Read Matthew 5:1-12
- What did Jesus say that seemed unusual to you or surprised you?
- How is Jesus’ description of people who are happy different from our ideas about the kind of people who are happy?
- Jesus talks about being spiritually poor. What do you think that means?
- Why do you think God’s kingdom would belong to the spiritually poor?
- What does it mean to mourn?
- Why would those who look at the world from God’s point of view feel like mourning or grieving?
- What does it mean to be humble? Why are the humble happy?
- Would a realistic estimate of ourselves lead us to be humble or proud? Why?
- Why do you think the prideful have a hard time receiving what God has promised?
- What kinds of people are satisfied with life?
- What are the greatest desires of most people you know? Do you think their desires will be satisfied? Why or why not?
- What does it mean to be merciful?
- Do you think it is fair if God acts towards us the same way we act towards others? Why or why not?
- We talk about “pure water” or “pure gold”. What does it mean to be pure in heart?
- Do you think a person who pretends to be good yet isn’t should be able to see God? Why or why not?
- Jesus says those who work for peace are called God’s children. If you were God’s child, what kind of relationships would you try to build with others? With your parents? Your children? Your fellow students? Your enemies?
- How does Jesus say his followers are likely to be treated by other people?
- Think about how Christians are treated by others around the world. Does what you see match Jesus’ words? Why do you think Christians are persecuted?
- How do you think Jesus’ followers would react to persecution based on the characteristics we’ve discussed?
- Based on Jesus’ description of true happiness, would you want to be a follower of Jesus? Why or why not?
*note: some questions were taken from Sermon on the Mount: Seeking First the Kingdom of God by John Stott (InterVarsity Press)