Updated: Aug 23, 2021
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INTRODUCTION. Following his temptation in the wilderness, Jesus announced that his kingdom was at hand (Matt. 4:17). Sometime later Jesus went up into a mountain near the Sea of Galilee and preached to his disciples and a multitude that had gathered, explaining the nature of the kingdom that He had announced earlier. We call this discussion the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5; 6; 7).
Jesus begins his sermon with eight statements called the beatitudes. The word beatitude comes from a Latin word, beatitudo, which means blessed. The beatitudes describe the qualities or characteristics of the citizens of the kingdom that Jesus said was at hand. The rewards are the same for all eight, that is, spiritual blessings that citizens of the kingdom enjoy.
Following each beatitude below is a Biblical example illustrating the meaning of the beatitude. (Suggestion for study: assign each student one beatitude for ex- planation and discussion of the beatitude and corresponding example.)