The premise of this book is that the Beatitudes are like a stairway, each one leading to the next as a logical consequence of the one that came before, and that the rest of Matthew chapter 5 is a commentary, a fleshing out of the consequences of what the Beatitudes are designed to accomplish in our lives. The first Beatitude is salvation, and each of the others depict the gradual process of sanctification in our lives. In the rest of Matthew 5 Jesus shows us the true nature of our brokenness, and also the fantastic new identity we acquire once we enter the kingdom of heaven.
This is not a scholarly work. It is about such wonderful news that God wanted to come here to tell it to us personally, as a loving human teacher. It can be read in a day or a weekend, or twenty minutes a day, as a devotional. It can be read more than once, with growing pleasure.
It is not an analysis of what the great thinkers of the past have said. It references no commentaries. It is one man’s insight gained by reading the Word, and looking up the meanings of the individual words, and contemplating what it adds up to. It is something that anyone can do, if they listen as they read, and ask the text questions. While it is nice to achieve letters behind our name, and become experts on scripture, most of us never will do that. But we all can hear from God when He speaks to us through His Word.
There is a joy of discovery we can experience when we delve into the Bible. The Beatitudes can be thought of as Jesus’ introduction to how we start out on that path.