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Beatitudes Lesson One               


Beatitudes Lesson One
THE BEATITUDES

Matthew 5:1-12, “And when He saw the multitudes, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. 2 And opening His mouth He began to teach them, saying, 3 "Blessed are the _____ in _____, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 "Blessed are those who ______, for they shall be comforted. 5 "Blessed are the ______, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 "Blessed are those who ______ and ______ for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7 "Blessed are the _______, for they shall receive mercy. 8 "Blessed are the ______ in ______, for they shall see God. 9 "Blessed are the ___________, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 "Blessed are those who have been __________ for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 "Blessed are you when men cast _______ at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. 12 "Rejoice, and be glad, for your _______ in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (NAS).

The pearl is one of the most precious of gems. It is a miracle of nature. But where does it come from? It is produced by the lowly oyster, an ugly creature, inside and out. The oyster has little in the way of comeliness that would suggest the beauty that resides inside. You can find blessings in strange places (Sermon Outlines for Seekers, Original work copyright © 1996 The Standard Publishing Company. All rights reserved.).

Jesus began His sermon with “the Beatitudes,” statements beginning with “Blessed are.” “Blessed” means “happy” or “fortunate” (cf. plinkto4 19 1:1" Ps. 1:1). The qualities Jesus mentioned in this list, “the poor in spirit,” “those who mourn,” “the meek,” etc., obviously could not be products of Pharisaic righteousness. The Pharisees were concerned primarily with external qualities, but the qualities Jesus mentioned are internal. These come only when one is properly related to God through faith, when one places his complete trust in God (The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament, Copyright 1983, SP Publications, Inc. All rights reserved, Electronic Edition STEP Files Copyright © 1997, Parsons Technology, Inc., PO Box 100, Hiawatha, Iowa. All rights reserved.).

The Beatitudes. As has been said, they are a contrast of the preaching of the Old Testament. Here we have, not a list of commands, but a list of blessings. We have a contrast of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” In the beatitudes we see, not a religion of rote, but a religion of the heart. The beatitudes are descriptions of the kind of person who will receive the blessings of God. They identify a series of qualities that produce happiness, even though happiness is not readily apparent. (Sermon Outlines for Seekers, Original work copyright © 1996 The Standard Publishing Company. All rights reserved.).

And as the last word of our Old Testament is curse, Jesus begins His first sermon with the word “Blessed . . . . .” And this word appears seven times in the first twelve verses of Matthew 5. It would be fitting for Jesus to begin His first sermon with “blessings,” as John 3:17 tells us, “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him” (NAS).

“Jesus' first discourse begins with a series of nine beatitudes describing in ideal terms the character and lifestyle of those who experience God's saving presence. The inbreaking of God's dynamic reign means a radical reversal of fortunes where the poor, the hungry, and the persecuted are called “blessed.”. . . . The character traits described are gracious gifts resulting from God's saving presence and modeled in the person of Jesus. As a fitting introduction to the Sermon on the Mount, the beatitudes remind the disciple that God's gift always precedes the demand” (College Press New Testament Commentary: with the NIV).
Each beatitude is composed of a statement identifying the character blessed by God (e.g., “blessed are the poor in spirit”), followed by a clause explaining the basis of their blessed state (e.g., “theirs is the kingdom of heaven”). The collection neatly divides into two sets of fours (i.e., 5:3-6 and oks.com/verse.asp?ref=Mt+5%3A7-10" 5:7-10), with the ninth beatitude (5:11-12) expanding on the theme of the eighth. The first group of four (e.asp?ref=Mt+5%3A3-6" 5:3-6) focus attention on one's relationship to God, while the second group (5:7-10) highlight horizontal relationships. . . . . It is the present reality of the kingdom that assures future blessings of those deemed “blessed” (College Press New Testament Commentary: with the NIV).

Would it not be appropriate that He who would one day as Judge ultimately divide the blessed from the cursed (Matthew 25: 31-46)? And that He would teach the multitude concerning those who would indeed be blessed by the Father? It's no wonder that He taught as one who had authority (Matthew 7: 29).

We must also remember as we study these beatitudes that they do not tell one how to be saved, but rather describe those who are God's people. If one was inclined to “salvation by works” then this might appear to be a list of necessary rules to prepare one for the kingdom of heaven. However, they are instead descriptive of the kind of person that is a part of the kingdom, a Christian! In one sense the beatitudes are descriptive, but in another sense they are prophetic of those who would one day make up His church.

Notice also the occasion of the sermon. It's a similar setting to that in Matthew 9. “And seeing the multitudes, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38 "Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest” (Matt 9:36-38, NAS). The Lord Jesus is omniscient, and understood the needs of those around Him. And He begins with the description of those who would be of the kingdom of God. Indeed the sermon continues in describing the character and nature of the kingdom of God.

Jesus brings this message, not from Mount Sinai, not from Mount Zion, not from a mount that burned with fire that caused Israel to fear, but from a quiet, grassy, flowery mountain (Spurgeon's Sermons, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft). He instructed His hearers as an authoritative, yet compassionate Master Teacher. And He used the picturesque surroundings for His lessons.

Note, also that the blessing is in every case in the present tense, a happiness to be now enjoyed and delighted in. It is not “Blessed shall be,” but “Blessed are” (Spurgeon's Sermons, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft). Blessed are those who come to the Lord and blessed are those who remain in the Lord. The state of blessedness remains throughout the faithful life in Christ Jesus. Even in the state of poverty, mourning, humility and persecution the one who is in Christ remains blessed (vs. 1-12). Jesus says that in truth blessedness is increased because of the resulting condition.

Discussion Questions:

1) “Blessed” means “_____,” or “_________.”

BLESS, BLESSED, BLESSEDNESS, BLESSING, “makarios” . . . is used in the beatitudes in Matt 5 and Luke 6, is especially frequent in the Gospel of Luke, and is found seven times in Revelation, 1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7,14. It is said of God twice, 1 Tim 1:11; 6:15. In the beatitudes the Lord indicates not only the characters that are "blessed," but the nature of that which is the highest good (Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright (c)1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers. (emphasis mine.).

To be happy in the sense that the word is used here is not to continuously be full of outward joy and elation. Rather it is a lasting steadfast state of mind that comes from being the kind of person that God would have us be, and obeying Him joyfully.

2) The last word of our Old Testament is “______,” the first word of the Sermon on the Mount is “_______.”

Would that not be appropriate, for just as Paul said, Galatians 3:10-14, “For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.” 11Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “The righteous man shall live by faith.” 12However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, “He who practices them shall live by them.” 13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us-for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”- 14in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:10 through Galatians 3:14, NASB).


3) The Beatitudes describe those who will receive ___                     .

“In the beatitudes we see, not a religion of rote, but a religion of the heart. The beatitudes are descriptions of the kind of person who will receive the blessings of God. They identify a series of qualities that produce happiness, even though happiness is not readily apparent” (Sermon Outlines for Seekers, Original work copyright © 1996 The Standard Publishing Company. All rights reserved.).

The characteristics that we will be studying in the following series of lessons are not a set of rules to follow (i.e. “how to act”), but are the traits that are attributed (and always have been) to those who love God and have a passionate desire to serve Him from within their hearts.

4) The Beatitudes is a series of qualities that produce                  .

Jesus instructs His hearers concerning the kind of person that they “ought to be” because these characteristics and the outpouring result of their nature inherently produce happiness and fortune in the earthly life. But considering the eternal result of following this Christ-like nature, why would any of us seek any less than the very best of what we can be?



Beatitudes Lesson One   |   Beatitudes Lesson Two   |   Beatitudes Lesson Three   |   Beatitudes Lesson Four   |   Beatitudes Lesson Five   |   Beatitudes Lesson Six   |   Beatitudes Lesson Seven   |   Beatitudes Lesson Eight   |   Beatitudes Lesson Nine   |   Beatitudes Lesson Ten



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