Hey there, amazing teens! Welcome to today’s Sunday school lesson. We’re diving deep into something incredibly important for all of you – the Sermon on the Mount. You might wonder why these ancient teachings from Jesus are relevant to your lives today. Well, let’s get into it!
1. Living Righteously: As teenagers, you’re growing up in a world filled with distractions and challenges. Jesus’ teachings on righteousness guide you to make wise choices and live with integrity in every situation.
2. Kingdom Living: Understanding how Jesus envisioned His kingdom gives you a purpose-filled life. His kingdom isn’t a far-off place; it’s a way of living, loving, and serving that can transform your world.
3. Being Countercultural: The Sermon on the Mount encourages you to be different from the world around you. It empowers you to be salt and light, making a positive impact on your friends, family, and community.
Today, we’re going to read and unpack some key verses from the Sermon on the Mount, engage in discussions, play a fun game, and close with a prayer. Let’s dive in!
Bible Reading: Matthew 5:1-12
Matthew 5:1-12 (NIV)
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said:
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Explaining the Beatitudes For Teenagers
Now, let’s break down these verses and understand what Jesus is teaching us.
Poor in Spirit:
- This means recognizing our spiritual need and depending on God. It’s not about being poor financially but acknowledging our need for God’s guidance.
- Jesus is talking about being sensitive to the brokenness in our world and being compassionate.
- Being meek doesn’t mean being weak. It means having strength under control, being humble rather than arrogant.
Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness:
- It’s about desiring to live rightly, to do what is just and fair.
- Showing kindness and compassion to others, just as God is merciful to us.
Pure in Heart:
- Being genuine, having integrity, and not having hidden motives.
- Striving for peace and resolving conflicts.
Persecuted for Righteousness:
- Being willing to stand up for what is right, even when it’s hard.
Youth Group Discussion Questions
- Which of the Beatitudes stands out to you the most? Why?
- How can we apply these teachings to our lives as teenagers?
- In what ways can we be “salt and light” in our schools and communities?
- Share an example of a situation where living out the Sermon on the Mount might be challenging for you. How can you overcome that challenge?
Youth Group Game: “Salt and Light Scavenger Hunt”
- Split into teams and create a list of items or actions that represent being “salt” and “light” in your community.
- Go on a scavenger hunt to find or perform these items/actions.
- Discuss afterward how each item/action relates to living out the Sermon on the Mount.
Bible Reading: Matthew 5:13-16
Matthew 5:13-16 (NIV)
Salt and Light
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Dear God, thank you for the timeless wisdom found in the Sermon on the Mount. Help us, as teenagers, to embrace these teachings and live them out in our daily lives. May we be salt and light in our communities, reflecting your love and grace. Guide us to be peacemakers, merciful, and pure in heart. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Remember, teens, you have the power to make a positive impact on the world around you by living out the Sermon on the Mount. Stay strong, be a light, and let God’s love shine through you!