Easton’s Bible Dictionary tells how Mount of the Beatitudes got its name: After spending a night in solemn meditation and prayer in the lonely mountain-range to the west of the Lake of Galilee (Luke 6:12), on the following 30 mount of beatitutdesmorning our Lord called to him his disciples, and from among them chose twelve, who were to be henceforth trained to be his apostles (Mark 3:14, 15). After this solemn consecration of the twelve, he descended from the mountain-peak to a more level spot (Luke 6:17), and there he sat down and delivered the “sermon on the mount” (Matt. 5–7; Luke 6:20–49) to the assembled multitude. The mountain here spoken of was probably that known by the name of the “Horns of Hattin” (Kurun Hattin), a ridge running east and west, not far from Capernaum. It was afterwards called the “Mount of Beatitudes.”

From its rocky sides, you can see the flat plains of farmers’ fields spreading out for miles, eventually giving way to the Sea of Galilee. It could have easily held the great multitudes that followed Jesus in His early ministry. There is a beautiful church on that site today. It’s shaped like an octagon and each side represents one of the eight beatitudes.

The Beatitudes set the tone for the entire Sermon on the Mount by emphasizing man’s humility in view of God’s righteousness. Each of the eight Beatitudes portrays the ideal heart condition of a kingdom citizen—a condition that brings abundant spiritual blessing. The eight heart conditions are: 1) Poor in spirit refers to an awareness of spiritual bankruptcy apart from Christ. 2) To mourn is to be grieved and broken over sin. 3)The meek, like Christ, exemplify gentleness and self-control. 4) “Hunger and thirst” is a vivid description of those who crave God’s righteousness. 5) The “merciful” are both forgiving and compassionate. 6) To be “pure in heart” refers to that internal cleansing necessary for entering God’s presence. 7) The “peacemakers” are those who invite men to be reconciled to God and to one another. 8) Finally, there is a blessing for those who are “persecuted for righteousness.” It is normal for the world to oppose kingdom citizens.