Summary: This week we take a second look at "The Good Life" as taught by Jesus. Keep a watchful eye on which traits are commended by Christ but scorned by the world. Also be looking for the duration (temporal or eternal) of these traits.
1. Jesus frequently mentions the word "blessed" in this passage. What is a synonym for this word, which we don't often think of in context of this passage? Hint, the Greek word is makarios.
2. Jesus is probably referring to more than just physical hunger in verse 21. If we truly hunger for something, how will we go about getting it? Remember Pastor Scott's story about drinking the suspect irrigation water due to his extreme thirst. Isaiah 55:1, Luke 16:22-25
3. Speaking of which, what do you hunger for? Can that hunger ever be satisfied? How does this relate to the woman at the well in John 4 and John 6:27?
4. What happens when we hunger for the wrong things? Jeremiah 2:12-13
5. As Christians, there will be times for weeping, especially since what breaks God's heart should also break our hearts, too. How will the Lord make it right? Luke 6:21, Matthew 5:4
6. Should we be surprised when we're insulted or spurned? II Timothy 3:12
7. As we see in verse 22, persecution can be difficult. What should we keep in mind when encountering this? John 12:43
8. Perhaps the key to this passage lies in verse 23. What "time wise" perspective should we have in the face of suffering?
9. Just as we looked at the 4 "blessings" from this passage, there are also 4 "woes". We should NOT take these lightly. In fact, how does the concordance or dictionary define "woe"?
10. What are the first two woes that we find in verses 24 & 25? How are they related? How could they potentially deaden our relationship with Christ?
11. What is the third woe found at the end of verse 25? Is God actually opposed to this? What is the appropriate context?
12. What is the fourth and final woe found in verse 26? What is the risk of being guilty of this woe?
13. Happy, blessed and joyful believers will encounter setbacks in life. How does this relate to the dedicated Christ follower versus the man of the world? What about half-hearted Christians? Do they actually lose at both ends and have it the worst? Matthew 7:21-23
14. In conclusion, we can see from this passage that many things the world values (being rich or popular) are NOT the key to happiness. We can only find true, lasting happiness in close relationship with Christ. How have you seen this truth revealed in your own life or in someone else that you know?