Personal Reflection. Who do you normally consider to be blessed or fortunate?

Read Matthew 5:1-12.
1. How does our normal description of the blessed or fortunate person compare with those Jesus considers blessed (vv. 1-12)?


2. To be “poor in spirit” (v. 3) is to acknowledge our spiritual poverty, our bankruptcy before God. Why is this an indispensable condition for receiving the kingdom of heaven? Why is it so difficult for us to admit our spiritual poverty?


3. Why would those who are poor in spirit feel a need to mourn (v. 4)?


4. Those who mourn feel sorrow not only for their own sin but also for the sin they see around them. What have you heard in the news lately that causes you to mourn?


5. How do you think those who mourn will be comforted (v. 4)?


6. How would a true estimate of ourselves (vv. 3-4) lead us to be “meek”—to have a humble and gentle attitude to others (v. 5)?


7. From the world’s point of view, why is it surprising that the meek will inherit the earth?


8. What has Jesus said so far that might lead us to hunger and thirst for righteousness (v. 6)?


9. Biblical righteousness has three aspects: legal, moral, and social. What does it mean to hunger and thirst for each of these?


10. Jesus promises that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled (v. 6). What can you do to cultivate a healthy, hearty spiritual appetite? Ask God to satisfy some of your hunger and thirst as you study the Sermon on the Mount.


11. Jesus says the merciful will be shown mercy (v. 7). Why does our treatment of others reflect God’s treatment of us? 12. Why would the promise of seeing God (v. 8) be reserved for those who are pure in heart?


12. Why would the promise of seeing God (v. 8) be reserved for those who are pure in heart?


13. How can we be peacemakers (v. 9) in our homes, in our churches, and in society?


14. Why would the world hate the kind of people described in the Beatitudes?


15. How have the Beatitudes challenged you to be different?


Stott, John. Sermon on the Mount (LifeGuide Bible Studies). InterVarsity Press.