[SW333] 6/30/2018 message notes by
Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2018
Heed! See! Cry Out!
Text: Matthew 5:1-12
When you heed Jesus Christ’s words in the Sermon on the Mount, and see the spiritual condition of your heart, and cry out for the Lord to change your heart, you will be blessed (supremely spiritually happy)!
The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5 – 7) is Christ’s instruction regarding the Law of Moses. The Law (Torah, which means “instruction”) was given by God to teach His people His character, and show them that they must reflect His character to the world around them.
The Lord knows full well that no one can “do the Law,” apart from an entire change of heart. Jeremiah prophesies —
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?”
The Lord showed me that Verses 1-12 are the result of, ”Heed! See! Cry out!” Like me, if you have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying, you will cry out to Him for a new heart. As He says at the end of the Sermon on the Mount —
Matthew 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on (does) them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 “The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell — and great was its fall.”
Verse 1 —
Jesus’ audience was the crowd (multitudes) who had followed Him from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, and Judea. They had heard Him proclaim the gospel of the kingdom, and had seen Him heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people (Matthew 4:24-25). Also present were His disciples — The Twelve, and probably others who now wanted to follow Him.
He spoke the entire Sermon on the Mount in the hill country, from a mountain (a hill lifted above the plain around it). Some believe it was spoken over several days. But it would have been difficult for His listeners to follow what He was saying if He had stopped in the midst, and the next day, picked up where He left off.
Verses 2-3 —
He opened His mouth and began to teach them (a prolonged form of the word “teach”). The phrase “opened His mouth” means that He was about to speak solemn revelation to them. His words were directed to His followers, and to the rest of the people in the crowds, who were God’s people. So this applies to you and me, as followers of Jesus!
And He said, Blessed (supremely spiritually happy) are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Who are the poor in spirit?
The word “poor in spirit” used here means “beggarly in soul.” If you are poor in spirit, you see the poverty-stricken condition of your heart, and you beg the Lord to change it, knowing that only He can do it. You see that all of your religious activities and attempts to be good cannot change your heart.
Blessed are you, if you have come to that realization! When He changes your heart, you will be supremely spiritually happy and will know that the kingdom of heaven is yours!
The kingdom does not belong to the proud, to those who think they are good because of the good deeds they do. It belongs to you, because you have seen the poverty of your heart and have begged the Lord to change it.
Verse 4 —
Blessed (supremely spiritually happy) are those who mourn (an all-encompassing grief), for they shall be comforted. What is the cause of your grief? You have seen your spiritual bankruptcy, and are grief-stricken over it! Blessed are you, for He will turn your mourning into dancing (Psalm 30:11)!
He will call you near, and fill you with the Comforter, the Holy Spirit! Oh, then you will no longer mourn, for the Holy Spirit will fill you, and the Father and the Son will dwell inside of you! And it will be a joy to obey Him! Blessed are you!
Verse 5 —
Blessed (supremely spiritually happy) are the gentle (humble), for they shall inherit the earth. Because you have grieved, because you have seen your heart, you are now humble.
You do not rely on your religiosity. You realize you have no innate goodness. You realize that apart from Christ, you cannot fulfill the Law. You see that despite your best religious efforts, you remain bankrupt. And thus, you are humble.
Blessed are you, for only the humble inherit the earth —
Psalm 37:9 For evildoers will be cut off (die), but those who wait for (entwine themselves with) the LORD, they will inherit the land.
Psalm 37:11 But the humble will inherit the land (earth, Hebrew-to-English) and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.
Verse 6 —
Blessed (supremely spiritually happy) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied (filled abundantly)! You have seen the condition of your heart, and are desperately hungry and thirsty for God’s righteousness. You see that your idea of righteousness by your own works is false, because your heart remains unchanged, and you are in an endless cycle of “sin and repent.”
And when you cry out, He fills you — with His Holy Spirit, and all the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)! Blessed are you!
And you become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2Corinthians 5:21) because the Holy Spirit has filled you with the righteousness of God, and the Father and the Son indwell you permanently! Glory to God!
Verse 7 –
Blessed (supremely spiritually happy) are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Think of the man who owed a great debt to his Master, and it was entirely forgiven, but then he went after a man who owed him little (see Matthew 18:23-35). He showed his debtor no mercy.
Your heart has been changed, and now, God’s mercy has filled your heart. As a result, you freely forgive, and you no longer keep an account of wrongs suffered (see 1Corinthians 13:5). You are filled with God’s Spirit, His love and His compassion. It is divine love, and divine compassion, called chesed in the Old Testament, and agape in the New Testament.
You see the great need for Christ in this world. It brings you to your knees, in prayer! And you go out and speak of God’s mercy. You cannot stop speaking about what you have seen and heard! You speak this great gospel, and you live it with every breath you take.
You have received mercy from the Lord. He has heard your cry, when you saw your spiritual destitution. And He has answered! Now you are supremely spiritually happy!
Verse 8 —
Blessed are the pure (clean, clear, free from impure admixture, without blemish, spotless) in heart, for they shall see God!
Only these shall see God! It is the purity without which no one will see God. The writer of Hebrews exhorts Jewish believers scattered by persecution —
Hebrews 12:14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification (purification of heart) without which no one will see the Lord.
Listen to David —
Psalm 24:3 Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD?
And who may stand in His holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood
And has not sworn deceitfully.
5 He shall receive a blessing from the LORD
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
The pure in heart shall see God here, for He will indwell them when He fills them with His Spirit (John 14:23), and they shall see Him face-to-face, when they are in heaven (1Corinthians 13:12)!
You have seen the spiritual poverty in your heart, you know that you have no power to make your heart pure. You have tried and failed. But you have cried out, and He has answered! Now you have a pure heart. Blessed are you, supremely spiritually happy are you!
Verse 9 —
Blessed (supremely spiritually happy) are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Why? They do what God does.
You are at peace with God, having been reconciled through faith in Jesus Christ. Then, you have asked Him to change your spiritually bankrupt heart, and He has answered! You have cried out, like the wretched man in Romans 7 who has seen the condition of his heart —
Romans 7:24-25a Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
He has given you His peace. It is not as the world gives (John 14:27). He has filled you with His divine peace. Supremely spiritually happy are you!
Now, your heart’s motive, in all things, is to bring others to this peace. You are an ambassador, announcing that through Christ, they may be reconciled with God.
But you do not stop with reconciliation and forgiveness. Like Christ, you announce the whole gospel, including the terms and conditions of the kingdom of God, that all may see the condition of their hearts, and cry out as you did!
Verse 10 —
Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Supremely spiritually happy are you when you are persecuted because your heart has been changed, you have been filled with the Holy Spirit, and you cannot stop speaking about what you have seen and heard.
What? How can that be? Persecution often results in banishment, beating, imprisonment, and even death. If you flinch at this reality, then your heart has not yet been changed, beloved.
Jesus spoke these words to His disciples —
John 15:20 “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.”
Oh, beloved! If you are filled with His Spirit and then persecuted for His name’s sake, you will do as the Twelve did, for their hearts had been changed at Pentecost, when they were filled with the Holy Spirit —
Acts 5:40 They (the Sanhedrin) took his (Gamaliel’s) advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them. 41 So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.
Oh, blessed are you, when you are persecuted because He has filled you with His Spirit, and thus, His righteousness! You rejoice when you suffer persecution because such persecution is the mark of one who has been made like Christ in this world!
Verses 11-12 —
Jesus says, blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for in the same way, they persecuted to prophets who were before you. Your reward in heaven is great!
Supremely spiritually happy are you when you are insulted and persecuted, and when people lie about you! Why? They did the same to Jesus Christ! Again, that means you are like Him in this world —
1John 4:17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.
Oh, beloved! You are blessed when His love has been perfected (completed) in your heart. You are filled with His perfect love! Therefore, you are like Him in this world.
You do not fear judgment on the day you stand before Jesus, because as He is, so are you in this world. It was nothing you could do by your own effort, but when you saw the spiritual bankruptcy of your heart, you cried out to Him and He answered!
Blessed are you! Are you?
I will continue in the Sermon on the Mount, praying that you would have ears to hear, and that you would repent, as I did, and ask Him to change your heart.
Amen, Lord Jesus! Let it be so.