In this lesson, we shall discuss the most famous sermon Jesus preached in the Bible. It is recommended that the teens read the whole sermon before the start of the lesson as there is so much to cover. This lesson should be related to the pre-teen(s) and teens. By the end of this lesson, they should have learnt about the following:
- The Beatitudes.
- The Golden rule.
- Trusting God and avoiding worry.
Start by reading the Bible passages with the pre-teen, help them commit the memory verse to heart, discuss the key points from the passage with them and conclude by asking them the discussion questions.
BIBLE PASSAGE: Matthew 5-7
MEMORY VERSE: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
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BIBLE STUDY NOTES FOR TEENS
BACKGROUND TO THE STORY
After Jesus had called His disciples and was ready to begin His ministry, He climbed up a mountain and began to teach His longest sermon recorded in the Bible. The sermon is popularly called “The Sermon on the Mount.” It spans from Matthew 5-7.
In this sermon, Jesus taught basic principles of God’s kingdom that have to do with our relationship with God and others. Jesus also taught about how to live a good and happy life which honours God. Many popular Bible verses are found in this sermon, and it is one that every Christian should take some time out to study.
If we can truly obey the words of this sermon, our lives will be so much better for it.
KEY POINTS FROM THE PASSAGE
- THE BEATITUDES (Matthew 5:1-12)
The beatitudes are the first part of Jesus’ sermon on the mount. It has become one of the most loved and well-known portions of the Bible. The Beatitudes describe key principles of how a believer should live. There is a clear connection between the “blessed are” and the promised result. Jesus is teaching a principle of cause and effect. These twelve verses give the picture of the life and qualities that we should demonstrate as a disciple of Jesus.
The beatitude shows us how to live a blessed life. Although some of them might not seem so easy, they count a lot before God, and he will always reward us for them. The beatitudes refer to eight categories of people:
- The “poor in spirit”: The poor in spirit refers to those who humble themselves before God. Those who recognize that only God can truly satisfy. The poor in spirit are always partakers of God’s Kingdom.
- Those who mourn: The blessing for those that mourn is that they will be comforted by God.
- The meek: The meek are those who are humble, who treat other people right and put others first. The meek will inherit the earth.
- Those who “hunger and thirst for righteousness”: This refers to those who have a strong desire for God and His ways. They desire to become more like God and to obey His words. Anyone like this will always be filled by God.
- The merciful: If we show mercy to people around us, God will show us mercy too.
- The “pure in heart”: Purity of heart is very important to God. If we want to draw near to God and know more of Him, then we must be pure in heart. This means that we must not think anything bad with our hearts or become insincere with God and people.
- The peacemakers: The peacemakers are those who make peace between God and men too. God sent Jesus into the world to reconcile men back to God. When we do the same, it means we are true sons of God.
- The persecuted: The Bible calls those who are persecuted for the sake of the gospel, blessed people. It may not seem like it physically, but they have great worth in heaven.
- SALT AND LIGHT (Matthew 5:13-16)
Have you ever eaten food without some salt before? Or have you ever been afraid of the dark when you were younger? The world without believers is the same as food without salt or a completely dark room. The Bible calls us be the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world.” This means that without us, the world has no seasoning or taste.
Salt had dozens of uses in Bible times. In fact, Romans were often paid in salt, which is where the phrase “He’s not worth his salt” comes. Wars were fought over salt. Salt was extremely valuable, and the early disciples would have had no doubt, Jesus was saying how important they were in the world.
We must never forget the importance of our place in the world. God has a wonderful plan and chooses to work through His people.
No matter how beautifully decorated a room is, you can’t appreciate its beauty in the dark. So is the world without us. We have the responsibility to be a light to everyone around us.
- JESUS TEACHES HOW TO LIVE WELL (Matthew 6-7)
From chapter 6 to 7, Jesus taught important things that will help us live a blessed and God honouring life on earth. They include principles of prayer, fasting, trusting God, avoiding worry, laying up treasures in heaven and so on.
One important principle that Jesus taught is found in Matthew 6:25-34. In this section, Jesus reminds us how God always takes care of the birds of the air and the flowers of the field, and they don’t have to worry about a thing. God will also take care of us this same way when we seek His Kingdom first.
God does not want us to worry but to trust Him to know how deeply he cares for us.
- TREAT OTHERS THE WAY YOU WANT TO BE TREATED (Matthew 7:12)
Many refer to Matthew 7:12 as ‘the golden rule.’ Jesus taught something very simple but powerful: “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” If you won’t like getting something back in return, then don’t give it out. The world will be a much better place if we all followed this rule.
Have a think over the past day or past week. Who would you have treated differently if the roles were reversed?
God wants us to show His character in the way we treat others. We must learn to do good to people and so that the reality of God in our lives is clearly visible.
In conclusion, review the following points considered in the lesson with the pre-teens and then, pray with them to round up the lesson:
- The beatitudes
- We are the salt and light of the world.
- Trusting God helps us live a happy life.
- Treat others the way you would like to be treated.
YOUTH GAMES AND ACTIVITIES FOR THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT
PRINTABLE VERSE ON NEXT PAGE – USE AS GAME OR WORKSHEET
- Split the beatitudes. Share the beatitudes between two players. The pair should then work together to match up the beatitudes.
- Give each player a piece of paper with half of a beatitude.
- On go, the players try to find who has the other half of their beatitude.
- They should show it to a leader to make sure it’s correct.
- Be sure to check for allergies.
- Blindfold a player and give them a snack to taste.
- They have 1 point for saying if it is salty or sweet.
- They can win an extra point for guessing the item.
- Some ideas are apples, crackers, bread, cheese, chocolate.
Mountains and Valleys
- Place a number of cones, or plastic bowls/cups around the space. Make sure you have a mix of some being the right way up, and others upside down.
- Split players into two teams. Team one is mountains – Team two is valleys.
- Team 1 must try to turn all the cones into mountains.
- The other team must try to turn them all into valleys.
- Give them a few minutes to run around flipping the cones/bowls.
- When the leader shouts “Stop” cones are counted to see if mountains or valleys have the most.