Why We Should Read The Sermon With David In Mind
Although the name David never appears in the sermon, and only once does the proper noun king occur , it would be a mistake to overlook Jesus as king here. At least three reasons present themselves for viewing the sermon through the lens of royalty.
First, the very occurrence of the term kingdom, both throughout the sermon and in the narrative leading up to the sermon, give warrant for viewing each discourse as a kingship discourse. As just noted, Matthew speaks of Jesus proclaiming the gospel of the Kingdom in two summary statements , which is meant to act like an abbreviated canopy thrown over the entire narrative. The beatitudes are framed with Kingdom of heaven statements , and the term kingdom occurs eight times in the discourse. The Sermon on the Mount is thus the speech of the King.
Second, it would be odd for Matthew to begin with the Davidic theme so clearly in the genealogy and birth narrative then drop it once Jesus enters his ministry. Matthew begins his Gospel by identifying Jesus as the Son of David, and in the birth narrative, he says he is born in Bethlehem, the city of David , he is the king of the Jews , and that a new ruler would come from Judah who will shepherd Israel . It would be odd if Matthew began by comparing Jesus to David and then suddenly stopped. The sermon isnt hermetically sealed off from the rest of the narrative but part and parcel of it.
Significance Of The Sermon On The Mount
Opinion has been much divided concerning the design, scope, and application of the Sermon on the Mount. Most commentators have seen in it an exposition of Christian ethics. Some have regarded it as the setting forth of a “golden rule” for all men to live by. Others have dwelt upon its dispensational bearings, insisting that it belongs not to the saints of the present age but to believers within a future millennium. Two inspired statements, however, reveal its true scope. In Matthew 5:1-2, we learn that Christ was here teaching His disciples. From Matthew 7:28-29, it is clear that He was also addressing a great multitude of the people. Thus, it is evident that this address of our Lord contains instruction both for believers and unbelievers alike.
A Summary And Analysis Of The Sermon On The Mount
What do the phrases salt of the earth, light of the world, God and mammon, blessed are the meek, turn the other cheek, and pearls before swine all have in common? Along with another now ubiquitous expressions, they all originate in the same place: the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teachings to his followers which is recounted in the Gospel of Matthew.
The Sermon on the Mount is widely regarded as representing a number of core aspects of Jesus teaching, so some analysis of this central passage from the Bible may help to shed light on why it is so important. Before we come to the textual analysis, heres a summary of the chief content of the Sermon on the Mount.
Sermon on the Mount: summary
In chapter 3 of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus had been baptised by John the Baptist. The Sermon on the Mount occupies three chapters shortly after this: chapters 5, 6, and 7 of Matthews gospel.
When a crowd of people have gathered around him, Jesus goes up to the top of a mountain and delivers his sermon. He begins with a serious of blessings or beatitudes, which include the famous statement blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth and blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
How should they pray? Not by using pointless repetitions, just for the sake of making lots of words and noises for God. God already knows what youre going to ask of him, so be brief and to the point.
Sermon on the Mount: analysis
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Sermon On The Mount Summary: Beatitudes And Application Of The Law
Jesus sermon begins in Matthew 5 with a description of those who would be blessed by God. For instance, Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled .
The verses beginning with the word blessed are commonly called Beatitudesmeaning a state of supreme happiness. In essence, Jesus is stating that these perspectives would become the mental states of mind for all who would become His disciples.
For additional study on how you can have these perspectives in your life, read Beatitudes: Keys to Real Happiness and our related articles about each of the Beatitudes.
Blessed are the peacemakers .
The remainder of the sermon gives more specifics of conversionhow to be a Christian.
The Church Of The Beautitudes
Of course, Christians through the centuries have thought it would be fitting to build a church on the site. The first one dates from the 4th century, and its ruins are still there. The current church, called The Church of the Beatitudes, is a lovely chapel that was completed in 1938. It is pictured above.
The Sermon on the Mount location overlooks the Sea of Galillee
This is a panoramic view of the Sea of Galilee from the Mount of Beatitudes. Doesnt it look peaceful?
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Blessed Are Those Who Are Persecuted Because Of Righteousness For Theirs Is The Kingdom Of Heaven
Just as Jesus faced persecution, so will his followers. Those who endure by faith rather than hide their faith to avoid persecution are genuine followers of Christ.
Paraphrase:Blessed are those daring enough to openly live for Christ and suffer persecution, for they will receive the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus Did Not Replace Any Of The Old Laws
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them .
The Old Testament and the New Testament combined provide the complete story of our salvation. Jesus teaching seemed radical to the listening disciples, but He wasnt re-inventing the proverbial wheel.
They were missing so much of the complete picture, it was hard for them to wrap their minds around what Jesus was saying. They were used to religion, and all of the rules they had learned to follow their entire lives in order to be counted worthy of God. Now Jesus was adding the rest of the story and it may have seemed too good to be true!
The words of this sermon, wrote John Foster for Life, Hope and Truth, are as relevant today as they were when Christ spoke them! We submit the authority of our lives to Christ and let His goodness and love flow through us. In Christ we become new creations.
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Jesus Did Not Audibly Command The Crowd To Come And Listen To Him
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them .
When Jesus sat down to teach His disciples, He didnt yell for their attention. He simply sat down, and opened His mouth. Jesus wasnt a self-righteous teacher who in any way fit the description of the other teachers of the day. He was God walking among them! When He sat down to teach, the supernatural divinity of the Son of God spoke to the disciples.
I think sometimes when we think of this sermon, we ready our pens and take pretty notes. We mark up our Bibles and prepare to internalize as much as we can. But at the moment Jesus sat down on the mountainside to speak, His disciples were void of highlighters, journals and sticky notes. He sat down and began to teach, and they listened intently.
True And False Disciples
21 Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.22 Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?23 Then I will tell them plainly, I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!
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Jesus The One Who Embodies The Law
If we look at the sermon through the lens of David, a few passages that might seem confusing at first come into more clarity. In Matthew 5:17-18, Jesus statement about fulfilling the law has been the subject of much debate. In what way does he fulfill the law? By extending it? By showing its true intention? By bringing it to its end?
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
Clarity emerges here if we see Jesus not just as the prophet but as the King who fulfills the law by living it as the ideal king. As the king, he embodies the law, he meets its demands and thereby fulfills it. While Leon Morris is right that we must bear in mind that fulfil does not mean the same as keep Jesus is speaking of more than obedience to regulations, it is also true that it does not mean less. To understand what fulfill the law means from a monarchial perspective, one must put themselves into the first century context and the common notion about kings. Both Hellenistic and Old Testament kingship discourse assert virtuous kings submit to the law and thereby internalize them. In the Neo-Pythagorean essays On Kingship, Archytas presents the good king as the animate law.
What Is Jesus Doing In The Sermon On The Mount
“In my mind’s eye, I can see Jesus sitting on a still with all these people surrounding him overlooking the sea of Galilee and preaching his most famous sermon, the sermon on the mount. But at the heart of that sermon is an even more famous sermonette. It’s a sermonette of the beatitudes. And almost every Christian, almost every culture of the world understands the beatitudes, “Blessed are the…” Or as you say here in the Southern United States, “Blessed are those who…”
But what does it actually mean? It’s one thing to say, “Blessed are those who…” in the ceremonial, ritualistic, everybody knows it since, but actually we all want to be blessed, right? Actually, the word blessed could be translated from the Greek to the word happy. Jesus is saying, he’s speaking to the universal language of every person that has ever lived on planet earth. He’s answering a question that is as relevant today as it was 2000 years ago.
It’s as relevant to the person in the corner office in New York City as it was relevant to the villager that stumbled upon that Hill that day. Jesus says, “Do you want to be happy? Well, here’s how you can be happy. You will be blessed if…” And that’s what the beatitudes answers for us. How can we be happy?”
Excerpt adapted from The Beatitudes, Introduction, by A.W. Pink.
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The Narrow And Wide Gates
Jesus warns the gathered audience that the path to eternal life is narrow, and few find it. They’ll need to be vigilant and pay close attention. To clarify this point, He warns them to watch out for false prophets. They’ll come with every appearance of a God follower, but they’re not. And the way you discern false prophets from real ones is by watching their fruit.
To further illustrate the danger of choosing the wide path over the narrow one, He raises the concern of false disciples. Many who follow false prophets might end up doing things in Jesus’s name that aren’t necessarily for Jesus .
Comparison With The Sermon On The Plain
While Matthew groups Jesus’ teachings into sets of similar material, the same material is scattered when found in Luke. The Sermon on the Mount may be compared with the similar but more succinct Sermon on the Plain as recounted by the Gospel of Luke /Luke#6:17″ rel=”nofollow”> 6:17â49), which occurs at the same moment in Luke’s narrative, and also features Jesus heading up a mountain, but giving the sermon on the way down at a level spot. Some scholars believe that they are the same sermon, while others hold that Jesus frequently preached similar themes in different places.
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Why Is The Sermon On The Mount So Important
William Barclay summarized many views of the importance of the Sermon on the Mount:
One great scholar called the Sermon on the Mount The Ordination Address to the Twelve. Just as a young minister has his task set out before him, when he is called to his first charge, so the Twelve received from Jesus their ordination address before they went out to their task. It is for that reason that other scholars have given other titles to the Sermon on the Mount. It has been called The Compendium of Christs Doctrine,The Magna Charta of the Kingdom,The Manifesto of the King. All are agreed that in the Sermon on the Mount we have the essence of the teaching of Jesus to the inner circle of his chosen men .
But it was not just for the 12 disciples or the audience who first heard the message. God inspired Matthew to record the powerful and memorable words of Jesus Sermon on the Mount for Christians throughout the ages and for us today.
More Sermon On The Mount Teachings: Choices And Warnings
As Jesus Christ concluded the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7, He admonished us to make proper choices. We are taught to make choices based on Gods instructions in the Bible and not simply follow the crowd by taking the easy way to live .
We are even warned about false prophets who claim to be Christian, but whose lives dont reflect Gods values and true conversion. Prophets and ministers are to be evaluated by their fruitstheir actions and the results of those actions .
Then Jesus gave a very serious warning: Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven . Not everyone who claims to be a Christian is one.
We must obey Gods instructions in the Bible, otherwise God will say, I never knew you depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness! .
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Sermon On The Mount: Conclusion
I had a pretty bad day today, and you may be having a bad day, too. But just think, we have a God who spent two whole chapters in Matthew giving us rest, comfort, and a better way to live our lives. I challenge you to read the Sermon on the Mount for yourself and let Jesus show you what He means when He says His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
Sonya Downing is a novelist, freelance writer, and content editor with a bachelors degree in professional writing. Her freelance work has been published in Focus on the Familys teen girl magazine Brio, The Evangelical Church Library Association, and The Secret Place quarterly magazine. She has also blogged for IlluminateYA Publishing and edited for Mountain Brook Ink. You can follow her on , , , and .
Bible Verses About Sermon On The Mount
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.read more.Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
And turning His gaze toward His disciples, He began to say, Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man.read more.Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.
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Introduction To The Sermon On The Mount
5 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him,2 and he began to teach them.
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.