The Sermon on the Mount

The late great Reverend Eric Butterworth did the most to get the word out about Unity thought when he had Harper & Row publish his book DISCOVER THE POWER WITHIN YOU, copyright 1968.

Chapter 6 focuses on the Beatitudes of Jesus, found in his "Sermon on the Mount," (Matt. 557). Rev. Eric Butterworth sides with Dr. George Lamsa, who said he thought Jesus scripted this particular talk-a script which fell into the hands of whoever wrote Matthew's Gospel. Some New Testament scholars sense that the "Sermon on the Mount" is actually a compilation of several talks delivered by Jesus over the course of his three-year ministry. In any case, the sermon is "introduced by an eight-verse prose poem that .. .is a general summation of the whole religion of Jesus .... Jesus speaks not of conforming but of transforming .... The old order taught men what to do, but Jesus showed them what to be (p. 57-58)." Hence, the BE attitudes.

As with so much else regarding propaganda about Jesus, these eight teachings of Jesus have been largely misrepresented. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven is not about sad people. "The root word that is translated 'spirit' is more accurately and meaningfully translated 'pride'-'poor in pride.' Jesus says 'theirs is the kingdom of heaven.' But keep in mind that 'heaven,' as Jesus uses the term, is not a place in the sky or a reward for after life. The word 'heaven' comes form a Greek root that means 'expanding.' Thus Jesus is talking about the expanding potential within the individual-within you .... Blessed are they who are teachable, open minded, receptive to the Truth, willing to renounce preconceived opinions and prejudices and entertain a new concept of life. (p. 58-59)."

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted does not mean that those who experience tragedy will be given upliftment. A better way to understand it would be to say "I am grateful for challenges that lead me beyond my extremity to God's opportunity (p. 61)."

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth is not about us behaving meekly with others. Jesus "is referring to an attitude toward God .... The best conductor of electricity is the substance that is least resistant to the flow of the electric current. Likewise, the best conductor of divine power is the person who is nonresistant to the flow of divine power (p. 62-63)."

Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness:for they shall be filled is talking about those who desire right thinking. "Jesus deals with attitudes and not platitudes (p. 64)." You must want right thinking "to the exclusion of all else (p. 64)."

Blessed are the merciful:for they shall obtain mercy means that "if you want to be loved you must love .... Life is lived from within out. You may not always be able to change the world about you, but you can change your thoughts about the world; and when you do this, you change your world, which is a world of your thought (p. 65)."

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God alludes to the fact that when "you see God everywhere, you see good everywhere. However, you are seeing things, not as they are, but as you are (p. 68)."

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called sons of God sounds sexist but means you are a child of God, "a spiritual being with the potential for peace and harmony (p. 69)."

Bible scholars know that the eighth beatitude (a lengthy one!) was not said by Jesus. It talks about being persecuted, which is "inconsistent with Jesus' BE attitudes up to this point (p. 70)." Jesus was not advocating martyrdom. If there be any persecution, then "the persecution takes place within our mind, and the persecutor is an errant thought of our own mind (p. 70)."

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