Heirs of the Kingdom, Matthew 5:3-12

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Heirs of the Kingdom, Matthew 5:3-12

John Hepp, Jr.


Heirs of the Kingdom, Matthew 5:3-12

(James 2:5; 1 Pet. 1:3-6; Rev. 11:13)
John Hepp, Jr., www.kingdominbible.com
Description of Jesus'
Repentant Followers
EquivalentOther ReferencesTheir Coming Inheritance
(defining repentance)
1 poor in spiritrealize spiritual bankruptcyIsa. 66:2the kingdom of heaven
2 mournbeg God to pardon & cleanseIsa. 61:2; 2 Cor. 7:9-10will be comforted
3 meeksurrender selves to God for Him to controlPs. 37:11; Phil. 2:5-11will inherit the earth
4 hunger and thirst for righteousnessseek to be like God & help others to do soIsa. 55:1; John 7:37-39will be filled (with righteousness)
(emphasizing results of God's grace)
5 mercifulseek good for the helpless and lostPs. 41:1-3; James 2:13will be shown mercy
6 pure in hearta) are honest with God & others, meditate on all He says
b) are cleansed
Ps. 24:3-6; 73:1; Matt. 6:20-21; 12:34-35will see God
7 peacemakersare committed to resolving conflicts & making peaceMatt. 5:38-48; 2 Cor. 5:19-20will be called sons of God
8a persecuted because of righteousness
8b people insult you, persecute you, falsely say...evil against you because of me
willing to stand for God & the right at any costMatt. 10:16-42; 1 Peter 4:12-16the kingdom of heaven

great is your reward (stored up) in heaven

These eight descriptions and eight promises are known as “beatitudes.” Much of their content came from Old Testament Scriptures, such as, Psalms 24:4; 37:11; 41:1-3; 73:1; and Isaiah 55:1; 61:2. In them Jesus spoke to and described repentant Jews who followed Him. All eight descriptions were true of each one—and are true of His sincere followers today. They were responding to two great realities they were wit­nessing: (a) a constant message and (b) convincing miracles.

  1. They were hearing this message repeated constantly by John the Baptist and Jesus: “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has drawn near” (Matt. 3:2; 4:17; literally). The same message was later widely announced by Jesus’ apostles (Matt. 10:7), even on His final and deliberate journey to Jerusa­lem (Luke 10:1-2, 9, 11).
  2. They were seeing miracles Jesus was doing, and later His disciples (Matt. 4:23-25; see chapters 8-10; Luke 10:9). These miracles were the sort that could bring the predicted kingdom.

What was this “kingdom of heaven” that had drawn near? Certainly not God’s universal kingdom nor His rule over individual hearts; those have always been present and cannot draw near. None of the heralds defined it, confident that the Jews already knew what it will be. The Jews called it “the kingdom,” “the kingdom of God,” and “the kingdom of heaven.” They knew about it from many Old Testament prophe­cies, which described it as spiritual, material, and political (e.g., Isaiah 2:1-4; 9:6-7; 11:1-16; 35:1-10). It will be a kingdom forever covering the earth. When they called it “the kingdom of heaven” (used only in Matthew because confusing to Gentiles), they reflected Daniel 2:35, 44-45. The kingdom will not be in heaven (location) but from heaven (origin). The Old Testament descriptions were ratified in passages such as Luke 1:32-33, 67-79; 19:11-27; and Acts 1:6; 3:19-21. Though Jesus did not inaugurate that kingdom in His first coming, He promised to do so when He comes again (Matt. 25:31). We have no right to change its meaning. It should be the great goal of our lives.

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