I remember memorizing these beautiful verses from Matthew 5 when I was young and truthfully I had no idea what I was reciting. That is unfortunate because they hold a great deal of truth! This is why I am writing this post on beatitudes for kids, because it is important to find an easy way to help them grasp these concepts.
While I have it titled beatitudes for kids and I’ve included beatitude coloring pages and activities for kids, it is a good study for adults as well. So curl up in a comfy chair with your favorite drink and let’s dig deep into the words of Jesus in order that we may pass on these life giving truths to our families.
What are the Beatitudes and How to Apply them to Our Lives
First, let’s answer the question “what are the beatitudes?”.
Picture this. Jesus is sitting on a hill, surrounded by his disciples and hundreds of people hungry to hear his words and receive his healing touch. They are surely sheep without a shepherd and eager to be led.
He speaks a truth that is different from the teachers of the day. It is bold and yet easy to understand. Sometimes it feels as if it is contradictory to the inward workings of man and yet he seems to look right into the souls of the people and state observations that should be well hidden.
He has an insight that somehow exposes and reassures at the same time.
Jesus begins his sermon with what many call the beatitudes. Basically, beatitudes mean blessed or happy. However, the people mentioned in these verses wouldn’t have circumstances that one would be led to call blessed.
This not only sets the stage for teachings that cause us to stop and ponder as well as the attitudes, sins, and human nature that he exposes. The beatitudes bring us into the conflict of earthly and spiritual. Our human nature and the heavenly realm.
Our second question would be “how do we apply the beatitudes to our lives?”. I think the answer is the same with every verse we read. Pray about the verse, be open to the meaning and be ready to act on it.
Faith is not passive. Scripture is not meant for you to read to make you feel better about life. It is intended to be obeyed.
Let’s jump into the beatitudes explained simply for us and for our kids!
The Beatitudes Explained Simply
Are you ready? Let’s go verse by verse. As I was researching for this post I was surprised to see how many teachings there are and some are quite different from each other. Be prayerful as you study and God will reveal His truth to you and lead you into much more than what I’ve written here.
Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 5:3)
Poor in spirit means humble so this verse can be paraphrased as blessed or happy are those who are humble.
Our next question then is, what does it mean to be humble?
Humility by definition in modern times means: “having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.”
In Biblical terms, it is acknowledging that God is greater than we are and having an attitude of reverence and respect for Him.
For thus says the High and Lofty One, Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. (Isaiah 57:15)
This verse explains the second part of the verse also. “For theirs is the kingdom of Heaven”. Only the humble are welcome in God’s presence.
What else does the Bible tell us about being humble?
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. (Matthew 18:1-5)
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up. (1 Corinthians 13:10)
Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)
There are many reasons why we mourn. Hurtful things happen because we live in a fallen world. Sin leads us to pain and suffering.
Sometimes that pain comes from acknowledging that we are sinful and we come to God in repentance, leading us to salvation. This is a good mourning.
Other times, we mourn because people have been cruel to us or because someone has died. Jesus tells us that no matter what is causing us pain, he will comfort us.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
Jesus mourned, suffered, and died. BUT he overcame pain and death. He rose from the grave. You will also rise from your pain and suffering through him.
Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)
Meek is also related to humble. Usually, we think that the bold aggressive types are the ones to rule the world, but we know that Jesus will rule the world one day. Matthew 11:29 tells us that Jesus was meek and humble of heart.
He wants us to be meek and humble of heart as well. He wants us to patiently wait until his kingdom comes and then we will live with him for all eternity.
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness’ sake for they shall be filled. (Matthew 5:6)
We all know what it feels like to be hungry or thirsty. Drawing from that very natural need, Jesus turns it into something spiritual.
Those who have a strong need or desire to understand God and his word will find Him. God longs to have a relationship with His people.
Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:12-13)
Everything we need comes from Jesus. He knew that man was in a fallen state and what he needed more than anything was redemption. He needed to connect with God again.
And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. (John 6:35)
Click the image below for these beautiful free coloring pages!
Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy. (Matthew 5:7)
Merciful is an attribute we see in God throughout scripture. When He shows mercy, He is forgiving us when we don’t deserve it. Some places we see God’s mercy in the Bible are:
- Promising a redeemer right after Adam and Eve sinned in the garden
- Saving Noah and his family during the flood
- Saving Rahab and her family in Jericho
- Giving Jonah a second chance after he ran from God
- Giving Nineveh a second chance when they repented
- Forgave Judah for their sin of idolatry and brought them back from Babylon
- Sent Jesus to die for our sins
Because God has shown us such great mercy, he requires that we show mercy to others as well. Usually that means forgiving people when they have done something against us.
And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses. (Mark 11:25)
Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. (Matthew 18:21-22)
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Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8)
Do you see how these verses are all related? Each one encourages us to seek God, obey Him, follow Him, and allow Him to change us into His image. Beautiful, isn’t it?
What is a pure heart? A heart that is right with God, one that is reflecting His attributes and not those of a sinful nature.
How do we get a pure heart? First, we repent of our sins.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
Next, we ask God to clean out our hearts and remove everything that is not right.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)
Lastly, we dedicate our lives to Him and seek to have a relationship with Him.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)
The second half of this beatitude talks about seeing God. When we seek Him, He will reveal Himself to us. He reveals Himself to us in many way, mostly through His words in the Bible. When we study them, we begin to understand who God is and a picture is painted in our minds of this holy, loving being that is greater than anything else.
This is where we see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God. (Matthew 5:9)
What comes to mind when you think of peacemakers? Someone who keeps peace? Government alliances that promote peace?
Spiritual peace is not the same as worldly peace.
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Even when the world is not peaceful, we are still peacemakers through Christ. It is this disposition of peace that makes us sons of God.
We are receiving our peace from God and not from our circumstances. We are showing the world that God provides something that they cannot find anywhere but through Him.
Here are a few more verses about God’s peace.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (1 Peter 3:11-12)
God does not simply pour His peace on us. We must be obedient to His work and openly seek peace.
Blessed are those that are persecuted for righteousness’ sake for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
When someone is mean to you because of your beliefs, most likely you are not going to feel happy or blessed, but this is exactly what Jesus tells us we should feel.
Sometimes we want to be quiet about what we believe, keep God’s word to ourselves because people get angry at us. This is not what Jesus wants us to do. He wants us to be a light and declare truth.
People were so angry at Jesus for proclaiming truth that they killed him, but you know what? He rose again! We know that we have a wonderful life in Heaven with him after we die so we have nothing to be afraid of here on earth.
This thought about standing for truth in spite of people hating you is carried on to the next couple of verses.
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (verses 11 and 12)
Rejoice because you are standing for truth in a dark world. Be happy because you are being a light when everyone is too afraid to.
Beatitude Coloring Pages
One way to hide God’s words in the hearts of our children is with coloring pages! I have some for you here and have included a couple more from other sites to give you plenty to choose from 🙂 Click image to download your free printables!
Free Beatitudes Printables by Bible Study Printables has a collection of wonderful coloring pages, printables, and more that your kids will love.
Religious Doodles has coloring pages with the Beatitudes as well as activities for the entire Sermon on the Mount.
I hope you have found these beatitudes for kids simplified to be helpful and enlightening. May God lead you as you study His word. Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below!
Check out these posts before you go!