Summary: God’s blessing comes in a way of living based on the sure hope that mourning is not the final word, that mercy is a godly quality, that a hunger for righteousness points us in the right direction, that the kingdom of God is wide open to those who know they need it, and that God’s future will be a time of mercy, peace and fullness.
Summary: The Beatitudes represent Jesus’ work of grace before the demands of discipleship in the rest of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus’ blessings sound strange to us because they bless the very people we think of as down and out. Jesus’ blessings offer a future joy, but also a present encouragement.
In some ways the Beatitudes have become so familiar to many Christians that they miss how counter-cultural they are. One way to see them in fresh ways is to read them in unfamiliar translations that can help uncover at least some of how Jesus’ first hearers might have received them.