The waiter brings the meals steaming hot from the kitchen and places them dramatically on the table. He looks at each diner expectantly, hoping to see expressions of delight. Before he leaves, he pronounces the inevitable benediction: “Enjoy!”
Many seem to think that’s how God should act. He should deliver all the pleasures of “the good life” on a silver platter and say, “Enjoy!” But the more that people try to find happiness in wealth, power, and sensual pleasures, the more they are tortured with inner unrest. With all the trappings of “the good life” around them, why can’t people be happy? Why has God failed to deliver the happiness they really want?
When Jesus preached the most famous sermon in history, He laid out the basis of true happiness. In the Beatitudes, the opening verses of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus turned the usual ways of thinking upside down. Ignoring those who were complacent in their riches, Jesus commended those who knew their spiritual poverty. Spurning the proud and powerful, Jesus congratulated those who were gentle and merciful. Jesus emphasized character traits that have little value in the eyes of the world. But real happiness—eternal happiness—will be found only by those who believe in the values that Jesus taught.
Jonathan Underwood and Ronald L. Nickelson, eds., The KJV Standard Lesson Commentary, 2004–2005 (Cincinnati, OH: Standard Publishing, 2004), 376.
We have just completed a Bible study on the Greatest Sermon Ever–the Sermon on the Mount. It consists of 13 lessons with ready-to-use questions suitable for groups. It can be purchased on Amazon and is also available as part of Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service.