16 Jan. Matthew 4:25 - 5:10

16 Jan. Jesus teaches people how to be blessed by God

"Many people from Galilee, the Ten Towns, Jerusalem, Judea and the land across the Jordan River followed him. When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a hill and sat down. His followers came to him, and he began to teach them."

[1] "Those people who know they have great spiritual needs are happy, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to them."

[2] "Those who are sad now are happy, because God will comfort them."

[3] "Those who are humble are happy, because the earth will belong to them."

[4] "Those who want to do right more than anything else are happy, because God will fully satisfy them."

[5] "Those who show mercy to others are happy, because God will show mercy to them."

[6] "Those who are pure in their thinking are happy, because they will be with God."

[7] "Those who work to bring peace are happy, because God will call them his children."

[8] "Those who are treated badly for doing good are happy, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to them."

          (Matthew 4:25 - 5:10)



Forget the '3-point sermon'. This is Jesus's original supercharged '8-point sermon'.

In the spring of 28AD, Jesus went up onto a hillside overlooking the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee (see the map on 15th Jan). He used a natural amphitheatre above the lakeside to address the crowds who had gathered from Galilee, Jerusalem, Judaea and the Decapolis (the 'Ten Towns' on the eastern bank of the River Jordan). His teachings become known as the ‘Sermon on the Mount’.

Jesus began his talk with eight ‘blessings’ which have become known as the ‘Beatitudes’ (from the Latin for ‘blessed’). In the traditional King James version of the Bible, each of these sayings begins with the words "Blessed are..." It's well worth looking at each one, and trying to understand how it applies to our lives today.

A few years ago, our home group studied the 8 'Beatitudes' and we wrote our own version. You might like to compare it with the New Century Version (above):

1. Blessed are those who are humble before God for they will enter the kingdom of heaven.

2. Blessed are those who are saddened by immorality and dishonesty for they will be comforted by the Holy Spirit.

3. Blessed are those who are compassionate and forgiving for they will realise that the whole world belongs to God.

4. Blessed are those who hunger after honest and sincere relationships for they will have all their needs met.

5. Blessed are the merciful who forgive others for God will forgive them.

6. Blessed are those with pure motives in their heart for God will be their inspiration.

7. Blessed are the peacemakers for God will welcome them into his family.

8. Blessed are those who are persecuted as a result of being honest for they walk in the ways of God.

The hillside where it's believed that Jesus preached the 'Sermon on the Mount' and taught the 'Beatitudes' – overlooking the Sea of Galilee above En Tabgha, near Capernaum – is now occupied by the modern Church of the Beatitudes, built by the Italian Franciscan architect Bertalucci in 1938 (see the photo).

The octagonal shape of the modern building reflects the eight blessings taught by Jesus. These eight sayings are inscribed (in Latin) on a series of plaques in the attractive gardens surrounding the church.

You can see a photo of one of these 'Beatitude' plaques @ The Bible Journey | Jesus's teachings on a hillside

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