Getting Into the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1–12)
This Sunday we started walking through the Sermon on the Mount. Considering the question of true happiness, we first looked at how we should read Jesus’ words. And then we looked at the nine statements of blessing/happiness known as the Beatitudes.
After stating that the Beatitudes are not entrance requirements for the kingdom, but words of wisdom given to Christ’s disciples who are in the kingdom, we looked at each of the beatitudes. These words of Christ are meant to comfort us and challenge us and help us walk with our Lord, for the glory of our Father in heaven.
You can listen to the sermon online. Discussion questions and additional resources, including a sermon series on the Beatitudes, can be found below.
1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
- What are the ways people try to find happiness? How does Scripture speak about joy/happiness/gladness in general? What are the ways the Beatitudes help us think about happiness in specific?
- What is a beatitude?
- Are they only in Matthew 5:1–12? Or are there others? See Psalm 1:1; 32:1; 119:1; Matthew 11:6.
- Are they conditional statements (law), “If you do _________, then ___________?” Are they unconditional promises (gospel) ? Or something else?
- How should we think about Jesus’ Beatitudes?
- Read Exodus 19:3; Deuteronomy 9:9; 33:29. What do these verses help us see in Matthew 5:1–2? How is Jesus like Moses? How is he more than Moses? How does knowing Jesus as Better Moses help us understand Jesus’ words?
- How should we understand the kingdom of heaven in the Beatitudes? What is the relationship between its present fulfillment (5:3, 10) and its future fulfillment (5:4–9)? How does this impact our lives?
- Read through the Beatitudes. What are some observations you can make about them?
- What do you notice the first four beatitudes? And the second four?
- What is the significance of “righteousness” in verse 3, 10?
- What do we learn by reading verse\ 10–12 together? (Hint: repetition in Scripture often indicates emphasis; look at the “you” in verses 13–15).
- Which Beatitude is most perplexing, encouraging, or challenging?
- How do the Beatitudes help you walk more closely with the Lord?
On the Sermon the Mount
In 2014 I preached a sermon series on each of the Beatitudes. Unfortunately, the audio is poor, but you can find them here:
- Blessed are the Poor in Spirit (Matthew 5:3)
- Blessed are those who Mourn (Matthew 5:4)
- Blessed are the Meek (Matthew 5:5 and Psalm 37)
- Hungering for Righteousness (Matthew 5:6)
- Blessed are the Merciful (Matthew 5:7)
- Blessed are the Pure in Heart (Matthew 5:8)
- Blessed are the Peacemakers (Matthew 5:9)**
- Suffering for Righteousness Sake (Matthew 5:10)
There are many helpful books and chapters on the Sermon on the Mount. Here are a couple.
- Sermon on the Mount: Kingdom Life in a Fallen World by Sinclair Ferguson
- Sermon on the Mount: The Character of a Disciple by Daniel Doriani
- Sermon on the Mount: Restoring Christ’s Message to the Modern Church by Charles Quarles
On the Kingdom of God
- What is the Kingdom of God Like?
- George Eldon Ladd on the “The Kingdom and the Church”
- Grasping the ‘Already’ and the ‘Not Yet’: Four Quotes on Inaugurated Eschatology
Soli Deo Gloria, ds