The Sermon on The Mount
The Sermon on the Mount can be said to be the very essence of Jesus’ teachings. It is the very heart of the way we are to be in God’s eyes.
It may be said that of the Sermon on The Mount, is to the New Testament as the Ten Commandments are to the Old Testament.
Matthew may have considered the Sermon on the mount as the embodiment of all of Jesus’ teachings. All Christians should understand the truths of these teachings to be the guidelines to true sanctification in Christ, and as we read through Matthew 5 – 7, it is plainly realized that if we were all to follow these guideline and laws of Christ, man himself would bring about an accepted state of righteousness in our heavenly Father’s likeness.
The sermon on the mount is given as a standard for Christian living, realizing that its demands cannot be met in our own power, but our faith, belief, and the power of Christ can only bring us to this sanctification of the will and true righteousness through Christ, without compromise to the words of His commandments.
As the sermon starts out with Matthew ( 5:1 ) “Now when He saw the multitudes , He went up on the mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them”;
We could ask ourselves if there is meaning in the sermon being taught on a mountain, and if we think deeply on it, it may be understood as meaning greater precepts of righteousness.
There were lesser precepts which were given to the Jews, But the one God, through His holy prophets and servants, at a time, distributed and arranged by His will, made lesser precepts to a people who during this time, had yet required themselves to be bound to Him by fear. And through His Son, He gave the greater precepts to a people for whom it was now a time to be set free from sin by His love. Therefore, in doing so, when the lesser are given to the lesser and when the greater are given to the greater, they are given by the only One who knows how and when these remedies for humans are to be given. And it should be of no surprise that the greater precepts are given for the Kingdom of heaven revealed through Jesus Christ and the lesser for an earthly kingdom revealed in the old testament, by the one God who made heaven and earth.
With respect therefore, to the righteousness which is the greater, it is said through the prophet, “thy righteousness is like the mountains of God”, and therefore this may mean that the one Master alone fit to teach matters of such great importance teaches on a mountain.
Let us consider the Sermon On The Mount in all its truthfulness and teachings.
It contains three types of materials;
1) Beatitudes, i.e., declaration of blessedness ( Matthew 5: 1 – 12 )
2) Ethical admonitions ( Matthew 5: 21 – 48, 6:1 – 7:23 )
3) Contrasts between Jesus’ ethical teachings and Jewish legalistic traditions ( Matthew 5:21 - 48)
What Does It Mean To Be Blessed?
As we read through the beatitudes each one carries a declaration of blessedness, blessed meaning beatified or more than happy. Happiness is an emotion dependent on outward circumstances. Blessed in Christ’s context refers to the ultimate well being and distinctive spiritual joy of those who share in the salvation of the Kingdom of God, which as Christians we know as the spiritual reign of God in the hearts of all believers ( Luke 17:20 – 21 ).