What makes you happy?
Matthew’s gospel records for us the most famous sermon in all of history. It is Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount.” Have you ever heard a sermon before?
Jesus began his sermon with what we call the beatitudes. The word beatitude means “blessing.” Eight times Jesus will call his disciples blessed, or happy. See if you can hear the eight blessings of Jesus in the beginning of this sermon:
Matthew 5:1-3. Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The word “blessed” means happy. Jesus is telling us about who the happiest people on earth are. Who do you think the happiest people on earth are? The richest? The smartest? The most famous? What did you say makes you happy?
When Jesus describes the happiest people on earth it doesn’t sound like they are very happy does it? “Poor in spirit?” “Mourn?” “Meek?” “Hungry?” Aren’t these words to describe sad people not happy people?
Yes, they are.
You see Jesus is telling us something very important – before you can be happy you have to first be sad. Before you can have the happiness of Jesus and his gift of eternal life, you have to first admit that you are a sinner and unable to save yourself. You have to know you are poor before you can be rich in Jesus. You have to be sad about your sin before you can be happy about being forgiven. You have to admit that you need help before you can appreciate all that Jesus has done to help you.
And one more thought – Jesus doesn’t say that we will be happy IF we do something good. Jesus says we ARE blessed/happy simply by admitting that we are not good and then trusting in him to make us good. And that’s a way better way to be happy!
Because of Jesus we are blessed!
With Jesus we can always be happy because we know he always loves us.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Watch the movie Inside Out together or just this overview:
Talk about how the movie illustrates how we need to be sad in order to be happy and comforted, like Riley was by her family at the end. Talk about how it’s OK to be sad because that’s when we can go to Jesus for his kindness and love. Then we can be happy and sad at the same time (just like in the beatitudes).
I don’t have to do anything to be happy and blessed except trust in you. Help me to do that every day.
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