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Sermon illustrations

The Beatitudes

A Comprehensive Picture

The beatitudes paint a comprehensive portrait of a Christian disciple. We see him [or her] first alone on his knees before God, acknowledging his spiritual poverty and mourning over it. This makes him meek or gentle in all his relationships, since honesty compels him to allow others to think of him what before God he confesses himself to be. Yet he is far from acquiescing in his sinfulness, for he hungers and thirsts after righteousness, longing to grow in grace and in goodness.

Taken from The Message of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7: Christian Counter-Cultureby John R.W. Stott Copyright (c) 1985 by John R.W. Stott. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

Cutting the Beatitudes

If you could cut one or two Beatitudes, which would you drop from the list? Perhaps the ones about the righteous or the persecuted or those who mourn? What might you add? “Blessed are the driven, for theirs is the kingdom”?

“Blessed are those who are true to themselves, for they will be happy”? I like “blessed are the comfortable, for they will never have to sacrifice.” And to borrow a line from rapper Kendrick Lamar, “Blessed are the liars, / For the truth can be awkward.”

Taken from Our Good Crisis: Overcoming Moral Chaos with the Beatitudes by Jonathan K. Dodson Copyright (c) 2020 by Jonathan K. Dodson. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

Meekness Consists of…

According to the Puritan pastor Thomas Watson, Meekness toward other people consists of three things: the bearing of injuries, the forgiving of injuries, and the returning of good for evil.

Thomas Watson, The Beatitudes (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1971)

A Few Minutes with the Beatitudes

Just a few minutes spent reflecting on the promises that come attached to the Beatitudes can lift us up like the whirlwind of God’s love in a revival tent meeting: inherit the earth, yours is the kingdom, you will be satisfied, you shall receive mercy, and you shall see God. Jesus himself wants these promises, and his moral goodness, to break in now—in our lives, churches, communities, and countries.

Taken from Our Good Crisis: Overcoming Moral Chaos with the Beatitudes by Jonathan K. Dodson Copyright (c) 2020 by Jonathan K. Dodson. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

The Future Orientation of the Beatitudes

In his thoughtful book, Our Good Crisis: Overcoming Moral Chaos with the Beatitudes, Jonathan K. Dodson describes one of the keys to understanding the beatitudes: live faithfully now, experience Gods blessings in the future:

Another way to read the Beatitudes is as a promise of future blessings for the present. Live poor in spirit now, and you’ll benefit immediately—get a foot in the kingdom, so to speak. Hunger and thirst for righteousness now, and you will get a taste of eternal satisfaction.

This certainly fits with the “future logic” of the New Testament, in which there are frequent exhortations to do something in the present based on future realities: “For this perishable body must put on the imperishable. . . . Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:53, 58).

Taken from Our Good Crisis: Overcoming Moral Chaos with the Beatitudes by Jonathan K. Dodson Copyright (c) 2020 by Jonathan K. Dodson. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

 

 

See also Illustrations on MeeknessPurity of HeartRighteousness.

Still Looking for inspiration?

Consider checking out our quotes page on the Beatitudes. Don’t forget, sometimes a great quote is an illustration in itself!

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