Today I want to share with you the Message version of the Beatitudes found in Matthew 5: 3-12. This paraphrase took me by surprise. I had never thought the Beatitudes this way. Read yourself and let me know what you think! (My prayer responses are in between the verses.)
3″You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
God, let me decrease and you increase! Less of me, more of you!
4″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.
God, help me to let go of anything that is in your way. Less of me, more of you!
5″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.
God, enable me to be content in every situation. Less of me, more of you!
6″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.
God, fill me with your Spirit! Less of me, more of you!
7″You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
God, help me to lose myself in you! Less of me, more of you!
8″You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
God, cleanse me from inside out! Less of me, more of you!
9″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.
God, show me how to spread your love! Less of me, more of you!
10″You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
God, strengthen my commitment to you! Less of me, more of you!
“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. (Matthew 5: 3-12, MSG)(The responses in bold are mine)
We are indeed blessed! We are indeed blessed all the time, often most when we expect it least.
Thank you for blessing us.
Thank you for drawing us nearer to you.
Help us to see blessings in disguise.
Renew us, change us, mold us.
Less of us, more of you!
May thy will be done in us, through us, around us.
In Jesus’ name,
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, whatever is your situation today, wherever you are on your faith journey! God is with you!
Q4U: Did you get any new insights? Please share!
Photo courtesy of Kirsten Blackstock
5 thoughts on “You’re Blessed!”
Sounds very comfortable in usage, but I don’t know how closely it translates the original…do you?
Here’s the same in NIV:
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Connie, I’ve found the Message to be very accurate. It uses contemporary language and that very often surprises us! Thank you for your comment! God bless you!
I totally agree with Connie. I think the Message is a reasonably good commentary on the Bible, but an adaptation rather than a translation. (This thought comes from a person with a degree in translation, BTW). The point of an adaptation is that, in order to bring some points to the foreground, you lose some fidelity to the original text. And that’s what I don’t like about the Message version.
Regarding this particular text, in general I believe it catches the gist of what is in the Beatitudes message. However, IMHO it loses a bit of its significance. It’s great that you have gained new insights on Jesus’ words by reading this. Hold on to that! Treasure it. Pray it will help you get closer to God. Pray for more grace in understanding and loving the Eternal Word.
I personally find much more meaning in a more literal translation. Why? Because “poor in spirit” evokes to me a lot more meaning than “at the end of your rope”. I can clearly see the connotations of poverty, even bankruptcy when we come to the Lord and say, “I have nothing to offer that was not originally given by you! All I can say is ‘I need you every moment and thank you for being my everything!'”
Again, I’m not criticizing the Message. If it helps you, do continue to use it. I love the NIV because it’s very clear and yet retains more fidelity to the original text.
But I’m of the idea that the best you can do is, whenever you find a passage that touches your heart, read MANY Bible versions, not one! And then ask the Holy Spirit to bring the message home to you… To have it touch your innermost being. Not just your mind. Far too many people read the Bible with their “minds” as if it were a mere “brain exercise”. No, no, no! Let us read the Bible in the manner it is meant to be read: God’s Eternal Word and the MAIN manner in which His Holy Spirit communicates His teachings to us. The SUREST way of coming into a saving and ongoing relationship with Jesus our Messiah.
If we pray and read the Bible with a contrite and humble spirit (= if we are poor in spirit), I can promise you (I’ve seen it happen in my life time and time again!) that the Lord will come!
If we abide in Him and His Words abide in us, we will become true disciples. And we shall KNOW the Truth, and the Truth shall set us free!
May this Lent bring each one of us true repentance and a spirit of prayer and supplication! May grace and peace be multiplied in your life! May all your posts be full of Heavenly Wisdom!
I am so sorry that your message got in the spam filter and I did not check it until today! Thank you so much for your profound comment. I agree the Message version is a paraphrase not a translation. But it is as accurate as a paraphrase can be. I love the Bible and I read as many translations as I can and I love to read the Bible in many different languages, too. I hope to deepen my understanding in Greek also. There’s so much to learn in the Bible! But the Holy Spirit is our guide. It’s not about knowing about God but getting to know God and be known by God. Thank you again, sister, for your thoughtful comment. May God continue to bless you richly! Stay in touch!