When was the last time you had a great conversation? Some of the best conversations happen when friends get together to talk about the normal stuff of life. That’s exactly how Jesus began what’s usually called The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). Like usual, a crowd had gathered around Jesus, but at first he focused on his closest friends, the twelve disciples.
Jesus said God blesses eight times. Sometimes these statements are called The Beatitudes. You could think about them as the “be - attitudes,” meaning if you follow Jesus, you should be a person with these attitudes.
Today, people mostly use blessed as a hashtag. “Look at all my great stuff! Look at my great life!”
For Jesus, blessed was much more than a hashtag. When you read blessed in these verses, substitute happy or fortunate, and be prepared for a surprise. “Happy and fortunate are those who mourn.” What does that even mean? How is that even possible? That’s exactly what Jesus wanted his friends - and us - to think about.
Which one of these statements surprises you or catches your attention? Spend some time thinking about it.
Happy/Fortunate are those who are poor and realize their need for God.
Happy/Fortunate are those who mourn.
Happy/Fortunate are those who are humble.
Happy/Fortunate are those who hunger and thirst for justice.
Happy/Fortunate are those who are merciful.
Happy/Fortunate are those whose heart is pure.
Happy/Fortunate are those who work for peace.
Happy/Fortunate are those who are persecuted for doing right.
These “attitudes” don’t come naturally or easily. But God can change us into be – attitude people.
What friends would you pick to have a deep conversation with about the most important things in life?
How is it possible to be blessed/fortunate when difficult or challenging things happen in your life? Think of an example.
Which one of the attitudes in these verses do you feel like you need in your life now?