“The Beatitudes” also known as sermon on the mountain, the blessings etc, is one of the first scriptures that I knew as a teenager. I remember taking C.R.E (Christian Religious Education) in secondary school and it was always guaranteed that not just a question but questions will come out from that part of the bible, so myself and my friends had to cram (memorized) it over and over again. That is how I first knew about The Beatitudes, I can’t remember if our teacher really taught us what it meant and it’s significant but I didn’t care as long as I passed my exams.
Eventually I grew up and became a Christian by choice but still battled with some of the beatitudes because I was lost trying to interpret it and keying into it’s significance, for some very strange reason I never really googled it or researched it, neither did it ever come up in church or bible study.
Last month I got myself the Message bible (as a birthday gift) and I have been studying the book of Matthew with a group of other people. Basically we read from King James Version and other versions to get a better understanding. I love New International Version so I decided to read my NIV and The Message translation whenever I read it and oh my…. the Message translation opened my eyes to what this scripture is all about. I then researched it and at the end of the day The Message pretty much explains and simplifies the beatitudes. So I decided that I will share the Message translation, as it is the beatitudes simplified that even a teenage boy will understand . Matthew 5:3-12 as found in both KJV and MESSAGE
King James Version
Mat 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Mat 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Mat 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Mat 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Mat 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Mat 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Mat 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Mat 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Message Translation (Simplified)
Mat 5:1 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down
Mat 5:2 and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:
Mat 5:3 “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
Mat 5:4 “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
Mat 5:5 “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are–no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
Mat 5:6 “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
Mat 5:7 “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘carefull,’ you find yourselves cared for.
Mat 5:8 “You’re blessed when you get your inside world–your mind and heart–put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
Mat 5:9 “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
Mat 5:10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
Mat 5:11 “Not only that–count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable.
Mat 5:12 You can be glad when that happens–give a cheer, even!–for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.
I think it is such a beautiful passage, with incredible instructions, encouragement, inspiration and blessings.