1When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: 3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. 8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
These questions are designed to help discover the message of Scripture. They are not designed to overwhelm, but to enlighten. Do not feel as if you need to answer all – or even most – of these questions. Perhaps pick one or two that will help you explore the Scripture and its message more deeply.
Reading Scripture to Know:
- What is happening/being said? (Observation)
- Why is this happening/being said? (Interpretation)
- What does the rest of Scripture say about it? (Evaluation)
- What does it mean? (Understanding)
- What does it mean for us? (Application)
Reading Scripture to Grow:
- What words or phrases stand out to you? Why?
- Where do you hear the voice of God in this Scripture?
- How do you see the character of God reflected in this Scripture?
- How does this Scripture reveal God?
- How does this Scripture expose humanity and its need for God?
- How does this Scripture speak to what is happening in your life?
- How does this Scripture speak to what is happening in our world?
- What might God want to communicate to you (us) this week through this Scripture?
Scripture Reads Me:
- This passage makes me feel…
- This passage makes me think about…
- This passage reminds me of…
- This passage teaches me that God is…
- This passage teaches me that I am…
- This passage challenges me to…
This practice allows you to listen to the Scripture for the week (sometimes in larger context) and to open yourself up to God’s voice in that Scripture.
- Click on the audio link above and listen to the Scripture. As you listen this first time, ask God to point out to you a word or phrase from the Scripture.
- Click on the audio link above again and listen to the Scripture a second time. As you listen this second time, ask God to reveal to you the holy intentions for this word or phrase that is being spoken into your life.
- Click on the audio link above again and listen to the Scripture a third time. As you listen this third time, ask God how you might respond to this word or phrase being spoken into your life today.
Use these questions/conversation starters to explore the Scripture a little more deeply with your kids, spouse, or friends during the week! These prompts will be specific to each week’s Scripture passage.
What does it mean to be blessed?
What would it have been like to hear Jesus teach in person?
I live like Jesus when I…
Image Meditation: Look at the image above. I took this image a couple weeks ago at the traditional site of The Sermon on the Mount. When the people came to hear Jesus preach, they most likely encountered tall shade trees with large boulders like these for sitting on. Quiet yourself and place yourself in this scene. Jesus stands before you as you take your seat on a large rock. You feel the breeze coming up from the Sea of Galilee in the distance and you feel the safe shade of the tree above you. As Jesus begins to preach and teach, listen to the words he says. He is talking about a particular way of living – a way much different than the ways in which the world works. What words of his teaching and preaching especially touch your heart, mind, and spirit? How will this teaching change you? What will you do in response?
Breath Prayer: LORD God, teach us your ways.