August 17, 2019
The Beatitudes at the beginning of the ‘Sermon On the Mount’ (Matthew chpt. 5-7) were spoken by Jesus on a hillside near Capernaum in Northern Israel.
Matthew wrote his Gospel to his fellow Jews to prove that Jesus is the Messiah and to explain God’s Kingdom.
Who were the Beatitudes taught to and not to? Matthew 5:1-2.
Consider and discuss the following:
The Beatitudes can be understood in at least 4 ways: (1) They are a code of ethics for the disciples and a standard of conduct for all believers. (2) They contrast Kingdom values (what is eternal) with worldly values (what is temporary). (3) They contrast the superficial “faith” of the Pharisees with the real faith that Christ demands. (4) They show how the Old Testament expectations will be fulfilled in the new Kingdom. These Beatitudes are not multiple choice-pick what you like and leave the rest. They must be taken as a whole. They describe what we should be like as Christ’s followers.
Why do you think they are called ‘Beatitudes’?
Each Beatitude begins with ‘God blesses’. What does it mean to be ‘blessed’?
2. “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs”. Matthew 5:3.
What does ‘being poor’ mean?
a. How does this apply to Christ? See Philippians 2:6-9.
What did He empty Himself of?
Consider John’s words:
In Bethlehem Christ added a human nature to His divine nature combined into one person. He chose to live out His life in the weakness, frailty and limitations of that human nature. As such He became poor in spirit not exercising His prerogatives, not insisting on his own rights, he submitted to whatever God wanted of Him, John 4:34, 8:29.
What does this say about Christ’s humility?
b. How does this apply to us?
What condition were we sinners in when we came to God? What did we have to offer Him?
What did Jesus say is the only way anyone can come to Him? Discuss Jesus parable in Luke 18:9-14.
Consider David’s words in Psalm 51:1-12.
How does God want us to live and serve Him?
• Isaiah 66:2?
• 2 Corinthians 12:5-10?
• 1 Peter 5:5-6?
• Proverbs 3:5-6.
What words of encouragement does Paul give us in Philippians 2:12-13?
3. “God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4.
a. How does this apply to Christ?
What insights do the following give us about Jesus life on earth, especially His passion?
• Isaiah 53:3-7.
• Hebrews 5:7.
• John 11:35.
• Luke 22:44.
b. How was he comforted?
• Luke 22:43.
• Acts 2:24-28 (esp.v.28).
• Hebrews 12:2.
c. How does this apply to us?
Because Jesus suffered how does this help us? Hebrews 2:18, 4:15-16.
What does Paul say in Romans 8:15-18, 26-27, 31-39?
What does the Apostle John say in 1 John 1:9, Revelation 22:14, 21:4-7?
4. “God blesses those who are humble for they shall inherit the whole earth.” Matt. 5:5.
What is the meaning of ‘meek’?
What do the following tell us about Christ?
• What did Christ say about Himself? Matthew 11:29.
• What did Isaiah say about Christ? Isaiah 42:3.
• How did Christ demonstrate His meekness? 1 Peter 2:23.
How are we encouraged to do likewise?
• Romans 12:17-21. Discuss the principle of v.21 and how different it is to the world’s way.
• 1 Peter 3:9-15.
• 1 Peter 5:5-6.
What are the rewards for those who:
• Are poor in spirit?
• Are meek?
Do they vary for the nation of Israel and for the Church? If so, how?
What is the end result of Christ’s life on earth? Philippians 2:11.
What will be the result of your life on earth? Share your thoughts with your group.