A Valuable Lesson

Answer for Students
Unit 02 - Who Is Jesus?

TEXT: Matthew 5:1-12; Psalm 119:1-6

That day at the beach, Gramps taught Charlie a valuable lesson.

“Hi, Gramps!” Charlie flashed a quick grin of welcome. He moved over on the big rock where he was seated, looking out over the ocean. His grandfather eased into the small space by Charlie’s side. “I’m right pleased that the weather turned so nice for your first afternoon with us, Charlie. You can really see a long way out today.”

“Hey, look!” Charlie’s eyes were dancing with excitement. “Wow! That was a really big wave! Look at the spray—it went way over the top of that big rock. This is a neat place, Gramps. You picked a great place to retire.”

For several moments the two sat there together, watching as wave after wave washed over the rocks before them. Finally, Grandpa spoke again. “Your grandmother told me we’d eat dinner at 5:30. It’s 5 o’clock now. How about seeing if we can help her a little?”

“Okay, Gramps. We’ll come back out tomorrow morning. It’s going to be getting dark before long anyway.”

The next morning Charlie awoke, eager to walk on the beach and watch the waves. But when he looked out the bedroom window he saw, to his dismay, a heavy fog lay over the water, hiding all but the closest rocks, and muffling the sound of the waves. I guess this isn’t so perfect after all, he thought as he turned from the window and began to dress for breakfast.

His grandfather saw Charlie’s disappointed look when he entered the kitchen. “Kinda messy out there right now,” he said. “But it’ll probably clear up around noon.” Charlie’s hopes rose. Maybe this would be a fun weekend anyway!

When breakfast was over, Grandpa reached for the Bible on the table beside him, and read aloud a portion of the Sermon on the Mount. As he finished and shut the Bible, he noticed that Charlie looked a little puzzled. “Something troubling you, Son?” he inquired kindly.

“Not really,” Charlie answered with a sigh. “It’s just . . . well, I’m having a hard time figuring this out. I’ve memorized the Beatitudes that you just read, Gramps. I know all the words. It’s just that some of them don’t mean anything to me. I guess that sounds dumb, doesn’t it.” Charlie stopped, suddenly embarrassed at what he was saying.

Grandpa shook his head slowly, “No, Charlie, it doesn’t sound dumb at all. In fact, we learn better when we realize we don’t have all the answers. If you’re through eating, grab your jacket and come outside. There’s something I’d like you to see.”

Charlie dashed to his room for his jacket, and then ran outside to join his grandpa, who was standing at the head of the trail to the beach. Together they headed down toward the sand.

After a few moments, Grandpa pointed out ahead of them. “Remember the big rocks we saw last night? And how the waves sometimes splashed over them? Look at them now.”

Charlie peered through the fog. The big rocks now stood surrounded only by sand and fog, the ocean rumbling at a distance behind them. As he walked closer, he saw other, smaller rocks he hadn’t even seen when the water was higher.

Grandpa continued, “Those rocks stay there year after year. The waves come and go, the storms beat on them, but they never move. Sometimes you see them, sometimes they’re hidden—by water or by fog. But you know they’re always there.”

Charlie nodded, and looked at his grandfather questioningly.

“Charlie, the principles Jesus taught in the Beatitudes are a little like those rocks. They are always the same, and they are always there. We may not know what they mean, just like sometimes we don’t see the whole rock out there. We read the words, and we may get an idea, but we feel there is more than we are seeing. Sometimes we think we know, and then we learn that it means much more than we had thought.”

“So don’t feel bad because you don’t have a grown-up understanding of what the Beatitudes mean. As you grow and you learn more about God, your understanding of the whole Bible will grow. I’ll tell you what. Let’s go help Grandma with the dishes, then let’s sit down and put the Beatitudes into words you can understand. By the time we’re through, maybe the fog will have lifted and we can enjoy being outside again.”

Kids: Look at the activity page for this lesson to see what Gramps and Charlie came up with.