1. What do you think people expected to hear when they crowded around Jesus to hear him preach this sermon? If we were going to design a sermon about flourishing in life, what would be in it?
2. "If you're not enough without it, you won't be enough with it."
We used this quotation to illustrate the insufficient ways we go about trying to fill up the places in our lives that feel empty. As you look at your own life and longings, what does this bring to mind for you? What have you believed would feel like enough?
3. When Jesus preaches here, he promises the life of flourishing we want, but he does not describe the normal ways we think of getting there. In the first four virtues He describes - poverty of spirit, mourning, meekness, hunger and thirst for righteousness - what jumps out at you as the most difficult to live? Which is the most attractive to you when you see it in others?
4. Another significant point Jesus makes is that these virtues are lived in community; what is one step you could make towards deepening your commitment to live these kinds of virtues with other people?
5. We also see that living these virtues requires the nourishment of the promises offered in the second half of each Beatitude; what encouragement can you draw today from those promises?
6. Finally, we see that each of these virtues is meant to lead us to Jesus, because our emptiness connects us to the emptying He experienced in His life and death. What does it look like for you to experience deeper communion with Jesus during seasons when you most experience the emptiness of life?
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.