The Beatitudes

Matt Chandler

Semester #6:  Oct 10 - Nov 12

What does it mean to be blessed? And, more importantly, how do we become someone who is blessed? The kind of life God is calling us to may not look the way we imagined, but it will be better than we could have hoped.

 

In this eight-session series, pastor Matt Chandler takes us through the Beatitudes and shows us what it means to live in the kingdom of God. Through Jesus’s teaching, learn what the blessed life really looks like.


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Matthew 5:7

Week #1

Session Goals:

- To know that God lavishes mercy upon us, even though we are undeserving of such kindness

- To mimic Jesus’s ministry of mercy to draw people into the kingdom of God.


It’s sometimes difficult for us to reckon with the concept of mercy, the act of withholding punishment or consequences from someone who’s done wrong. In a culture that is increasingly angry and anxious, mercy is seen as weakness or an excusing of bad behavior. But mercy is one of the most powerful ways we can love people.

 

Just as God was merciful to us when we didn’t deserve it, we also can love people who have not earned our love. And, as we will see in this session, mercy reaches out to people who are forgotten by our society to show them the dignity and life-changing love of our savior.


Open:

- How do you feel when a character in a movie, TV show, or book doesn't get what they deserve?


Read:

- Matthew 5:1–12.


Watch:

- Session 5: Matthew 5:7


Discuss:

- How would you define mercy?

 

Matt defined mercy as “the giving of undeserved acceptance and blessing.” Think about the word “undeserved.”

- When have you been an undeserving recipient of kindness or mercy?

- What was your reaction to that kindness or mercy?


Matt talked about “the fringes”—the edge of society filled with people who are “farthest from God imaginable."

- What does it look like for people to be "on the fringes”

 

Read John 8:2–11.

In this passage, a group of “scribes and Pharisees” paraded a woman who was caught in the act of adultery in front of Jesus and a group of people he was teaching. They wanted to bring the full force of the law down upon this woman, but Jesus chose to be gentle and merciful.

- If you're honest, do you most often side with the scribes and Pharisees, condemning those who wrong you, or with Jesus, showing mercy?

- Why do you think we often behave as the scribes and Pharisees did in John 8?

 

The fifth Beatitude forces us to reckon with the mercy of God. Have we received it, and if so, do we extend it to others?

- How would you answer those questions?

 

- In what ways can you practice extending the mercy of God to others today? To whom can you share God's mercy today?


Last Word:

   The Bible pulls no punches. Before receiving the mercy of God, we were his enemies. We were all on the fringes! “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ” (Eph 2:4–5, emphasis added).

   We have been pulled from the fringes of our rebellion against God, the one who is “rich in mercy” and who will “show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:4, 7). Blessed are those who have received this mercy and who extend this mercy, for they will get more of it.


Matthew 5:8

Week #2


Matthew 5:9

Week #3


Matthew 5:10-12

Week #4