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. 2And 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.

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? 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 for you.

Because of Jesus we are blessed!

With Jesus we can always find happiness because we know God always loves us.


Watch the Pixar movie Inside Out together. 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. It’s OK to be sad sometimes because Jesus makes us happy.


Jesus, I don’t have to do anything to be blessed except trust in you. Amen.

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