Finding Supreme Happiness

Key Verse: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
—Matthew 5:16

Selected Scripture:
Matthew 5:1-16

OUR LESSON FOR TODAY is taken from the sermon on the mount, and has been regarded as containing timeless rules for living a good Christian life.

This is the first of Jesus’ lessons after his baptism by John at the river Jordan. Gathering his disciples together Jesus begins by reciting the beatitudes.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (vs. 3) The ‘poor in spirit’ are those who see a need in themselves, and realize a dependency upon a higher power. These are not the proud or high-minded. God deals with those who have a low, humble esteem of themselves. Only these will be fit for his kingdom.

Our Lord continues, “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” (vs. 4) To mourn means to grieve. These view present conditions and see a need for change, and are looking for God’s kingdom. It is to these that God will “wipe away all tears from their eyes.”—Rev. 21:4

“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” (vs. 5) Only those who are submissive to God’s will, not arrogant, not self-assertive, but forbear under injury or annoyance, will inherit the earth, and will reign with Jesus in the blessing of all the families of the earth.—Gen. 22:18

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (vs. 6) ‘Hunger’ and ‘thirst’ are strong terms, which resound with thoughts of passionate desire. To be righteous means that one will give diligence to strive after everything that is right and good. The thought behind the word ‘filled’ is to be satisfied with everything the Lord provides.

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” (vs. 7) What a wonderful trait is mercy. We are told that God’s mercy towards his Creation is as “high” as the “heaven.” (Ps. 103:11) We must learn to be merciful as God is merciful. If we forsake mercy to others, we can be sure that God will not be merciful to us.

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (vs. 8) The Apostle Paul tells Timothy and us, “The end of the commandment is charity [love] out of a pure heart.” (I Tim. 1:5) To have a pure heart is necessary for us. We must be cleansed in will and spirit, and as far as possible in our words and thoughts.

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” (vs. 9) Peacemaking starts with the individual. It means that one will not stir up strife, cause trouble or dissention, because these are works of the flesh. The Apostle James says, “The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”—James 3:18

In ending the list of beatitudes, Jesus brings persecution to our minds. Followers of Christ will attract persecution, but that which is incurred because of righteousness will be rewarded. We are to expect persecution.—Matt. 10:16-25

Concluding the beatitudes, Jesus calls “salt” and “light” to our attention. (vss. 13,14) Salt purifies, heals. Light comes from God’s Word. Everything we say or do should bring God the glory, and be a source of happiness to the child of God.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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