Comparison and Contrast between the Beatitudes and The Ten Commandments: Matthew 5:1-12 & Exodus 20:1-21
“1) When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. 2) He opened His mouth and began to teach 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 gentle, 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 have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11) “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12) Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:1-12
The Beatitudes given by Jesus stand in stark contrast to the Ten Commandments given through Moses. A short comparison and contrast between the two proves that things were changing with the ministry of Jesus. A transition was taking place.
The way Jesus opened the Sermon on the Mountain might not mean much to you and me, but His introduction with the Beatitudes grabbed the attention of every Jewish ear. These words were not casual, they were radical. This was not new wine in old wine skins. Jesus was signifying a change. Something new was coming.
When the reader understands that Matthew was writing to a Jewish audience, it is not coincidental that he devoted three entire chapters of his gospel to the Sermon on the Mountain. But what is more astounding is that Matthew was not even called to follow Jesus until Matthew 9:9-13. The timeline places his call after Jesus delivered this message. I find that very intriguing!
Could it be that he was a bystander listening to the Sermon on the Mountain? Or even more impressive, was the Sermon on the Mountain so impactful that it spread like fire among the common Jewish people who initially followed Jesus because of His miracles?
We can only speculate. In wrestling with these questions, I came up with the following comparisons and contrasts between the Beatitudes and the Ten Commandments. Undoubtedly you can come up with more, but I offer these as a starting point.
Eight Contrasts and Comparisons between the Beatitudes and The Ten Commandments:
The Beatitudes came after Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days and nights Vs The Ten Commandments came after Moses was on the Mountain for 40 days and nights. The Beatitudes Open the Sermon on the Mountain Vs The Ten Commandments Open the Long Application of the Law! The Beatitudes Were Spoken by the Mouth of Jesus Vs The Ten Commandments were Written by the Finger of God! For the Beatitudes the People Came Near Vs For the Ten Commandments the People Stood Far Away! The Beatitudes were recorded on Human Hearts Vs The Ten Commandments were recorded on Tablets of Stone! The Beatitudes Focus on Internal Attitudes Vs The Ten Commandments Focused on External Actions! The Beatitudes Stress What to Be Vs The Ten Commandments Warn of What Not To Do! The Beatitudes Became the Source of Blessings Vs The Ten Commandments are the Source of Curses and Judgement.
Jesus was popular because of His miracles; He was crucified because of His teachings. It seems that His miracles were intended to open the door for His teachings. Devote time to studying the Sermon on The Mountain. It set the tone for the entire ministry of Jesus.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: CoFounder of GoServ Global