Summary: EPIPHANY 4(A) - Happy are the people who seek Jesus’ salvation, who imitate Jesus’ life and who suffer for Jesus’ sake.

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Matthew 5:1-12 - February 1, 2004

MATTHEW 5:1-12

51Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them, saying: 3"Blessed (HAPPY) are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4Blessed (HAPPY) are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5Blessed (HAPPY) are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6Blessed (HAPPY) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7Blessed (HAPPY) are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8Blessed (HAPPY) are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9Blessed (HAPPY) are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. 10Blessed (HAPPY) are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11"Blessed (HAPPY) are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

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Dearest Christian Friends:

What makes you happy? We could easily think of three things that make us happy, and then again we might think of many more things that make us happy. We may think of things that make us happy in this life. Today, the Lord reminds us as believers you and I are happy simply as we sang in our Psalm, "Happy the people the Lord has chosen." We are happy because God has worked faith in our hearts so that we can see in Him our Savior from sin. We are happy no matter what happens in this life, because the Lord is on our side. First and foremost, we are happy because the Lord has chosen us.

In 1 Peter, which we are looking at on Wednesday evenings, we came to chapter 2:9 which describes the happiness of believers because of the titles that the Lord gives them. He says: "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light"(1 PETER 2:9). This Epiphany season we look at the Light of the world, and we realize that we sit in the light of knowledge of salvation. We sit in the light of the Savior of the world, because God has chosen us. Happy the people the Lord has chosen.

Today, we learn in these verses that HAPPY THE PEOPLE

I. who seek Jesus’ salvation

II. who imitate Jesus’ life

III. who suffer for Jesus’ sake

I. Happy the people who seek Jesus’ salvation

Matthew, chapter 5 begins the Sermon on the Mount. It continues through chapter 6 and chapter 7. 51Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. Jesus was at the high point of His ministry, because the crowds were still coming to Him to hear the message that He had to preach. The crowds came to hear and His disciples had been chosen. The disciples were also there to hear and learn. We are told: His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them, saying. Then we have these eight blessings. The NIV uses "Blessed are they." The original really says, "happy." Of course, if we are happy and as the people are happy, that means a blessing from God.

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