The beatitudes are a composite description of Jesus’ righteous person. He is not talking about eight different kinds of people who follow God.He is talking about basic qualities of righteousness that are typical of the person that God acknowledges to be righteous. Those eight qualities are:
- The righteous person is poor in spirit, or, he or she recognizes his or her spiritual poverty and owns that spiritual poverty.
- The righteous person mourns, or, because he or she sees and owns his or her spiritual poverty, he or she is grieved because that poverty exists.
- The righteous person is meek, or gentle, or under control.
- The righteous person is famished for righteousness–he or she has a consuming appetite for righteousness, that is what he or she wants and wants to become.
- The righteous person is merciful–the person who abuses them, or offends them, or hurts them, or treats them unjustly will receive mercy, not justice; and the righteous person will extend mercy to those who have failed.
- The righteous person is devoted to developing and having a pure heart; he or she does not merely want to look pure in deeds; he or she wants to be pure within.
- The righteous person is a peacemaker; he or she is the kind of person who can help those who are alienated find reconciliation.
- The righteous person is willing to endure suffering and mistreatment for Jesus’ sake.
Those who would accept Jesus’ description of a righteous person:
- Would receive comfort for their spiritual grief.
- Would endure in this world.
- Would have their craving for righteousness satisfied.
- Would receive mercy when they made mistakes and failings.
- Would see God.
- Would be called God’s children.
- The kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
- Had citizenship in God’s kingdom.