Read Matthew 5: 1-11
Why do you think Jesus decided to preach about the Beatitudes?
Why do you think Jesus decided to preach about the Beatitudes to his disciples?
Here are some possible answers:
- He wanted to let them know the truth about God’s Character
- He was giving new insights into the meaning of the “Law”
- He wanted others to see his life matched his word
- He wanted to make sure his disciples knew this since they would be teaching others
- He wanted to make sure they knew what was expected of them in order to make it into his kingdom, he gave them a roadmap
Let us review each Beatitude:
What does it mean to be poor in spirit?
- When we are poor in spirit, we will be humble and teachable
- We will be aware that we are insufficient and need something, and because of this awareness that we need something, we are able to receive
- We are able to see our need for God and our need to depend on God for everything
- We need the Spirit of God to fill us up
What does it mean to mourn?
- Mourning is the sadness we feel as a result of being separated from something
- As Christians, it is easy to see when the presence of God is lacking which can cause us to mourn
- The Israelites at this time period could have been mourning the loss of the prophets, the Levites etc. since they had not heard from God in over 400 years
What does it mean to be meek?
- It is a willingness to set aside our rights to save or serve others; to make sacrifices to help others when we are not obligated to do so
- Peter and Paul were great examples of servants who could have used their power to rule over others but they were meek and served others instead
What does it mean to hunger and thirst for righteousness?
- This is a desire to be filled with God’s word and to obey it
- It is when we continuously want contact with God and to be in alignment with God
- The righteous activity we do are a result of our contact and intimacy with God
What does it mean to be merciful?
- Mercy occurs when punishment for a fault is withheld
- When we give mercy, we are giving forgiveness and able to move past a hurt
- Without knowing God’s character of mercy, we will have difficulty giving mercy to others
- Read Hosea to understand the mercy of God
What does it mean to be pure in heart?
- This is an innocence and trust in God; it is not pretentious
- A single minded focus, unadulterated, trust and focus only in God
What is a peacemaker?
- This is when someone helps another person to settle their account and make peace with God
- We can do this by helping them to imitate Jesus’s character in any situation
- Stephen in Acts was being a peacemaker when he was teaching others about Jesus and helping them to make peace with God
What does it mean to be persecuted or insulted for righteousness or the name of Jesus?
- As Christians we are connected because we have Jesus in common, when we take a stand for who Jesus is and do what he did, we will face the repercussions of our actions