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Matthew 7:13-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #1 The Narrow Gate and the way to destruction

Matthew 7:13-23 – The True Disciple

1 The way to destruction and a Narrow gate on the Way leading to Life

MT7:13 “Enter[1] by the Narrow Gate.[2] For the way to destruction is broad and roomy[3] and many are those entering by it.[4] MT7:14 For, narrow the Gate and cramped the Way leading to Life[5] and few are those finding it.[6]

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[1] Enter: The person described in the conclusion who ‘hears and does the teachings’ of the Nazarene as found in this sermon, is obviously a true or real disciple. The principles already laid out by the Nazarene may appear daunting to his audience, for it asks each one who will follow to go far beyond the Torah. It asks the would-be disciple to go beyond the letter to the spirit of the Law.

What is expected of the Nazarene disciple? Though this sermon does not dwell on doctrinal points of the Christ, it does allude to or infer several. These are called The Seven Principles and are outlined in the Lord’s Prayer. So, the Friend of the Nazarene would have to accept these primary points. The main thrust of the Mountain Teachings is ‘love your neighbor.’ The Nazarene Saint will have to become a New Person in dealings with neighbors: unselfish selflessness motivated by an interest which seeks the highest good of neighbor will characterize the ‘true disciple’ (For details see the book Nazarene Principles©).

English: Islamic Jesus (Isa) miniature of Serm...

English: Islamic Jesus (Isa) miniature of Sermon on the Mount Deutsch: Altpersische Miniatur mit Jesus (a.) bei der Bergpredigt. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

[2] Narrow Gate: A gate may lead into a city or a home (Jeremiah 37:13; Acts 12:13, 14). The entrance to the Household of Faith is narrow and restrictive. The gate is the first element to enter such a Household. We might view these teachings of the Nazarene in his Mountain Teachings as part and parcel of this “gate” with its belief system and restrictive requirements, even demands, on that person who would desire ‘to follow the Lamb no matter where he goes.’ (Revelation 14:5) Though possessed of lofty requirements it is really the ideal of the New Person with the Transformed Mind (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:13, 15, 23, 24). The Nazarene is only asking that you be a decent and well-mannered human being. Even when an agnostic evolutionist is asked about the ideal person, a description of Christ (or that person of Jesus’ sermon) is forthcoming. Note Luke 13:24 and the effort needed to get through the narrow door.’ In Luke the ‘narrow door’ is in response to a question whether only a few are being saved. To this Jesus’ exhorts, ‘Strain every nerve’ (GDSP); or, ‘agonize the agony,’ if the literal Greek is favored. The “gate” seems to be that of the “sheepfold” and not a subject about the salvation of all humanity (John chapter 10).

[3] The way to destruction is broad and roomy: “Destruction” is often associated with Sheol or the grave in the Hebrew Bible (Job 26:6; 28:22; Proverbs 15:11; 27:20). It is that place all persons will enter with the possibility of escaping at the end of the 1,000 years (Revelation 2:13-15; Job 14:12-15). Those who enter the gate of the sheepfold or household of faith accept the ‘heavenly calling’ (Hebrews 3:1) and are transformed from death to life (John 5:24; 1 John 3:1).

The way to Destruction is “broad and spacious” because it allows for a wide diversity of convictions and beliefs. The Narrow Gate must include the contents of the Nazarene’s Mountain Teachings contained in Matthew chapters 5-7.

[4] Many are those entering by it: Paul teaches that “all” descendants of Adam go into Death and that “all” will be resurrected (1 Corinthians 15:20-23). However, some find “real life” during their lifetimes (1 Timothy 6:19). They are among the “few” in contrast to the billions who lose that opportunity described by Revelation 20:4, 6.

[5] Narrow the Gate and cramped the Way leading to Life: Various renderings: KJ: straight is the gate; KNX: how small is the gate; GDSP: the road is hard. The Mountain Teachings demonstrate the narrowness and rigidity of the Nazarene’s requirements for entrance into the Realm of Profession.

[6] Few are those finding it: Perhaps “find” applies to the ultimate attainment of the Kingdom of the Father. Note that Daniel 12:2, with reference to the resurrection of the Saints, “many” are mentioned. Whereas, Paul says “all” with reference to all Adam’s children (1 Corinthians 15:20-23). The final tally of the Church will be “few” compared to the totality of those raised at the end of the 1,000 years (Revelation 20:5, 13-15).

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Preceding article

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:1-12 Nazarene Mountain teachings: Blessed and legal commentaries

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:21-26 – 1. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 20:13

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:27-30 – 2. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 20:14

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 2 Prayer and neighbour love

Matthew 7:1-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Neighbor Love Continued 7: Matthew 7:1-5 Judgment and neighbor love

Matthew 7:12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Summary on the Torah’s Fulfillment

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Additional reading

  1. The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places
  2. Obtain favour from Yahweh
  3. Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still

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Further reading

  1. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: The Contrasts
  2. Two Gates
  3. Life’s Narrow and Wide Gates
  4. 8. Doors and Destinations
  5. A Narrow Door…
  6. The Narrow Gate
  7. The Narrow Gate (by Jack Bailey)
  8. Daily Mass: The narrow gate. Catholic Inspiration
  9. The Protestant – Catholic divide – The Narrow and the Wide Gates
  10. Love, Entering the Narrow Gate
  11. The Narrow Way
  12. Religious Theology – The wide gate!
  13. Taking responsibility – the narrow gate that leads to life
  14. Difficult is the Way that Leads to Life
  15. Those Who Find It Are Few.
  16. Only dead fish swim with the stream
  17. against the stream
  18. How to choose between the wide and the narrow
  19. How to choose between the wide and the narrow:part 3
  20. Guard My Feet Lord
  21. But Officer, It’s the “Spirit” of the Law
  22. How to be a spirit-of-the-law or hope-based leader
  23. You are a spiritual being: Act like one
  24. From nobodies to somebodies
  25. Day 16 – How much more valuable is a person?
  26. Matthew ch. 15
  27. The Path of Love
  28. footprints and deep mental paths
  29. The Renewed Mind: When the Impossible Seems Logical
  30. The Cost of Discipleship
  31. The Cost of Discipleship (discussion questions)
  32. Be serious, strive hard – January 12, 2017
  33. The Way home Psalm 56:3-4 Luke 13:22-30
  34. Navel-Gazing vs Finding the Real Cause of it All!
  35. Urgency
  36. Turnstile Salvation
  37. Awaken
  38. Exodus 10, Job 28, Luke 13, 1 Corinthians 14
  39. The Crumb That Turns Stale With Time

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Matthew 7:1-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Neighbor Love Continued 7: Matthew 7:1-5 Judgment and neighbor love

Chapter seven:
Judging and Proving

Matthew 7:1-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Neighbor Love Continued

Matthew 7:1-5: f) Judgment and neighbor love

|| Luke 6:41, 42

MT7:1 “You,[1] condemn not,[2] that you are not condemned.[3] MT7:2 For you will be judged with that ‘judgment’ by which you are judging![4] MT7:3 Why look at the straw-speck[5] in your brother’s eye when you do not consider the rafter in your own eye? MT7:4 Or, how will you say to your brother:[6] ‘Permit me to exorcise[7] the straw-speck in your eye?’ MT7:5 Hypocrite,[8] first exorcise that rafter out of your own eye and then see clearly enough to exorcise the straw-speck in your brother’s eye!

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[1] You: The following teachings of the Nazarene have a direct bearing on his ongoing commentary on neighbor love.

[2] Condemn not: It ought to be clear that a judgmental attitude highly influences neighbor love. One of the most difficult characteristics to overcome for the Friend of the Nazarene with the Transformed Mind is ceasing to be critical of others. Much of this disease is inherited (Romans 5:12). Note how Adam blames his wife and God! (Genesis 3:12) This prideful attitude stems in part from that distortion of being created in the image of God and, therefore, a sense of being the center of the universe. So, our opinions are always exactly correct. This is really self-righteousness, or the attitude of always being in the right, and having the need to express this opinion.

[3] Not condemned: The real danger is not the criticism of others, but that condemnation from on High and with such a Finality.

[4] Judging: This word group “judge” is highly significant in the Bible and occurs over 340 times. There is a Judge, and an Associate Judge, and Book of Judgment, and a Judgment Day, and a Judgment. A study of this word group in a concordance is a must to learn one of the ‘primary doctrines of the Christ.’ (Hebrews 6:1) A basic rule of the Nazarene is that our judgment will be based on our own standards of judgment demonstrated in how we judge others.

See Matthew 18:35 and Galatians 6:1: standards. Two excellent Bible chapters on this subject of judgment are Romans chapters 2 and 14.

Various renderings: GDSP: judged by the standard you judge by; WMS: for exactly as you criticize others you will be criticized; BER: and with that yardstick you measure you will be measured.

The Friend of the Nazarene must struggle hard to remove this judgmental disposition from any dark chambers of the mind and then true liberation comes in the realization that it is not only unnecessary but also God cares little for your opinion of others. On Judgment Day you will not receive a call from ‘the Judge of all the earth’ (Genesis 18:25) asking your opinion on someone.

[5] Why look at the straw-speck: See Luke 6:42 and 1 Corinthians 4:5: self-examine. Various renderings: WMS: why do you keep watching the tiny speck in your brother’s eye; MOF: and fail to see the plank. How critical we are of the tiniest matters when it involves others but how generously forgiving of our own failings. The absurdum or hyperbole of the Nazarene is actually humorous and we wonder at the facial expressions, tonal emphasis, and gestures when the Nazarene relates this metaphor.

[6] Brother: Luke makes the word “brother” part of the address. Various renderings are: RSV: log; BAS: grain of dust; MOF: by what right; GDSP: just let me get that speck out of your eye. The use of “brother” makes it a religious setting. Religion, by its nature, in an atmosphere of righteousness, spawns a judgmental attitude. No religion is immune from this disease but James 1:26 warns that any ‘formal worshipper’ who fails to guard the judgmental tongue is practicing religion in vain.

[7] Exorcise: The Greek is EKBALLO and is used elsewhere for “cast out” or “exorcise” demons. We have chosen “exorcise” because there seems some sarcasm in the Nazarene’s words.

[8] Hypocrite: See Luke 6:42. Various renderings: PHI: you fraud.

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Preceding articles

Back from gone #2 Aim of godly people

Matthew 5:38-42 – 5. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 21:24

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 1 Charity and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 2 Prayer and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 3 Forgiveness and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 4 Treasures’ and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 5 Matthew 6: 24-34: e) Anxiety and neighbor love

Next:

Matthew 7:1-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Neighbor Love Continued 7 Matthew 7:6-11 Giving and neighbor love

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Further reading

  1. The Judgmental Secular World
  2. Man Would Make Himself The Rule Of God
  3. skilled at seeing other’s weaknesses
  4. Is being “righteous” possible?
  5. No self-righteousness
  6. Why Self-Righteousness Can Be Annoying
  7. 10 Deadliest Signs of Self-Righteousness You Probably Don’t Know
  8. Gloating
  9. Quick Takes: Romans 13:13
  10. Matthew 7 – Wisdom and Freedom
  11. Do you think it’s ever ok to judge
  12. We’ll Always Be Good Enough With Low Standards
  13. Feeling better by condemning
  14. A Meditation on Life: Self-Righteousness
  15. Blaming the Righteous and Just
  16. Radical: Spirituality! Part 1
  17. The Power of the Self is Broken
  18. The (Right) Way
  19. Love your enemies…
  20. Not the Righteous, But Sinners
  21. The Armour of God vs Garment of Self Righteousness
  22. Log?..What log?
  23. Day 10 – Removing the plank from our own eye
  24. Judgement
  25. Day 11 – Observing our fruit
  26. Do to others…
  27. Motives behind Criticism are often more Important to deal With then the Criticism itself.
  28. Are you judging people by what they look like?
  29. So how does a follower of Jesus respond to all this anger and hate?
  30. Does ‘judge not’ mean make no judgements about sin?

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Related articles

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:27-30 – 2. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 20:14

  1. Matthew 5:27-30 – 2. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 20:14

MT5:27 “You heard it said:[1] ‘Commit not adultery.’[2] [Exodus 20:14] MT5:28 But, I tell you: Anyone looking at a woman, desiring her in his heart,[3] has already adulterated her.[4] MT5:29 But, if your right eye stumbles you,[5] cut it out[6] and throw it away. Better to lose one body-member than your whole body be thrown into Gehenna. MT5:30 And, if your right hand stumbles you,[7] cut if off and throw it away. For it is better one of your limbs be lost than your whole body go to Gehenna.[8]

 

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[1] Heard it said: The Nazarene rabbi’s second reference to the Ten Commandments. Paul also uses this commandment at Romans 2:22.

[2] Adultery: Exodus 20:14. Various renderings: BER: break the marriage vow.

[3] Heart: Various renderings: TCNT: with impure intention; WEY: cherishes lustful thoughts; WMS: an evil desire; BER: has in his heart already broken the marriage vow. Compare Job 31:1: looking; James 1:18: sin begins. Perhaps no verse of Scripture has tormented male souls more than this one for nearly all men stand condemned at one time in their life for this deviation and those who deny this are liars. Jesus does not mean to condemn, for he knows what is in man, nor does he give a command here; but, he merely states the fact or principle: sin begins in the mind (James 1:14, 15). It is mainly married men Jesus has in mind for unmarried men may look at a single woman with desire for that is the Biblical nature of things (See Song of Songs; 1 Corinthians 7:9).

[4] Adulterated her: Most render this ‘already committed adultery with her in his heart.’

[5] If your right eye stumbles you: The looking part. Compare this with 1 John 2:16 and the desire of the eyes. The first warning to Adam regarding the fruit of the tree: ‘it was desirable to look upon.’ (Genesis chs 2, 3) There is probably no more desirable sight than an attractive woman. Any sin begins with first seeing something and desiring (coveting) it. Here is the place to say “No!” to that New Person within with its Transformed Mind (Romans 12:1; Ephesians 4:22, 23).

[6] Cut it out: Where are all the one-eyed men? Clearly, all take this to be an exaggerated metaphor even as the fire of Gehenna.

[7] If your right hand stumbles you: The eye first sees and then the hand touches or reaches for the desirable object, even as in the case of Adam and Eve (Genesis chs 2, 3). There is the desire of the eye and the pleasure of feeling those sensations through the fingertips. Sin must be stopped by that ‘lamp of the body,’ the eye. It is preferable to avoid those situations which arouse opportunities for this kind of sin. Certainly pornographic material or entertainment ought to be avoided. The Nazarene Saint, male or female, keep their hands to themselves and on guard against undue familiarity with the opposite sex. Note Mark 9:47: kingdom; Colossians 3:5: deaden; Genesis 3:3: touch (Compare Matthew 18:7-9 stumbling).

[8] Your whole body go to Gehenna: Note it is the “body” which goes to “hell-fire” or Gehenna (Note Matthew 10:28).

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Preceding

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:1-12 Nazarene Mountain teachings: Blessed and legal commentaries

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:13-16 Salt and Light shining bright

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:17-20 – The Nazarene Rabbi’s Commentary on the Torah

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:21-26 – 1. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 20:13

Object of first woe

Next: Matthew 5:31-32 – 3. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Deuteronomy 24:1

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Additional reading

  1. No time for immorality
  2. Liberal and evangelical Christians
  3. Breaking up with a cult
  4. Not making yourselves abominable
  5. John 4 exhortation: The one that broke the mould
  6. When having found faith through the study of the Bible we do need to do works of faith
  7. The works we have to do according to James
  8. Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans
  9. Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4
  10. Is Justification a process?
  11. I can’t believe that … (4) God’s word would be so violent
  12. Brunei introducing a raft of tough sharia punishments
  13. Grave, tomb, sepulchre – graf, begraafplaats, rustplaats, sepulcrum
  14. Sheol, Sheool, Sjeool, Hades, Hell, Grave, Tomb, Sepulchre

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Further reading

  1. Proverbs 5:21 Everything In View
  2. C & C: The Piper Piped and Herodias’ Daughter Danced
  3. Strong Desire
  4. Adultery
  5. One More Re-Hash on This Subject
  6. Getting Tired
  7. Is it considered fornication if a couple is with child?
  8. My Forgiven Story
  9. All Poured Out
  10. Rebuilding broken Me
  11. Naming your Fears
  12. Worldliness Lip Service
  13. Great Expectations
  14. david devlin cheater bozeman montana
  15. Covenant, not contract
  16. david devlin bozeman montana cheater
  17. Do You Have What It Takes To Be a Cheater?
  18. The Enemy of God’s people (Revelation 17-18)
  19. Legal Forgiveness = Forgiveness? in a Divorce Action
  20. If We are Sinful, How Can We be Capable of Doing Good?
  21. The Case of Wandering Eyes
  22. Lust, Men, and Jesus
  23. The Cleaving – (Part 2)
  24. Saying “no” in faith
  25. Missing My Left Hand
  26. The Renewed Mind: When the Impossible Seems Logical
  27. Let God change the way you think in 2017>

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Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:1-12 Nazarene Mountain teachings: Blessed and legal commentaries

The Sermon on the mount
(Nazarene Mountain teachings)

(Matthew 5:1 – 7:29 || Luke 6:20-23)

Chapter Five:
The Blessed and legal commentaries

Matthew 5:1-2 – The Setting

MT5:1 Observing the crowds Jesus went up into the mountains and after he reclined his disciples approached him. MT5:2 And Jesus opened his mouth and began teaching them.

Matthew 5:3-12 – Introduction: Attitudes for Happiness

|| Luke 6:20-23

MT5:3 “Blessed[1] the poor as to the spirit[2] for the Heavenly Realm[3] is theirs.
MT5:4 Blessed those mourning[4] for they will be comforted.[5]
MT5:5 Blessed the meek[6] for they will inherit the earth.[7]
MT5:6 Blessed those hungering and thirsting for righteousness[8] for they will be filled.[9]
MT5:7 Blessed the merciful[10] for they will be shown mercy.
MT5:8 Blessed the pure in heart[11] for they will see[12] The God.[13]
MT5:9 Blessed the peaceable people[14] for they will be called ‘Sons of The God.’[15] MT5:10 Blessed are those persecuted for righteousness.[16] The Heavenly Realm[17] is theirs.
MT5:11 Blessed are you when they reproach[18] and persecute and speak evil lies against you because of me.[19] MT5:12 Rejoice and exult[20] for your heavenly reward is great! For this is the same way they persecuted the former prophets.[21]

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber to be an example of a charismatic religious leader. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

[1] Blessed: Perhaps the opening words are among the most well known after the Lord’s Prayer and the Golden Rule. Most of the key elements in the Beatitudes are expanded in the main body of the Nazarene’s sermon. These subjects are: poverty, comfort, mildness, righteousness, charity, purity, peaceableness, persecution.

The Greek word MAKARIOI is more than the English “happy” or even the KJV “blessed.” The English word “happy” generally means a temporary moment of elation. It is doubtful this is what the Nazarene had in mind. “Blessed” also falls short unless one thinks of the word as including divine favor. The Greek word here infers a supreme measure of joy because of a divine state of favor before the Father. It is variously rendered: how happy, how blessed. The Nazarene borrows the idea from the Psalms where the word occurs 28 times, often in a similar vein by David. “Happy” occurs 138 times in the Bible. Luke uses it the most often in the Christian Bible (17 times) and Revelation contains the Seven Apocalyptic Beatitudes, 7 times (Revelation 1:3;14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14).

[2] The poor as to the spirit: This is the most literal reading according to the Greek, but it has been dealt with in various matters. Most prefer to render it, ‘the poor in spirit but that is not exactly what the Greek says. A possibility is Blessed the poor Spiritual. Various renderings are: destitute in spirit (RHM), rating themselves insignificant (AMP), those who feel their spiritual need (GDSP), humble-minded (PHI), how blest are those who know that they are poor (NEB), those conscious of their spiritual need (NWT). Perhaps the most direct commentary would be that of Luke who words this introduction simply, ‘Happy are the poor’ (Luke 6:20). Word Studies in the New Testament (Vol 1, page 36):

“It is very graphic and appropriate here, as denoting the utter spiritual destitution, the consciousness of which precede the entrance into the Kingdom of God.”

The word “poor” occurs 22 times in the Gospels. Perhaps Paul and James draw on the Master’s words when they paraphrase, ‘God chose the poor’? [1 Corinthians 1:27, 28; James 2:5] If we accept Luke’s bias we must understand Jesus’ words here as emphasizing poverty, a condition in which one must depend upon others for the necessities of life. This state is emphasized later in the sermon. The poor ‘spirituals’ have only God to look to for help. Jesus was poor as were his disciples and later Paul. The word group “rich(es)” occurs nearly 200 times in the Bible with the first occurrence at Genesis 14:23 (Abraham) and most often in the OT, Proverbs (12 times) and in the NT, Luke (16 times).

Luke records perhaps another occasion in chapter Luke 6:24 in the very spirit of James 5:1, ‘Happy are the poor’ and then ‘woe to the rich’. The life of Jesus, the example of his Apostles in Acts chs 2-6, and the manner of Paul, all point to the deep meaning behind the word “poor” here. There is a danger in “riches” which Paul stresses at 1 Timothy 6:17-19. We feel the Greek PTOKHOI ought to remain as “Poor” or “the destitute” for this is Luke’s view and the “Poor” feature prominently in the Nazarene’s teachings.

[3] Heavenly Realm: (MOF) Literally this is “the kingdom of the heavens” but the Greek BASILEIA may refer to a seat of government in a monarchy or to the realm, domain or territory over which such a kingdom rules. Two views may be present here: a) an actual place in the future government of the King; or, b) opportunity for entrance into the Realm of Profession, or the Church itself. Sometimes Jesus uses the word “kingdom” to mean that position of rulership in the heavens and other times he refers to being a subject of the King. There are two kingdoms in the Nazarene’s teachings: 1) the Son’s; and, 2) the Father’s. Compare Matthew 13:41, 43.

The word “kingdom” occurs a total of 366 times in the Bible with 63 in Daniel. In the Nazarene’s teachings “kingdom” occurs 55 times in Matthew, 23 times in Mark, and 45 times in Luke. It is a theme word or key topic of the Nazarene’s sayings.

[4] Mourning: Note how Luke 6:21 puts this, weeping. Messiah (the Christ) was anointed to ‘comfort those mourning in Zion.’ (Isaiah 61:1,3; Luke 4:16) Various renderings are: sad (BAS); know what sorrow means (PHI). The world is not an altogether happy place and life dishes out its share of pain. Paul describe it as ‘a season of groaning pain.’ (Romans 8:22) The word group “mourn(ing)” occurs about 100 times in the Bible.

[5] Comforted: Or, consoled, given courage. The comfort is found in God and that Spirit He sends through Christ as the Comforter (John chs 14-16). The word “comfort” is rare in the Nazarene’s teachings but the idea breathes throughout the body of his sayings (Psalms 126:5; 2 Corinthians 1:1-7).

[6] Meek: Various renderings are: gentle TCNT; patient KNX; humble-minded GDSP; of a gentle spirit NEB; happy are those who claim nothing PHI. The words of the Nazarene here are a paraphrase of Psalm 37:11 (LXX = HOI DE PRAEIS KLERONOUESOUSI GEN. Note Daniel’s KLERON at Daniel 12:13) The “meek” here are those who will possess the Kingdom (verse 3), will see God (verse 8) and who will ‘inherit the nations’ as does the Messiah (Psalm 2:8; 72:8; Daniel 7:14, 27). The Nazarene was characterized by a mild-temper but this did not prevent him from displaying his anger or rebuke against the religious powers as well as his own disciples. The meek are non-confrontational, non-adversarial, non-aggressive, and not given to insisting on their own opinions. Even the Nazarene says, ‘If anyone hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge.’ (John 12:47) Jesus was not judgmental save against those religious teachers who ought to know better (Matthew chapter 23).

[7] Inherit the earth: Note Psalm 2:8. These “meek” inherit the earth as the realm or territory of their rule (1 Corinthians 6:2; Daniel 7:27; Revelation 5:10).

[8] Hungering and thirsting for righteousness: This whole idea is right out of the Psalms (Psalm 63:1) and repeated in the Apocalypse (Rev 21:6; 22:17). Various renderings are: being and doing right (WMS); to see right prevail (NEB). Though many men may not thirst for righteousness in a moral sense, they do thirst for justice as seen in the multitude of revolutions throughout history. The Nazarene disciple must crave right or righteousness as if it were food. It is John who describes those ‘born from above’ as those who do not habitually sin but practice righteousness (1 John chs 2 and 3). This craving is not self-righteous or overly-righteous but a desire to see justice done with living evidence in the Saint’s life (Amos 8:11).

[9] Filled: Or, “satisfied.” See Luke 6:21.

[10] Merciful: Various renderings are: compassionate WEY; those who show mercy WMS. The Latin merci (French for “thank you”) is rooted in the gift paid mercenaries and so its strongest thrust is not forgiveness or judgment withheld as much as it is a gift of charity to the needy. The Nazarene Saint is characterized by a non-judgmental, forgiving and charitable spirit toward those in greater need.

[11] Pure in heart: Various renderings are: clean in heart (BAS); utterly sincere (PHI). This phrase gets to the root of motives in all that the Nazarene Saint does. There are no hidden agendas or games to be played against others. Utter guilelessness, like that of their Lord, is an attribute of the Transformed Mind (Romans 12:1; Hebrews 7:26). Such a disposition is only learned after years of tolerance, patience, and that true selfless interest in others called “love”.

[12] They will see: Perhaps the most sublime hope ever given to humans. To see The God is a true prospect for the Nazarene Saint (See 1 John 3:2; Revelation 22:4). “Face” can have a metamorphic tone as a concordance will show (Job 33:26).

[13] The God: In Greek this is TON THEON as it is in John 1:1 and refers almost without exception to the Creator, the Almighty, The God. Though in English “the” is often omitted we feel it wise to include it in all cases where the article appears. The God stands in contrast to other “gods.” (1 Corinthians 8:5, 6)

[14] Peaceable people: Various renderings are: makers and maintainers of peace (AMP). See Romans 12:18 and James 3:18. The Nazarene Saint is characterized by a non-adversarial, non-confrontational, and peace-seeking disposition. In Spanish translations this is often pacififadores from which “pacifist” is drawn. Ghandi taught, “I am willing to die for this cause, but there is no cause for which I am willing to kill.” This peaceable disposition is illustrated in the Nazarene’s later words at Matthew 5:22, 39-42. Compare Colossians 3:15.

[15] Sons of The God: This is a phrase used of angels in Genesis 6:1 and Job 2:1 and is the grand relationship of those willing to be peaceable in their natures, to become true children of God (John 1:12,13). This relationship is a feature of John’s Gospel and letters. If one wishes to be styled a child of God then peaceableness must characterize their Transformed Mind (Romans 12:1, 18).

[16] Persecuted for righteousness: The reason for the persecution must be for righteousness and not for some crime or evil as Peter himself teaches (1 Peter chs 2 – 4). The Nazarene’s audience were persecuted Jews under Roman domination. Additionally, Jesus knew of the future periods of oppression against his own disciples and foretold it at Matthew 24:9-11. Luke uses the word “hate” at Luke 6:22.

[17] Heavenly Realm: This can mean that ultimate “goal” which Paul sought (Philippians 3:14) and which is promised the Saints (Daniel 7:27) or that opportunity opened up by the Nazarene to enter the Realm of Profession, the Son’s “kingdom”, his Church (Matthew 13:41; 16:18; Colossians 1:13). As Paul writes, persecution is part and parcel of the Christian way of life (Acts 14:22; 2 Timothy 3:12).

[18] Reproach: Various renderings are: MOF: denounce; GDSP: abuse; BAS: give you a bad name; WEY: every cruel thing; PHI: slanderous. Often, it is true, the source of this is from the present ruling powers; but, it is also true that this abuse comes from a religious source within one’s own Faith as in the case of the Jewish clergy against the Nazarene (John 16:1,2 and Acts chs 4, 5). The worse kind of reproach is from fellow believers who charge “apostasy” and thus make themselves liable to Gehenna (Matthew 5:2).

[19] Because of me: Elsewhere in the Nazarene’s teachings this is “because of my name” (Matthew 24:9) as historically demonstrated in the Book of Acts. It is the name “Jesus” or “Christ” that brings the reproach and persecution (Acts 2:38; 3:6, 16; 4:7, 10, 12, 17, 18, 30; 5:28, 40, 41; 8:12, 16; 9:14, 15, 16, 21, 27, 28; 10:43, 48; 15:26; 16:18; 19:5, 13; 21:13; 22:16; 26:9).

[20] Rejoice and exult: See Luke 6:23. Various renderings are: WEY: be joyful and triumphant; WMS: leaping for ecstasy; KN: glad and light-hearted. Luke also adds “excluded or separated.” (Luke 6:23)

[21] The former prophets: Surely, the Nazarene thinks of Elijah and his persecution by Ahab and Jezebel. Compare Matthew 23:35. Even Moses the Prophet was abused by his sister and other rebels. According to tradition Isaiah was killed by King Manasseh.

Beatitudes-sermon-on-mount

Beatitudes-sermon-on-mount (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding articles

The Nazarene master teacher learning people how they should behave

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:23-25 – Kingdom Preaching and Healing Draws Crowds

There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving

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Additional reading

  1. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #2 What you must do
  2. Golden rule for understanding in spiritual matters obedience
  3. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #4 Mozaic and Noachide laws
  4. Right to be in the surroundings
  5. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything

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