Willard on the Beatitudes…
In the Divine Conspiracy he writes, “Those poor in spirit are called blessed by Jesus, not because they are in a meritorious condition, but because, preciously in spite of and in the midst of their ever so deplorable condition, the rule of the heavens has moved redemptively up and through them by the grace of Christ.” (102)
So, what does this “new” (“fresh” is probably a better word) look at the beatitudes mean for us?
Willard says, it means that “they serve to clarify Jesus’ fundamental message: the free availability of God’s rule and righteousness to all of humanity through reliance upon Jesus himself, the person now loose in the world among us. They do this simply by taking those who, from the human point of view, are regarded as most hopeless, most beyond all possibility of god’s blessing or even interest, and exhibiting them as enjoying God’s touch and abundant provision from the heavens.” (116)