Day 1 1. Who are the “poor in spirit” (v.3)? Note Isaiah 57:15 and Luke 1:51-52 Matthew 5:1-9
Day 1 2. a) What is there in your spiritual life that causes you to mourn (v.4)? b) How have your expressed this sorrow? Note how Peter expressed his sorrow for sin in Matthew 26:31-35, 69-75 c) What is the comfort God gives us now (Isaiah 40:1-2) and in the future (Rev. 7:17)?
Day 1 3. a) Why is it unnecessary for you, living in the Kingdom, to fight for security on this earth (v.5)? See Matthew 6:24-34; 16:24-26. b) What good gifts has God given you?
Day 1 4. a) Is God pleased with you? How would you answer that question in light of verse 6? Note Hebrews 11:6 b) What good gift has God given you? Note Jeremiah 23:5-6.
Day 1 5. a) What have you received from God (v.7)? Note Romans 6:23. b) What response does God seek from us? Read Luke 6:35-36 and Matthew 18:21-35.
Day 1 6. a) What joyful anticipation awaits the “pure in heart,” those who follow Christ in faith (v.8)? Read also 1 Corinthians 13:12 and Revelation 22:3-4. b) Why will lepers, tax collectors, and harlots be able to see God when outwardly righteous people will not? See Matthew 21:23, 28-32.
Day 1 7. a) How has God made peace with you (v.9)? Note Isaiah 9:6. b) What status do you now enjoy? See Romans 8:14-16. c) How can you assure others that this source of peace and identity is theirs too?
Day 2 8. a) Read verses 10-12. Then finish this statement: The purpose of my life is ____________________________. Matthew 5:10-16 b) Is it possible to be truly joyful (not necessarily “happy”) when persecuted, insulted, and lied about? Why or why not? Consider Romans 8:17 and 1 Peter 3:13-18.
Day 2 9. Jesus uses analogies of salt and light in emphasizing how disciples function (v. 13-15). Read verse 16 and apply the analogy to yourself as a child living in the kingdom of the heavenly Father. As a child of God, I will _________________________________________ so that _______________________________________ Otherwise, I am not functioning as a disciple, and my title is empty and means nothing.
Day 2 10. How will you reflect your Father as you live and work each day so that others will come to know, acknowledge, and adore your Father?
Day 3 Read Matthew 5:17-20 11. Read verses 17-18. Jesus would not do away with the law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets; what would He do?
Day 3 12. a) What was the way to righteousness chosen by the scribes and Pharisees? See Mark 12:38-40 and Luke 18:10-14. b) For you, a disciple in the Kingdom, a child of the heavenly Father, what is the way to the new righteousness? See Galatians 3:10-14; Romans 3:21- 24, 27-28 c) What does Jesus mean when He says that our righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and the Pharisees (v.20)?
Day 3 13. How does knowing that your righteousness does not result from your performance but from God’s grace in Christ affect your attitude toward yourself and others?
Day 4 Read Matthew 5:21-48 14. a) Jesus contrasts the traditional interpretation of the Law with His own correct interpretation, the letter of the Law with its intention, or spirit. With six examples Jesus illustrates the nature of the new righteousness that, indeed, does exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. Find these contrasts and summarize them in the space below.
Day 4 The Letter of the Law “You have heard that it was said …” The Spirit of the Law “But I tell you … v. 21vs. 22-26 v. 27vs. 28-29 v. 31 v. 33 v. 38 v. 43 vs. 32 (see Mt.19:3-12) vs. 34-37 vs. 39-42 vs. 44-48
Day 4 b) Why might Jesus’ interpretation of the Law seem radical to His hearers? Does it seem radical to you? If so, in what way?
Day 4 15. How did Jesus Himself fulfill the intention or spirit of the Law? Think in terms of the six examples He uses. (To get you started: Jesus never vented wrongful anger or indulged in name-calling. Instead, He healed and gave life to those about Him.)
Day 4 16. For personal refelction. Sharing optional. a) How can the awareness that I speak every word in the presence of God change my patterns of speech? b) Why does the desire to retaliate come so naturally to human beings? Give examples from personal experience. c) What limits do I set on my love (think of someone you find difficult to love), and how can I become more loving (1 John 4:19)? Pray now for that person and ask God to give you a heart that seeks his or her good.
Day 4 17. How have you become a son or daughter of God, considered as perfect in God’s sight (v.48)? See Romans 8:1.
Day 5 Matthew emphasizes the Father-son relationship more than any other Gospel writer. In 6:1-18 he uses “your Father” nine times. Here Jesus explains how children in His kingdom express their devotion to their heavenly Father. Read Matthew 6:1-18
Day 5 18. Read verses 2, 5, and 16. To which three forms of devotion to God do these verses refer?
Day 5 19. a) Jesus says that those who display their piety so others will notice have been paid in full. What payment do they receive? b) In contrast, what motivates a child of the heavenly Father to help the needy, pray, and fast? c) What richer reward does the child of the Father desire?
Day 5 20. Contrast the two kinds of prayer described in verses 5-13. See also Luke 18:9-14.
Day 5 21. Why do you think Jesus stresses the importance of forgiveness (verses 14-15)? See also Matthew 5:7, 11-12. Review your answer to question 16c above.
Day 5 22. Which verses or section that you studied this week did you find most helpful for your own life? Why was it helpful?