What if the essence of all that Jesus taught could be summarized in a few paragraphs? The Beatitudes are more than just poetic verse used to begin the Sermon on the Mount; they are the essence of Jesus’ message from beginning to end. Often overlooked and/or misunderstood, these simple and familiar words establish the overall tone of Jesus’ teaching ministry and provide an intimate look at his most deeply held values.
The book describes the setting, people, and perception surrounding the scene from Matthew 5 and addresses each of the eight beaitudes or blessings. The chapters offer illustrations from Jesus’ ministry, discussions of the theme and spiritual dimensions of the blessing, and application of the blessing to our contemporary lives. Stanford uses poignant stories of contemporary people to help the reader claim the blessings as a way of life.
A leader’s guide at the back of the book offers discussion and reflection questions for small-group use.