Posted by: richard | 5 November, 2007

New values: the beatitudes

On Wed 31st Oct we will be kicking off the “Jesus’s Kingdom Manifesto” series with the Beatitudes. Matthew 5:1-12. A few questions. Please read the passage and mull these over before the session.

  1. What’s the context? Flick back to chapter 4 to put the sermon into Matthew’s flow. Who is Jesus’s audience here – the twelve disciples or a larger crowd? Imagine the scene. Why are people there, what are they expecting of Jesus?
  2. Is this really good news? Jesus is advocating poverty in spirit, mourning, meekness and persecution, amongst others. Is Jesus adding a new list of entry requirements for the Kingdom of God? If so, why? If not, what is he doing?
  3. What is Jesus’s thrust here? Try to summarise the key point of the Beatitudes in one sentence.
  4. Jesus ends this section by taking some time on the subject of persecution. Who would be doing the persecuting, and what relationship does this have with the earlier Beatitudes?
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Responses

  1. We found that the Kingdom is indeed governed by what might be seen as upside-down values (but are our lives?). To recap, we agreed to spend some time reflecting on the passage and to come back next session with a concrete action that you’d like to undertake coming out of one or more of the beatitudes. This could be varied: from joining Amnesty… to trying to make peace in a specific situation… to becoming more humble in our dealings with colleagues, friends or whatever.


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