1 The Sermon on the mount
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
13 You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.
14 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
English Standard Version
What challenging ideas! This is not the first time that Jesus challenges people about their attitudes. That gives food for thought. Jesus relates happiness to our inner attitude and not to material or physical things. I am personally challenged by that. I wonder if I look for happiness in the wrong places.
But do we have to suffer to find ultimate happiness? That would not be very encouraging. But what Jesus is probably saying is the other way round: Happiness in spite of suffering. Do you know somebody who is happy even though he is not healthy or even hated by others? It seems that it is possible to have happiness independent of outward circumstances. Jesus links this happiness to having an eye to God, referring to him is this the key to our quest for happiness?
Former Youth Worker with Scripture Union (Switzerland)