The Blessings and Character Traits

First, let us consider all the blessings promised. Jesus said that the blessed shall (1) inherit the kingdom of heaven, (2) receive comfort, (3) inherit the earth, (4) be satisfied, (5) receive mercy, (6) see God, (7) be called God’s sons, and (8) inherit the kingdom of heaven (a repeat of #1).

Does Jesus want us to think that only the poor in spirit and those who have been persecuted for righteousness will inherit God’s kingdom? Will only the pure in heart see God and only the peacemakers be called sons of God, while neither shall inherit God’s kingdom? Will the peacemakers not receive mercy and the merciful not be called sons of God? Obviously these would all be wrong conclusions. Therefore, it is only safe to conclude that the many blessings promised are the manifold blessings of one big blessing—inheriting God’s kingdom.

Now let’s consider the different traits Jesus described: (1) poor in spirit, (2) mournful, (3) gentle, (4) hungering for righteousness, (5) merciful, (6) pure of heart, (7) peacemaking, and (8) persecuted.

Does Jesus want us to think that a person can be pure in heart yet unmerciful? Can one be persecuted for the sake of righteousness but not be one who hungers and thirsts after righteousness? Again, obviously not. The many character traits of the blessed are the manifold traits shared, to some degree, by all the blessed.

Clearly, the Beatitudes describe the character traits of Jesus’ true followers. By enumerating those traits to His disciples, Jesus assured them that they were the blessed people who are saved and who would enjoy heaven one day. Currently, they might not feel so blessed because of their sufferings, and the on-looking world might not consider them blessed, but in God’s eyes they were.

People who do not fit Jesus’ description are not blessed and will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. Every disciple-making pastor feels an obligation to make sure the people within his congregation know that.