The Keys to Happiness (Matthew 5:3-11)
The Sermon on the Mount includes some of Jesus’s most well-known teachings like The Lord’s Prayer, The Golden Rule and “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” These teachings and many more were recorded when Jesus, seeing the crowds attracted by His miracles and teachings, went up on a mountain to teach them. He begins with nine short proverbs each beginning with “Blessed are…” To better appreciate what Jesus meant let’s look at other places in the New Testament where this word translated “blessed” or “happy” is used.
When Thomas saw and touched the risen Savior he cried, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus replied (John 20:29), "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." We cannot see or touch the scars on the living body of Jesus but if we believe the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus based on the written evidence of the Bible this faith will lead to happiness.
The apostle Paul said to the elders of the church at Ephesus (Acts 20:35), “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" Jesus says giving will make you more happy than receiving and most of us can confirm from experience that there is more joy in giving someone something they really need, appreciate or enjoy than in receiving a gift.
Finally, Paul (Acts 26:2) says, "I think myself happy, King Agrippa, because today I shall answer for myself before you concerning all the things of which I am accused by the Jews.” Paul is happy to defend himself, to tell the truth, in response to accusations against him by those who desired to kill him for teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Clearly the meaning of “blessed” is not superficial but a deep contentment, satisfaction or fulfillment that is made possible by the hope, comfort and guidance of Jesus.
There may be other lists that claim to be keys to happiness but there’s not another list from the Son of God that truly promises blessings and happiness.
Next time we’ll discuss the first key to happiness, Blessed are the poor in spirit.