8 Beatitudes and Their Meaning (Super Insightful)

This blog post is all about 8 beatitudes and their meaning

First and foremost, I want to give you a warm welcome to my blog!

I’m so glad that you’re here! ❤️

As you read this article, you’ll notice the paradoxical nature of the Beatitudes. This is because they contain sentiments that contradict conventional wisdom and societal expectations.

Here are a few examples:

  • They proclaim that those who may be seen as marginalized or disadvantaged, such as the meek, the poor in spirit, and the persecuted, can yet find joy and fulfillment.
  • Through the beatitudes, we are reminded that true strength is found in humbling ourselves before God’s will and not in worldly power or material wealth.

This paradoxical nature of the Beatitudes makes them intriguing and invites a deeper investigation of their meaning and significance in the context of Christian spirituality.

P.S. I’ve added a bonus section where I talk about Gandhi…don’t worry…it’s related to this post. LOL.

I hope you will enjoy this post!

Ready? Let’s go!

Meaning of beatitudes (+Ashrei)

The term “beatitude” traces its origins to Latin.

It is derived from the Latin word “beatus,” which means happy or blessed.

Similarly, in Hebrew, the term “ashrei”

Let’s do a mind-blowing 🤯 deep dive into the meaning of this powerful Hebrew word…

1. “Ashrei” doesn’t contain a verb

One interesting feature of the the word “Ashrei” in the Beatitudes is that they don’t contain a verb like “are.” Rather, they begin with the exclamation “O…” followed by a description of a blessed state.

So, in other words, the Beatitudes would actually read as:

• “O the blessedness of the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”

• or “O the gladness of the poor in Spirit…” (Matthew 5:3).

2. The Ashrei in the beatitudes is actually an exclamation

As stated earlier, the “O” is actually an exclamation.

According to biblical scholars*, this construction is known as an “exclamation of blessing” (or an interjection). It was a common form of speech in Jesus’ time, used to express admiration or praise for someone or something. The Beatitudes use this form to describe the blessedness of those who embody certain virtues, such as meekness or mercy.

3. Ashrei describes a state of being…

Another interesting aspect of the Beatitudes is their use of the word “Ashrei” in the original Hebrew text. This word is often translated as “blessed” or “happy,” but its root actually means “to walk straight” or “to go on the right path.”

In other words, the Beatitudes describe a state of joy and fulfillment that comes from living a righteous life according to God’s will.

To cement this information- here is a quote by a Rabbi that states, “Ashrei appears to denote the contented state of being that comes from the directed life.”

Wow, can you pause and re-read that? 🙏🏾 Because that totally moved me!

Taken together, the Beatitudes offer a powerful vision of what it means to live a blessed and joyful life in relationship with God.

By emphasizing the importance of virtues such as humility, compassion, and purity of heart, they challenge us to reorder our priorities and align our lives with God’s purposes.

As we seek to embody these blessings in our own lives, we can find a deeper sense of joy and peace that transcends the difficulties and trials of this world.

What are the 8 Beatitudes?

The 8 Beatitudes were given by Jesus Christ when He was teaching His disciples on a mountain in what is now known as the Sermon on the Mount.

This sermon took place shortly after Jesus declared that He was the promised Messiah and Savior of mankind, which made it highly significant for many who heard Him.

What are the 8 beatitudes in order

The most commonly accepted view is that there are eight Beatitudes. These eight beatitudes consist of the following:

  1. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs, is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3)
  2. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted (Matthew 5:4)
  3. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5)
  4. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled (Matthew 5:6)
  5. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy (Matthew 5:7)
  6. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God (Matthew 5:8)
  7. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God (Matthew 5:9)
  8. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:10)

How many beatitudes are there? (8 vs. 10)

There has been much debate over how many Beatitudes there actually are. Some scholars suggest eight, others nine, and still others ten.

I support the idea that there are eight beatitudes. Verses 10-12 of Mathew have a distinct focus on a group of individuals who endure persecution due to their religious beliefs. In short, verses 10-12 are talking about the same people (the persecuted).

If you look closely, the verses 11-12 describe what persecution people will experience (insult, evil, false accusations) and how they should respond.

Perhaps the repetition emphasizes the importance of endurance in the face of hardship and the reward that awaits those who remain steadfast in their faith.

Understanding the Purpose of the Beatitudes: 8 Points to Consider

The Beatitudes are not just a set of rules or a collection of lovely sentiments. They are a powerful call to a new way of living and a different kind of leadership.

By understanding the purpose behind the Beatitudes, we can unlock the transformative power of this passage and allow it to shape our own lives and our interactions with the world around us.

Let us go forth, therefore, with joyful hearts and a renewed sense of purpose inspired by the profound message of the Beatitudes.

Here are 8 points to consider:

1. The Beatitudes are not meant to be taken as separate statements.

Each of the Beatitudes is connected to the others, forming a larger message about what it means to live a righteous life.

When we understand them this way, we see that they offer a holistic vision of a life transformed by the grace of God.

2. The Beatitudes are not a set of rules to follow.

The Beatitudes are not a list of things we must do in order to earn God’s favor or approval. Instead, they describe the kind of people we become when we place our faith in Christ.

They describe the character of one who has been transformed by God’s grace and is now living in the world in a new way.

3. The Beatitudes challenge our cultural values.

When Jesus spoke the Beatitudes, He was addressing people who were oppressed by the powerful and wealthy.

His teachings challenged the values of His culture, which placed great importance on power, wealth, and prestige.

The Beatitudes turn these values on their head, offering a different vision of greatness and true worth.

4. The Beatitudes model a different kind of leadership.

When we think of leaders, we often picture strong, charismatic figures who command the attention of the room.

The Beatitudes offer a different model of leadership, one that is marked by meekness, humility, and a willingness to serve others.

This kind of leadership is modeled by Jesus Himself, who came not to be served but to serve.

5. The Beatitudes offer hope in times of suffering.

The Beatitudes are often associated with suffering and hardship and for good reason.

They offer comfort and hope to those who are poor, mourning, or persecuted.

Jesus promises that even in our darkest moments, we can find comfort and strength in His grace.

6. The Beatitudes are a call to action.

The Beatitudes are not just a set of nice sentiments; they are a call to action.

They challenge us to be peacemakers, to hunger and thirst for righteousness, to show mercy, and to love our enemies.

They call us to live in the world in a way that reflects the transformative power of Christ’s love.

7. The Beatitudes are ultimately about Jesus.

We must remember that the Beatitudes are ultimately about Jesus Himself.

Each of the Beatitudes reflects some aspect of His character and His mission to bring salvation to the world.

When we understand this, we see that the purpose of the Beatitudes is to point us to Christ and to inspire us to follow Him more closely.

8. An invitation to join God’s larger mission here on earth.

The Beatitudes are more than just promises of future rewards; they also serve as an invitation to join God’s larger mission here on earth.

By developing these virtues and living according to them, we fulfill our role as ambassadors for Christ.

We become examples of God’s love, mercy, and justice in a world desperately in need of hope.

As we strive to live out the Beatitudes in our lives, others will be drawn closer to Jesus Himself through their interactions with us.

8 Beatitudes and Their Meaning (Super Insightful)

the beatitudes explained

First Beatitude

The first beatitude is “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).

This verse encourages humility by recognizing our spiritual poverty and our need for God. This is more important than worldly possessions or status.

A verse that ties well to this one is Matthew 16:26, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”

Practicing this beatitude is key to achieving a closer relationship with God and experiencing true peace and joy.

Here are several tips on how to practice this beatitude effectively:

  • Take the time to acknowledge your limitations and recognize that you can’t do it all alone – seek help from God instead.
  • Let go of pride, arrogance, and self-centeredness; strive to be humble before God.
  • Be content with what you have. Avoid comparing yourself and your possessions to those of others.
  • Give back to the community around you; use your resources to help serve the less fortunate.
  • Spend more time praying, reflecting, and studying God’s Word; strive to align your heart with His will.
  • Live simply; don’t focus too much on materialistic desires or achievements, but rather on spiritual growth.
  • Practice gratefulness and thankfulness for what you have been given.

Second Beatitude

The second beatitude is “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).

At first glance, this may seem contradictory because how can one be blessed while mourning?

However, this beatitude actually speaks of godly sorrow, which leads to repentance and ultimately brings comfort from God.

In 2 Corinthians 7:10, Paul writes, “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.”

Godly sorrow differs from worldly sorrow, which is often self-centered and brings only regret and pain. On the other hand, godly sorrow comes when we realize our true spiritual poverty and see how far we are from God’s nature. It is a necessary step towards repentance and changing our ways to align with God’s will.

Here are several tips on how to practice the second beatitude on godly sorrow effectively:

  • As stated earlier, recognize the difference between worldly sorrow and godly sorrow. Worldly sorrow is often centered on self-pity and regret, while godly sorrow comes from a deep understanding of our spiritual poverty and the realization of our sins.
  • Confess your sins and ask for forgiveness from God. Repentance is a crucial part of experiencing godly sorrow and bringing about change in your life.
  • Seek comfort in God’s promises and His unwavering love. Meditate on His Word and allow yourself to rest in His presence.

Third Beatitude

The third beatitude is “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5).

This verse calls us to practice gentleness and humility, recognizing that these traits open up doors of opportunity and peace.

Here are several tips on how to practice this beatitude effectively:

  • Cultivate an attitude of kindness in all interactions – treat others as you would want them to treat you.
  • Stay humble; don’t let successes and achievements become the focus of your life.
  • Don’t be afraid to admit when you’re wrong; this shows a level of maturity that is admirable and respected.
  • Speak in such a way that no one is offended or put down – show respect even if you disagree with someone’s opinion.
  • Listen more than you talk so others feel heard and understood.
  • Forgive easily — let go of resentment, grudges, and bitterness so they don’t hold you back from experiencing joy.
  • Remain teachable; be open to receiving advice, criticism, and guidance even when it’s uncomfortable.
  • Keep an open heart and mind; don’t allow your pride to get in the way of learning from others.
  • Rely on God’s strength instead of your own; He will give you the power to be meek despite difficult circumstances.

Fourth Beatitude

The fourth beatitude is “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).

This verse calls us to pursue a godly lifestyle, recognizing that we should earnestly seek the Lord and desiring to be righteous.

This not only means seeking to be in right standing with God, but to people around you!

Here are several tips on how to practice this beatitude effectively:

  • Seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness; it takes commitment and dedication to stay focused on living a holy life.
  • Follow God’s commands even when you don’t understand them; He will guide your steps and bring peace in the end.
  • Remain humble; don’t let pride lead you away from God’s path of righteousness.
  • Hold onto the hope that God is with you through your journey; His promises will always be fulfilled.
  • Remain focused on righteousness, and allow yourself to be filled with joy, knowing that God’s plans for us are good.
  • Pray often and read the Bible regularly to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will.
  • Look for ways to be more active in your faith; explore different areas such as volunteer work, retreats, or bible studies.
  • Speak up when you see injustice in the world – use your voice and platform to advocate for those who can’t speak out.
  • Please give generously and help others in need; there is no greater joy than helping those around us. 
  • Don’t be afraid to confront evil with courage — stand firm against all forms of oppression.

Fifth Beatitude

The fifth beatitude is “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7).

This verse encourages us to show mercy, recognizing that it reflects God’s grace and compassion.

Here are several tips on how to practice this beatitude effectively:

  • Show empathy towards those who are suffering; be willing to put yourself in someone else’s shoes
  • Forgive those who have wronged you; extend your mercy even when it feels hard.
  • Offer kindness and understanding instead of judgment and criticism; be generous with your words and actions.
  • Give grace and encouragement to those who are struggling; be an encourager in someone’s.
  • Reach out to them and listen to their stories; they deserve your support and understanding.
  • Don’t allow yourself to become hardened or bitter towards others; remain merciful despite difficult circumstances.
  • Pray for God over those around you; He will answer your prayers in His own time and way.
  • Follow Christ’s example of love and selflessness; His teachings on mercy will never fail us.

Sixth Beatitude

The sixth beatitude is “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).

This verse calls us to keep a clean heart, recognizing that purity will bring us closer to God and lead us into an intimate relationship with Him.

One powerful verse that parallels this is James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

Here are several tips on how to practice this beatitude effectively:

  • Seek Christ daily; He will empower you and give you the strength to stay focused on a life of holiness.
  • Pray and read the Bible regularly; it helps to purify our hearts by filling them with knowledge of God’s truth.
  • Avoid anything or anyone that could lead you away from godliness; remember that what you put in your mind has an effect on your soul. (Guard your gates!)
  • Spend time alone with God; it will give you a chance to reconnect with Him and renew your spirit.
  • Surround yourself with people who demonstrate godly values; they are an encouragement and support on the journey. (ref. 1 Corinthians 15:33)
  • Be honest in all of your relationships; living a life of integrity is essential for spiritual purity.
  • Conquer anything that stands in the way of a pure heart; come boldly before Christ; he can help you overcome any temptation or obstacle.
  • Spend more time in worship and adoration of God; it brings joy and peace to the soul.
  • Share the love of Jesus with those around you; His example of purity radiates from our lives when we faithfully follow Him.
  • Focus on the fruits of the Spirit; these will help you stay grounded in truth, love, and joy.

Seventh Beatitude

The seventh beatitude is “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9).

This verse calls us to make peace and spread goodwill, recognizing that actions can bring harmony to a broken world.

Here are several tips on how to practice this beatitude effectively:

  • Pray for guidance and discernment from God; He will direct you towards paths of peace and understanding.
  • Please show respect for everyone around you; give grace even when it feels hard.
  • Be an example of love and kindness; your actions will bring hope and healing to those around you.
  • Reach out in friendship to those who are different from you; listen to their stories and get to know them.
  • Find ways to reconcile differences between people; focus on common ground instead of dwelling on the things that divide us.
  • Forgive those who have hurt you; it’s often the most challenging thing, but it can open doors for peace in a relationship or situation.
  • Pay attention to warning signs before conflict arises; look for solutions instead of arguing or fighting back. 
  • Speak words of encouragement and hope in difficult situations; words have the power to bring comfort and understanding.
  • Demonstrate patience even when it is hard; don’t rush into a solution before listening to all sides of an issue.
  • Give peace a chance; take time to think before making decisions that could lead to more chaos or violence.
  • Pray for the courage to make peace wherever possible; trust that the Lord will guide your steps in the right direction.

Eighth Beatitude

The eighth beatitude is “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10).

Persecution here can mean emotional, physical etc.

This verse calls us to remain faithful even when persecuted, recognizing that our reward is in heaven.

Here are several tips on how to practice this beatitude effectively:

  • Pray for strength and guidance; the Lord will provide the courage and support needed to stand firm in your faith.
  • Be willing to suffer for what you believe in; it takes courage to stick up for your convictions, even when challenged or threatened.
  • Resist temptation; focus instead on living a life that reflects Christ’s example of grace and truth.
  • Rely on God alone for strength and protection; He will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).
  • Do not retaliate when wronged; instead, forgive and continue to show love and kindness in the face of adversity.
  • Reject hatred and bitterness; focus on building up others with your words and actions.
  • Speak out against injustice; advocate for truth and righteousness, even if it means going against popular opinion or persecution.
  • Set an example of faithfulness in your daily life; live a life that reflects God’s will and commands even when faced with opposition.
  • Choose peace over strife; trust that God will bring justice in His timing (Romans 12:19).
  • Remember that eternity is secure; our reward is found in Christ Jesus, not in worldly praise or recognition.
  • Take heart; the Lord is with you and will bring victory (Romans 8:31).

Beatitudes on the world stage and its influence on non-Christians (Mahatma Gandhi)

The Beatitudes have influenced many non-Christians, including Mahatma Gandhi.

Gandhi wrote in his book “The Story of My Experiments with Truth” that he read the whole Bible, but it was the Sermon on the Mount (which includes the Beatitudes) that went to his heart.

Here is a quote, “But the New Testament produced a different impression, especially the Sermon on the Mount which went straight to my heart.”

For Gandhi, this sermon was a social justice lesson and a guide to living an ethical life. He believed that by following Jesus’ teachings, people could achieve peace, sustainable development, and social progress. He saw the Beatitudes as a path to creating a just society where everyone has equal dignity and rights.

In particular, he championed non-violence and love for one’s enemies as essential principles for achieving lasting change.

All of these beliefs were shaped by his experience of the Beatitudes and their message of peace, joy, and love. Even today, Gandhi’s words continue to inspire non-Christians around the world in their own quest for justice and peace.

However, it’s important to note that Gandhi believed the Sermon of the Mount as the only text that contained Jesus. He neither accepted the Old Testament nor the teachings of Paul.

You can read more about this via Gandhi’s website…the topic is titled, “Mahatma Gandhi and the Sermon on the Mount.”

But here is my take concerning this…I’m titling my concerns under the next section “don’t cherry pick.”

Don’t cherry-pick

Jesus is the only way to salvation; no one can come to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).

By accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we can live out the Beatitudes in their proper context and experience their incredible power. Only then are we able to truly experience the peace, joy, and love that come from following Jesus’ teaching.

Why do I say this?

The Beatitudes are only a part of God’s Word- they are not meant to be cherry-picked but rather embraced in their entirety if we wish to truly experience their power.

To do that, we must accept Jesus as our salvation and strive to embody His teachings, even when it is difficult.

Let’s also remember that Jesus came not just to teach us the Beatitudes but also to provide a way for us to have eternal life with Him.

Without this ultimate sacrifice and acceptance of faith, the Beatitudes are merely words on paper- beautiful in their own right but unable to bring us any lasting peace or joy.

I stress- we must remember that Jesus is the way and the truth, and His teachings are meant to be taken in full if we are to experience their true power.

This is why it is so essential not to cherry-pick parts of Scripture but instead embrace its entirety with faith. When we do, we are able to truly experience the power of Jesus’ teaching and find joy in living out His Word.

And that’s it, folks, the 8 beatitudes, and their meaning

As I conclude, the Beatitudes are not meant to be a checklist for salvation or a formula for righteousness. Rather, they serve as a reminder of the values and attitudes that are pleasing to God. They encourage believers to show mercy, seek righteousness, and persevere in the face of opposition.

By understanding the context and purpose of the Beatitudes, we can better appreciate their significance and embrace the attitudes they promote.

May we all strive to live out the Beatitudes each and every day so that we may honor God and reach His Kingdom! 

Supplementary/Suggested readings:

Try to borrow this book from your local library and read the section on Beatitudes:

*Barclay, William. The Gospel of Matthew, Volume One – Enlarged Print Edition. United States: Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, 2015.

May the Lord be praised.


Heather Chesiyna_Signature_MOS

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