The late Rich Mullins once called this scripture the condensed version of everything Jesus taught. Yet most of its concepts are so foreign to us today, even in the church. Our culture is not fond of the meek, the merciful or the peacemakers. We certainly don't understand being persecuted for Jesus' sake. Read this a few times. Soak it in. Commit these verses to memory. Only when you begin to understand how out-of-step Jesus was (and IS) with society will you begin to feel WIDE OPEN to all He was trying to teach us, and will you begin to understand why He would go to the cross for us.
1) Our society tells us we should be powerful, in charge and famous. What does this text have to say about all of that?
2) Does our culture value mercy? Can mercy be seperated from forgiveness?
3) We are told that the pure in heart shall see God. What does it mean to be pure in heart? What does it mean to see God?