WHY WE READ THE BIBLE? We read for revelation, not just information! We read, as Luke 24 says, to get another glimpse into God’s love for us.
HOW WE READ THE BIBLE FOR REVELATION? (R.E.A.P.) Read Exegete Apply Pray it into your heart!
R – Read Just read… Repetitive reading of a book of the Bible helps us learn and get its message into our hearts. E – Exegete What did it mean to the original audience? A – Apply -What does it mean to us now? -How does this passage point us to Jesus, or remind us of the love he showed us (especially on the cross)? P – Pray into your heart -Reveal: Pray that God would warm your heart again with his love for you as demonstrated most profoundly on the cross. -Action: As your heart is warmed with God’s love pray that you would begin to love him back in greater ways than ever before.
READ: Matthew 5:1-12—REMEMBER YOUR SUPER BLESSED 5
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them. The Beatitudes 5:3–12pp—Lk 6:20–23
He said: 3
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 1
1 The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Mt 5:1–12.
EXEGETE: Background to keep in mind #1 -Last week, we saw Jesus begin His public ministry proclaiming the message of the Kingdom, inviting others to join in His mission and demonstrating the Kingdom’s presence through His miraculous works. -As chapter 5 begins, we find Jesus surrounded by 1) the crowds (those who are interested to hear and observe) and 2) His disciples (those who have answered His call to follow). -Commonly known as the Sermon on the Mount, it is Jesus’ longest recorded message. -He does not address this sermon to the crowds (vs 1). What He has to say on this day on this mountainside is for “His disciples,” that are present ie those who have already responded to the Kingdom proclamation. -Understood in this context, the sermon is not general morals communicated to a general audience; rather, it is Kingdom morals communicated to those who are part of his kingdom - His message is what life in the Kingdom is really all about.
Questions to help us hear what the text is saying to us: 1. Summarize these verses in 2– 3 sentences. 2. This section of the sermon is commonly known as the Beatitudes. Why do you think Jesus begins His sermon with a list of blessings? Give your best answer.
3. In Christian circles, it is common to hear believers describe themselves as “blessed” for various reasons. Fill in the blanks below with some examples of how we use the term: “I’m so blessed because ____________________________________________.” “God has blessed me this week by _____________________________________.” “I thank God for blessing me with such a great ______________________________.” How do the examples you wrote compare to the way Jesus speaks of blessedness? 4. Based on your answer above and your reading of the Beatitudes, how does Jesus define blessedness? Write a one-sentence definition in your own words that best fits the way He uses the term:
The word “blessed” = deeply satisfied. Jesus says that a Christian is somebody who can weep and still be blesseddeeply satisfied. If a person living under the old kingdom loses his job, a loved one, or his reputation, and blessedness and laughter go together, blessedness and weeping can never go together. But if you are in his new kingdom, they do go together because there’s a blessedness that doesn’t have to do with circumstances. - TK 5. Some of the blessings have a present-tense fulfillment (“theirs is the kingdom”) while others are future (“shall inherit the earth”). Which in the text which fulfillments are future, present or both. How should this inform our understanding of Christian hope?
6. What do you think those listening to Jesus thought of His description of blessedness? a) The disciples (who have just left everything to follow Him): b) The crowds (who are following Him hoping for more miracles):
APPLY: 1. APPLY: How is your personal concept of what it means to be blessed challenged by the Beatitudes? 2. Being blessed – means to know God. (John 17:3). If you are a Christian than you know how easily our hearts forget how blessed we already are. We are indeed blessed - we are being loved right, this very second, by God the Father as though we had done everything His Son Jesus had done. We have all the blessings mentioned above! For Jesus, his relationship with God the Father was more than enough, and it is meant to be way more than enough for us. Is it hard for you to believe this enough this? 3. What did Jesus do to remind himself of his blessedness? (Mark 1:35) 4. What do you need to change in your daily habits to remind your heart of how blessed you already are? II. Gospel-turn the passage for life: 1. What did it cost Jesus to bless you (Gal 3:13)? 2. With the blessings mentioned above in mind - take a minute and think about Jesus on the cross? For instance, look at Matthew 27:46, Jesus mourned on the cross, but was He comforted on the cross? 2 Was he blessed? 2 Why can you and I be as rich as kings? Because he became spiritually and utterly poor. Why can you and I be comforted? Only because he mourned; because he wept inconsolably and died in the dark. Why are you and I inheriting the earth? Because he became meek; because he was like a lamb before his shearers. Because he was stripped of everything—they even cast lots for his garment. Why can you and I be filled and satisfied? Because on the cross he said, “I thirst.” Why are you and I obtaining mercy? Because he got none: not from Pilate, not from the crowd, not even from his Father. Why will you and I be able to someday see God? Because he was pure. Do you know what the word “pure” means? It means to be single-minded, absolutely undivided, laser focused. So why is it that someday we will see God? Because Jesus Christ set his face like a flint to go up to Jerusalem and die for us (Luke 9:51).11 You and I can see God because, on the cross, Jesus could not. Keller, Timothy. Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism (p. iv). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
PRAY: Pray that you would be more satisfied in Godâ€™s love this week, and you would find times throughout your day to remind your heart it already has the most blessed life it could ever imagine right this second!