The Hamburger of Happiness~ A Beatitudes Object Lesson

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  • To list the Beatitudes from Matthew 5:1-12
  • To recognize that the church behaves differently than the world
  • To recognize that persecution will take place in a Christian’s life

Materials: Inductive Bible Study Form; a glass; vegetable oil; food coloring; water; [If students are doing this one their own, they will need paper and crayons. If you are teaching this to a group, you will need posterboard, markers, crayons, and velcro.] You will want to make the “hamburger” ahead of time. or you can have your students create their own and add the beatitudes as you go through the lesson. Be sure to put 2 beatitudes for the “meat” layer.




Geography: Sea of Galilee

Background: Jesus was still in the beginning years of His ministry. He fed the 5,000, walked on water, and healed people by the hundreds. More and more people were coming to see what He was about. His time still “had not come.” Therefore, He continued to slip away when the religious leaders caused issues.

Main Events of the Beatitudes:bea2

{Fill the glass half full with oil and the rest with water. Add food coloring. I prepared this ahead of time, but you could do it with the kids.} Where is the water? [On the bottom of the jar.] Where is the oil? [At the top.] When Jesus saw the multitudes coming towards Him, He went up on a mountain. He sat down and began to teach the people. It was Jesus’ job to tell the people about the Father and about eternal life in heaven. In the sermon on the mount Jesus mentioned heaven 21 times. He also talked about righteousness 5 times in this sermon. Jesus gave the people a list, which we call the Beatitudes. What happens if I shake the jar? {Shake the jar. The water and oil mix, but then separate again.} Jesus told us that God’s people are to be IN the world, but not OF the world. In this sermon Jesus wanted to tell the people how God’s people are to live. A person cannot belong to God and live however he wants to. Just like the oil and water are both IN the jar, Christians are IN the world. But the water and oil separates. The church cannot behave like the world. Let’s see what Jesus said.

I. LOVE. HAMBURGERS! Ones right off the grill. They smell good. They look good. A good hamburger can make me happy. But even after a good hamburger, we’ll get hungry again. Even the happiness fades. But if we continually fill ourselves up with the Bread of Life and Living Water, then we will never need food or water again. Jesus told the people that if they wanted to be a part of the kingdom of God, then they had to be righteous – GOD’S way.

Each of the Beatitudes begins with “Blessed are those who…” That word “Blessed” equals the word “Happy.” Jesus has told us how to be happy! But like our jar, it isn’t what the world would consider happiness. Let’s put together The Hamburger of Happiness!

Bottom of the Bun (POOR IN SPIRIT) – If we didn’t have the bottom of the hamburger bun, would the hamburger stay together well? Probably not. It’s a solid foundation for the rest of the burger. The same goes with the Beatitudes. The first one is foundational for all the rest. When Adam and Eve were in the garden and they disobeyed God by eating the fruit, something died within them. Their spirits became poor. Separated from God. We are poor in spirit when we realize we are separated from God by our sin. Once we accept Jesus as our Savior, then John 3:16 tells us we have everlasting life. Therefore, Blessed are the poor in spirit, for thiers is the kingdom of heaven.

Cheese (Mourn) – Once we realize that we have sin and will always sin, then we need to take it seriously. God sure does. Sin is no laughing matter. It should not make us happy. But happy are those who mourn over their sins. When we ask God to forgive us and we are really sorry we committed those sins, then we will be forgiven and comforted. Therefore, Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Tomato (Meek) – Being meek does not mean being weak. Being meek means a person recognizes that he is not in charge of life, and that God is. Being meek means you trust God totally to be Who He says He is, and that He will do what He says He will do. Remember what happened to the earth when Adam and Eve disobeyed God? The ground was cursed. It was lost. But the meek will inherit, or be given, the earth. Think about how wonderful heaven will be!! It won’t be cursed! It will be restored. Therefore, Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Meat (Hungering and Thirsting and Merciful) – Remember that Jesus called Himself the Bread of Life and that He had Living Water? The more you read your Bible, memorize scripture, pray, and worship Jesus, the more you will hunger and thirst for Him. And the more you thirst and hunger, the more righteous you will become. God does not hide. He wants to be with you. He wants to be involved with your life. He wants to fill you! Therefore, Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled (satisfied). And the more we learn about Jesus, the more compassionate we become. We are more quick to extend mercy, kindness, and second chances, to those who do not deserve it. If you want to receive mercy, then be sure you give it out to others. Therefore, Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

Onion (Pure in Heart) – As we learn more about Jesus, as we partake of the Bread and Living Water, we will begin to think differently and change our actions. God will cleanse our hearts. This is what that churchy word “Sanctification” means. It’s allowing God to clean your heart, your motives, your thoughts, your actions, your words….everything. It’s a slow process. But if we allow God to show us the sins we need to get rid of, then we will see Him. One day we will see Him face to face, but even now on earth God reveals Himself to people in many ways. Therefore, Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Lettuce (Peacemakers) – Being a peacemaker means you try to not cause strife, or be a part of trouble and unrest. We must make peace with God and we must be at peace with other people. We make peace with God when we ask for forgiveness. The same is true when dealing with others. If we mess up, own up to it. Ask for forgiveness. Make peace. Has anyone told you that you look like one of your parents? The more you make peace, the more you look like Jesus to others. Like Father, like son, or daughter. Therefore, Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.bea3

Top Bun (Persecuted) – It doesn’t sound quite right to say, “happy are those who are persecuted.” But that is what Jesus was saying. Happy are those who were, who are right now, who will be persecuted for righteousness’ sake. Think about Jesus. He was persecuted. The Jewish Leaders tried to trick Him, they beat Him, pulled out His beard, had Him whipped, nailed to a cross, and left for dead. And Jesus had done nothing wrong. Jesus was persecuted, and He tells us over and over again in scripture to be ready, for if we are going to follow Him, then we must carry our cross. We will be persecuted if we choose to be like Jesus. {Hold up the jar. It should be separated again.} If the water represents those who belong to God and the oil equals those who do not believe, then we cannot mix. If we choose to be righteous like Jesus, then we will be radically different from the world. And they don’t “get it.” They don’t “get” Jesus. And they won’t understand you either. But even if we were to die in our persecution, what hope do we have? To be absent from the body is to be in the presence of Jesus. Therefore, Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Toothpick (Rejoice) – Some fancy sandwiches have toothpicks that keep them together. God gives our hamburger a toothpick. Jesus told the people to be happy if people persecute you. Why? Because God has a reward waiting. We are to rejoice! Because if people think you are worth persecuting, then you must be acting like Jesus. We are to rejoice! Think of your favorite birthday gift you ever received? How much better will be the gifts from God? After all, He created things like Saturn and the ocean!! Therefore, 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.


All of these “Happys” and “Blesseds” rest on the first one: Blessed are the poor in spirit. Recognize that you are a sinner. Those who say they have no sin lie, and deceive themselves. Mourn over your sin. Allow God to work in you and transform you into a copy of His Son. The kingdom of heaven is a place you do not want to miss, but you have to choose God’s terms and not your own.

How different are you from those who do not believe in Jesus?


The Hamburger of Happiness~ A Beatitudes Object Lesson — 10 Comments

  1. For some reason, when you presented the Beattitudes this way, it did not seem dry or like a list. I hope the kids received it as well as I did. It felt like a good transition toward an evangelistic invitation was coming.
    Good job, bug!

  2. Do you have lessons such as this one on the Beatitudes in a PDF Form? That would be such a blessing for those of us who would love to use the lesson.

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  4. This approach is very creative and simple to understand. I look forward ti sharing it with my K-2 class. Thank you!!!

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  6. I used this for my Jr high Sunday school lesson today. It was wonderful. Thank you for all the time and effort put into this lesson. God bless!

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