HEBREWS 2:17-18

17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 

18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. 


If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.


Being vulnerable in times of need reflect the theme of this message.  Strength through Weakness.

The text today is Matthew 5:1-12 with the focus on verse 3 and the title of this message is GOD’S KINGDOM: STRENGTH THROUGH WEAKNESS.  

Matthew 5:1-12

The Sermon on the Mount

1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. 

The Beatitudes

2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: 

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 

5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 

6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 

7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 

8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 

9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 

12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 


When we review the Book of Matthew, we see a clear summary of Jesus’ ministry in Chapter 4.  This is repeated in Chapter 9

Matthew 4:23 – And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.

Matthew 9:35 – And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction.

Jesus’ ministry is essentially Him preaching about the coming of the kingdom, teaching about the ways of the kingdom, and demonstrating the purpose and power of the kingdom through healing those in need. Jesus is preaching, teaching, and healing. 

What is fascinating is the greatest Sermon ever given.  The Sermon on the Mount in Chapters 5 through 7 of Matthew.  The very beginning of the Sermon tells us who Jesus’ intended audience was.  It was for the disciples, but the crowds too. 


Isn’t this interesting how God can bring the truth of Christ to unbelievers even though the message was primarily to disciples.

The message here is a reminder that many are watching believers.  The Lord will open the unbelievers’ eyes by their love and kindness which comes directly from God.

JOHN 13:35 – By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. 


ROMANS 2:4 – Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 


Jesus was giving this message primarily to feed, strengthen, and inspire His disciples.  It is meant for believers today.  However, it is clear the message was meant to find the hearts of the curious and maybe even skeptical.  The message is meant to find those who are searching for answers and even those who doubt.  All those in the crowd who were searching or doubting.  That is the same today.  This message is for all those who hear it and have questions.  Jesus wanted them to hear it then, and He wants you to hear it now!


This brings us to the “Beatitudes,” from the Latin word for happiness or blessedness.  


They should be read together.  They are like a Sub Chapter of the overall Sermon on the Mount.

Remember this a Kingdom Themed Message.

To summarize: God reveals here is that Jesus is preaching, teaching, and healing.  He sits down with His disciples to teach them, and a great crowd was a witness to the message.  In each of the beatitudes we see promises of God; however, we can see something very unique in verse 3 and verse 10.  We see the assurance that Kingdom of Heaven is present tense for those who fall into the categories of “poor in spirit” and “persecuted for righteousness’ sake.”

Verse 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” 

Verse 10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus is clearly stating that the Kingdom has come and is present now. 

Luke 17:20-21 – 

20 Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, 

21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” 


Jesus has brought the kingdom of heaven to earth.  He explains that His Kingship is here and now.  He illustrates His power throughout His ministry.  He demonstrates the model for obedience, love, and fellowship in the present tense.  Jesus is outlining that we can enjoy the Kingdom now.  It may not be the full expression of the Kingdom.  It may only be a foretaste of the feast to come, but the here and now is nonetheless, glorious for believers.


When analyzing the Poor in Spirit it seems an odd phrase when placed next to the Kingdom being present.  To be “poor in spirit” does not refer to financial poverty but rather a spiritual posture—an attitude of humility and dependence on God. It’s about recognizing our spiritual bankruptcy before God, acknowledging that we have nothing to offer Him that would earn us salvation or merit His favor. 

There is great blessing in Jesus’ declaration. Those who are “poor in spirit” are blessed because the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. This statement flips our human understanding upside down: the world values strength, power, and self-sufficiency, but God values humility, obedience, and dependence on Him. The Kingdom of God is not attained through our own efforts or achievements but through surrender to God’s will and acceptance of His grace.

That is where God revealed the title of this message to me.  I plan on coming back to that premise of self-reliance.


APPLICATION: What are the implications for our Lives?

  1. We must demonstrate humility Before God. Poor in Spirit illustrates that we recognize that we need God desperately in every part of our lives. This humility enables us to receive His forgiveness, love, and guidance.
  2. We must fully depend on God. Being “poor in spirit” means relying on God’s strength rather than our own. It involves trusting in His promises and seeking His will above our own desires.  This is always a good reminder.  Probably daily if not hourly.
  3. We must recognize our Kingdom Citizenship. As believers, our citizenship is in the Kingdom of Heaven. This citizenship is not defined by earthly boundaries or political systems but by our relationship with God through Jesus Christ. We are called to live according to the principles of God’s kingdom—love, justice, mercy, and righteousness.  We demonstrate our love through obedience to God’s Word not out of compulsion but out of humility for the love God has shown to each of us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  We are not showing love, mercy, grace, and righteousness to find salvation.  No.  It is because of our salvation that we desire to submit to the teaching of Christ.  It is because of our citizenship in the Kingdom, that we are moved to share the Gospel message.  Just as the disciples did.

When we analyze verse 10, we have the same present assurance of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Verse 10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Persecution for righteousness’ sake is not just a historical reality of the time Jesus.  For Him and His disciple’s persecution was real. This is also a present-day challenge for many believers around the world. It may come in various forms — ridicule, discrimination, or even physical harm — yet Jesus assures us that those who endure such hardships for His sake are blessed.

They are blessed because their suffering is not in vain. It is a testimony to their unwavering commitment to God and His truth. It reflects the opposition that Jesus Himself faced and overcame, ultimately triumphing over sin and death.

This is a vivid reminder that our ultimate reward is not found in earthly approval or comfort but in the promise of the Kingdom of Heaven. This beatitude encourages us to persevere with courage and faith, knowing that God sees our struggles and will honor our faithfulness.

Jesus’ will for His disciples to desire the reward of Heaven more than we desire the reward of the world. Jesus” will for us to have our treasure in heaven, not on earth. Jesus’ will for our hearts to be so set on heaven that to leave this earth is a cause of rejoicing. 

Matthew 6:19-21 –  

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 

20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 

21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 


Jesus’ will for us is to have our hearts, hopes, desires and joy primarily in Heaven There really is no other way that you can rejoice and be glad at the loss of your earthly pleasure. 
It is contrary to our early nature. 

APPLICATION: How shall we rejoice and be glad when these things are taken from us if we have not loved heaven more?


Let’s also be mindful of our brothers and sisters who face persecution daily. Let’s pray for them, support them, and advocate for justice on their behalf. May their faithfulness inspire us to live boldly for Christ in our own lives, trusting that God’s Kingdom is our eternal inheritance.


The middle verses of the “Beatitudes” are all promises for the future. 

Verse 4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Those who mourn will be comforted.  Essentially, those who are mourning over their sins will be comforted through their relationship with Jesus Christ as that mourning brings us to repentance.

Verse 5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 

Those who are meek shall inherit the earth.  When we recognize our need for the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, obedience is secured by our genuine gratitude to the God who saves. We come “meekly” and humble before the Lord who saves. We find our strength and confidence and power for living (and dying) in that first act of complete surrender to the God of grace. This is seen in story after story in the Bible. 

Verse 6  “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.  

The meaning to hunger and thirst for righteousness points to a desire contrary to seeking riches, pleasure and status.  It reflects that each of us is missing the of righteousness of God until our eyes are opened by the Holy Spirit. It is then that we have a sense of the value in God’s righteousness.  We demonstrate our gratitude by living out God’s righteousness.  Believers seek its purity, and the consequence is to find joy and peace that surpasses all understanding.

Verse 7 – “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 

God regularly shows mercy throughout the bible.  Adam and Eve.  Moses and the people of Israel.  Jesus dying a tortuous death on a cross for our sins.  We can infer if we show mercy to others, even those who do not deserve it. Then we, too, will be shown mercy by the Lord God, even though we are sinners and do not deserve God’s mercy.  When we say “that person does not deserve mercy,” just reflect on God’s mercy for you.  Never forget that. 

Verse 8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 

Jesus promises that believers who are sincere and intentional about their commitment and submission to God will see Him. This is amazing.  In Jewish faith, it is taught early on that no one can see God and live because He is a Holy God. Jesus says that those follow Him will be in Heaven and will see God.

1 John 3:2-3 

2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 

3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. 

We likewise should seek to have our minds, hearts, bodies, and souls cleansed as David proclaimed in Psalm 51. This is to make way for new desires and new thoughts that are lined up with God’s will which only comes from having a clean heart and spirit.


Psalm 51:10 – Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. 


I’D RATHER HAVE YOU-Brooke Griffith

Mountains they will fall
Riches they will cease
The treasures of this earth
Are buried with their kings
This is not my home
Filled with pride and greed
Jesus, You are all.
You’re all I need.

Because I’d rather have You,
I’d rather have You
And nothing I desire could ever come close to what I have in You
The treasure that I choose
Is treasure that lasts because I’d rather have You

Forgive my desires, forgive every motive
Forgive my intentions ’cause I’d rather have You

If it’s not Your will God I don’t even want it and now I surrender ’cause I’d rather have You.  I’d rather have You.

And nothing I desire could ever come close to what I have in You
The treasure that I choose is treasure that lasts cause I’d rather have You


Verse 9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 

The peacemakers are called sons or children of God because they have been born again.  They have been blessed with a new heart through Jesus Christ as Lord.  Now, they are reflecting the peace of God as they are conformed to be more and more like Him. Their eternal reward for following Jesus and His model of peace is to be welcomed into the family of God.


The Beatitudes are a proclamation to those peculiar yet special people who already possess the power of the Kingdom of Heaven.  We like to throw around the term “blessed.” Yes, we are!  To have the power of God’s Kingdom within us and all its promises and future pleasures is quite a blessing.  The Beatitudes announce that believers are indeed blessed.  Blessed beyond comprehension. 

The Beatitudes also invite those who will believe to recognize that God’s reigns over their lives. It is certainly worthy of celebration!

However, what about the crowd behind the disciples?  We must hope and pray that we are a clear, transparent window to the Word of Christ that others may submit to the calling of the Holy Spirit to also receive the promise and blessings of eternal life such as being poor in spirit, mourning, meek, hungry and thirsty for righteousness, merciful, pure and peaceful. We must pray that we reflect the Beatitudes for the present and future expansion of God’s Kingdom. 


This overview of the Beatitudes is what pointed me to the title of this message: STRENGTH THROUGH WEAKNESS.  

IT’S ALL HOW YOU HOLD ON to God’s promises both present and future. 


There are a multitude of examples where God makes it clear that our strength comes from our understanding of how weak we really are such as Moses, Gideon, Isaiah, King David, and apostle Paul. 

That realization that God is the source of our strength renders us humble and contrite caused by the Holy Spirit which opened our eyes, hearts and minds to this reality. This reality ushers in the desire to fall to our knees and seek Jesus’s Kingship to rule and reign over our lives. 

See the following scriptures:


2 CORINTHIANS 1:9, 3:5,4:7,13:4,12:1-10

EXODUS 4:10-15

JUDGES 6:14-16

ISAIAH 40:29-31

PSALM 73:26


This world values strength, competitiveness, and determination.  It is a man-made model that has existed since the dawn of time.  The god of me! (small “g”)  We believe that must have a strong mind and body.  There is a perception that great leaders demonstrate and project confidence and success through strength of mind and body.  Many of us take pride in this. This type of strength is glorified in our culture.  The problem comes in the glorification on self.  The Olympic trials are going on right now.  We glorify the success of those in the Olympics.  We judge those we watch as if we know them but are often enamored by their success which undoubtedly resulted from hard work and determination.  One problem.  Their success is only because God allowed it.  This success becomes the identity of many who compete.  Even those not in the Olympics take part in this process.  The notion that I can fight my own battles because I am of strong mind and body is not what Jesus is speaking about in the Beatitudes. We must be connected to Christ.   How often do we see a competitor who gives God or Jesus glory first when they are interviewed? Maybe more now than in the past, but it still seldom done.  That is why, as believers, we get pumped up when we see it.  We gravitate toward that.  Let me tell you about a local hero whose identity is in Jesus.  TRAYVON BROMELL.



2 Corinthians 12: 7-10 – 

7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 

8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 

10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 


Seek to find Jesus in everything.  Pray the Lord opens your eyes to His glorious fingerprints.  Remain humble. Live in the promises of present and future beauty of His Kingdom in the Beatitudes which is directly linked to your recognition that our STRENGTH COMES IN OUR WEAKNESS.



Prayer and Surrender: Guard your prayer time and pray for a stronger desire to read and understand God’s Word. Acknowledge your dependence on Him and seek His guidance.

Service and Compassion: Live out the values of the Kingdom by serving God and others with humility and compassion, reflecting God’s love in practical ways.

Studying God’s Word: Grow in your understanding of God’s Kingdom through studying Scripture and applying its teachings to your life.  The only way to truly “KNOW” and “LOVE” God is to read, study, and meditate on His Word.  Abide in Him and He will abide in you.


Jesus’ words in Matthew 5 especially in verse 3 challenge us to reevaluate our priorities and attitudes. Being “poor in spirit” is not a sign of weakness but of strength—an acknowledgment that true fulfillment and blessing come from God alone. As we embrace humility and dependence on God, we not only inherit the kingdom of heaven but also experience the abundant life that Jesus promises to His followers. May we strive daily to live as citizens of God’s kingdom, reflecting His love and grace to a world in need. Amen