How would you define the word “blessed”? Who do you normally consider to be blessed or fortunate?
Read: Matthew 5:1-12
How does our normal description of those who are blessed or fortunate compare with those Jesus describes as blessed here at the beginning of His Sermon on the Mount?
Jesus teaches that those who are “poor in spirit” (v.3) acknowledge their spiritual poverty, their bankruptcy before God. Why is this a pre-condition for receiving the Kingdom of Heaven? Why is it so difficult for us to admit our spiritual poverty?
Why would those who are poor in spirit feel a need to mourn (v.4)? Those who mourn feel sorrow not only for their own sin but also for the sin they see around them. What have you seen in society or in the news lately that causes you to mourn? How do you think those who mourn will be comforted?
How would a true understanding of ourselves (v.3-4) lead us to be meek (v.5), that is, to have a humble and gentle spirit toward others? From the world’s point of view, why is it surprising that the meek will inherit the earth?
What has Jesus said so far that would lead us to hunger and thirst for righteousness? Biblical righteousness has three aspects: legal, moral and social. What does it mean to hunger and thirst for each of these? Jesus promises that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled (v.6). What can you do to cultivate a healthy spiritual appetite?
Jesus goes on to say that the merciful will be shown mercy (v.7). Why do you think how we treat others will affect how God treats us?
Why would the promise of seeing God (v.8) be reserved for those who are pure in heart?
How can we be peacemakers (v.9) in our homes, in our churches and in society?
Why would the world despise the kind of people described in the Beatitudes? How have the Beatitudes challenged you to be and live differently?