Makarios – know what that is? We typically read this in our Bible translated as Blessed or Happy. We’ve come to one of those passage quoted by many types of people. Even non-Christians know some of these. We are walking through this passage and breaking them down a few at a time.
In commentaries, we find some of the following on the word transcribed as “poor”:
They that hold all their passions and affections evenly balanced. (John Wesley)
not always interested in one’s rights (F.B. Meyer)
The English word “meek” has largely lost the fine blend of spiritual poise and strength meant by the Master. He calls himself “meek and lowly in heart” (Mat_11:29) and Moses is also called meek. It is the gentleness of strength, not mere effeminacy. (Robertson’s Word Pictures)
Who are not easily provoked to anger; who patiently bear, and put up with injuries and affronts; carry themselves courteously, and affably to all; have the meanest thoughts of themselves, and the best of others (John Gill)
Meekness is patience in the reception of injuries. It is neither meanness nor a surrender of our rights, nor cowardice; but it is the opposite of sudden anger, of malice, of long-harbored vengeance. (Albert Barnes)
This sure sounds like the same as long suffering, but if we look at the original meaning of the word we find Strong and Thayer define it as:
praus prah-ooce’ Apparently a primary word; mild, that is, (by implication) humble
mildness of disposition, gentleness of spirit, meekness
This type of character sounds more like a way of living, an everyday countenance or character. If we picture Jesus, this type of character isn’t necessarily a push over, but would maintain their gentleness even when being firm and confrontational … let’s say, in control of their emotions.
The next characteristic we see:
“Blessed [joyful, nourished by God’s goodness] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness [those who actively seek right standing with God], for they will be [completely] satisfied. (AMP)
Hunger and thirst for righteousness, the word hunger carries with it the idea of craving. Thirsty means … well … thirsty. ha ha! Righteousness is the condition acceptable to God. First thing I noticed is it doesn’t say those who are righteous, meaning already in the condition acceptable to God. It says those who are basically craving and thirsty for that condition. This verse finishes by saying you’ll get what you are looking for!
Blessed [content, sheltered by God’s promises] are the merciful, for they will receive mercy
Merciful … doesn’t seem to be much of this in the world today. I like the way Albert Barnes puts it, “those who are so affected by the sufferings of others as to be disposed to alleviate them,” I have to admit, when thinking about mercy, I tend to think of it as a reaction characteristic, not as a proactive one. God showed mercy by sending Christ to die for us, BEFORE we deserved it. Guess I have to change the way I see mercy, how about you?
And finally, for today anyway:
Blessed [anticipating God’s presence, spiritually mature] are the pure in heart [those with integrity, moral courage, and godly character], for they will see God.
Up until now, we’ve seen characteristics we can display on the outside. We may even be able to fool others by ‘acting’ in a way contrary to how we are really feeling on the inside, like feeling angry on the inside, but putting a smile on the outside. But Christ doesn’t make it so easy now does He? Nooooo. So we can’t just work on what we look like on the outside, we have to work on what’s inside as well. Actions may speak louder than words, but the heart reveals the truth. This one is between you and God, and you can’t fool Him! O.O
No worries, He’s got you covered, this is what the Holy Spirit is for. He is changing us, renewing us, each and every day – if we let Him. So the question is, are you?