Matthew 5:1-2 The Beatitudes: Jesus’ Community Morality
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, Mat 5:2 and he began to teach them.
The beatitudes are significant because they represent Jesus’s first teachings to his disciples and the community of Christ-followers. Anytime a significant teaching and transition is made in scripture or when scripture repeats itself we should reflect on what that means. The author is quite possibly setting the stage for a larger theme he is trying to nuance out and is wanting the reader to take notice.
In this case, what is significant is who Jesus meant the beatitudes to be for. Quite often when we read scripture we read it with an individual lens and not a community lens. It is true that when scripture says “you” people read me. Unfortunately, most “you’s” in scripture are really “y’alls.” This is also an American cultural phenomon where we demand our independence and drive our own cars to work rather than commute with others. Unfortunately, when we don’t see this community ethic and morality we often end up in multiple misinterpretations of scripture that become prideful and pharisaical.
It is important to understand the beatitudes as a community ethic because Jesus wants the beatitudes to be a reflection of His community. This is important so we, as a Church, do not become ineffective Christ-followers and so that we can do what Jesus wants us to do in Matthew 28. To go and make disciples of all nations.
Lord, help me to put down my pride. Help me to reflect You in my relationships. Help me to become an effective Christ follower and an effective disciple maker as I exemplify the teachings you want for your community in the beatitudes.