Here are the Beatitudes, worded differently, from a version of the Bible called “The Message”
See how this might illuminate your understanding of the Beatitudes!
When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside.
Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him.
Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions.
This is what he said: “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope.
With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you.
Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less.
That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God.
He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
“You’re blessed when you care.
At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right.
Then you can see God in the outside world.
“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight.
That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution.
The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
“Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me.
What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable.
You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do,
And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company.
My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.
Coming down off the mountain with them, he stood on a plain surrounded by disciples,
and was soon joined by a huge congregation from all over Judea and Jerusalem, even from the seaside towns of Tyre and Sidon.
They had come both to hear him and to be cured of their ailments.
Those disturbed by evil spirits were healed. Everyone was trying to touch him—so much energy surging from him, so many people healed!
Then he spoke:
You’re blessed when you’ve lost it all. God’s kingdom is there for the finding.
You’re blessed when you’re ravenously hungry. Then you’re ready for the Messianic meal.
You’re blessed when the tears flow freely. Joy comes with the morning.
“Count yourself blessed every time someone cuts you down or throws you out, every time someone smears or blackens your name to discredit me.
What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and that that person is uncomfortable.
You can be glad when that happens—skip like a lamb, if you like!—for even though they don’t like it, I do . . . and all heaven applauds.
And know that you are in good company; my preachers and witnesses have always been treated like this. Give Away Your Life.
But it’s trouble ahead if you think you have it made. What you have is all you’ll ever get.
And it’s trouble ahead if you’re satisfied with yourself. Your self will not satisfy you for long.
And it’s trouble ahead if you think life’s all fun and games. There’s suffering to be met, and you’re going to meet it.
“There’s trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them.
Popularity contests are not truth contests—look how many scoundrel preachers were approved by your ancestors! Your task is to be true, not popular.