Text: Matthew 5:1-12 for the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany, Lectionary Series A
Download a PDF of the Word One Bible Study for the Fourth Sunday After Epiphany.
- Understand that God loves us when we have needs and when we are doing His will.
- Learn that to be blessed is a spiritual joy of those who share in the salvation of the kingdom of God.
Divide into groups of 2-3. Work through the questions together.
- Read Matthew 5: 1-12. Ask each group to act out one of the eight beatitudes in the text. They can use pantomime, act out the verse while speaking to each other, or act it out with a narrator reading the verse.
- Share with your partners how you felt acting out one of the beatitudes. Was it hard or easy? Why?
- Explain that the first four beatitudes, verses 3-6, all start with a person who has a need and end with a blessing from God. The second four verses, 7-10, begin with a person who is doing the will of God and is blessed again.
LOOKING AT GOD’S WORD
- In the Bible, to be cursed means to be separated from God. Read Genesis 4:10-14. What was the curse of Cain?
- The opposite of a curse is a blessing. Read Luke 1:46-49. Why should all generations refer to Mary as blessed? Mary is blessed because she is the object of God’s favor.
- Reread Matthew 5:1-12. Look again at the eight verses of the beatitudes. How do these promised blessings compare with what the non-Christian wor1d would consider blessings?
- Look at verses 11 and 12 of Matthew 5. Why do you think it states that we are blessed when we are insulted or persecuted?
- Consider the Common Table Prayer. “Come Lord Jesus, be our guest…” What does it mean to call this the Table Blessing?
REINFORCING WHAT HAS BEEN LEARNED
- Share with each other a time when you felt particularly blessed by God.
- Read Matthew 5:1-12. Is there a verse that seems to be the closest to the reason that you were feeling blessed by God?
- What are some ways God can use you to be a blessing in your school, family and community?
Gather the whole group together in a circle. Begin the prayer with the words, “We thank you God, that we are blessed with…” Have the participants randomly add words to complete the sentence.
Originally published in Discovery Bible Studies 11, 1998.
Updated for youthESource in January 2014