) cause you to have joy and happiness (internal).

None of it is based on practice or possessions. It has everything to do with posture.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Matthew 5:3

The poorest materially are able to understand spiritual poverty, while the rich have a harder time, but Jesus is not just talking about materials. He means those who admit their need, who know their own spiritual poverty. It's admitting your need for the King.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."

Matthew 5:4

There is a grief over what we've done. We should feel bad when we've done something bad. When you recognize that you have done something that hurts God, that's when grace comes in.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."

Matthew 5:5

You are okay with admitting your weakness. You don't have to act like you have it all together.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst or righteousness, for they shall be satisfied."

Matthew 5:6

You want to be filled with what is right. true and beautiful. How can you get reconnected from the dislocation from God and what He is all about. Be encouraged. He will satisfy the hunger and the thirst.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy."

Matthew 5:7

When you have received mercy, you're more apt to show it.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."

Matthew 5:8

You really want to know God and aren't pretending so that you can advance yourself in some way.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."

Matthew 5:9

This is not to say that if you make peace, you will get to be a son of God. That's works-based. It means you'll be recognized as such. We naturally look like our Dads. We don't have to earn our sonship. He's gracious, so we're gracious. The world banks on division. We are reconcilers.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Matthew 5:10

For righteousness' sake, we don't run from what we know is right.

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

Matthew 5:11-12

You associate with Him even when you know it is costly. You'll take the hits. You're with Him for better and for worse.

We are the salt and light of the earth. We are meant to preserve what is good. We fight the decay of society. We know that love, beauty, and truth are worth living and dying for.

They used to gather a substance from the marshes that had salt and other things in it to preserve their meat. If it got diluted, it was no longer useful, so they would throw it on their rooftops as flooring for where people would gather, hence why it was thrown out and trampled under their feet. Verse 13

We are meant to stand out and be a beacon of light for people. Verse 14-16.

Jesus didn't come to abolish the law. He came to fulfill it. Down to the smallest letter, He obeyed is for us. We don't have a hope of making it without him. Verse 17-20.


"Jesus gives the greatest of all manifestos. This is King Jesus giving the manifesto of the Kingdom. Jesus is saying I am the King and am building a Kingdom, and this is how I want us to live in the world."

Ben Stuart

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Scripture References

  • Matthew 5:3-20
Ben Stuart Ben Stuart is the pastor of Passion City Church D.C. Prior to joining Passion City Church, Ben served as the executive director of Breakaway Ministries on the campus of Texas A&M. He also earned a master’s degree in historical theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Donna, live to inspire and equip people to walk with God for a lifetime.