Overview of The Sermon on the Mount Matt. 5:1,2
July 20, 2014 Series: The Gospel of Matthew
Topic: Sunday AM Passage: Matthew 5:1–5:2
Matthew's gospel is laid out logically and chronologically around 5 great teaching segments. 5 major dialogue's. Jesus words.
There is a connection between words, and the incarnate Son of God. John begins His gospel, In the beginning was the Word.
God is a God who communicates. And we are hopeless to know anything about Him unless He does. He cannot be found out. All of our reasonings about Him that originate in our own fallen intellect, are folly.
Even the creation, the vast universe of stars, and the cosmos that we live in, tell us some things about God. They are pointers to a benevolent and good Creator. A God of order and beauty.
But without words, Inspired, innerant words, God breathed words, we are hopelessly lost. God cannot be found out unless He reveals what is true about Himself, to us.
The writer of Hebrews begins his book speaking of these very things: revealed truth. 1God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.
Jesus is the Word. Jesus is the logos. When the prophets spoke, it was the God breathed logos. Jesus spoke through the prophets. Jesus spoke when He was on earth. And Jesus spoke through the apostles of the church. All of it is Him. God breathed. the Logos.
In Revelation at the very end where the signatories are signing off on God's completed revelation, Jesus says These words are faithful and true.
All of them. Genesis to Revelation, every word is inspired, and they are true.
Thus, the method of Jesus during His visit on earth, is to use words to reveal truth. That means that when Jesus speaks, it is different than when any other person in all creation speaks.
When I chatter away up here, you should write down what I say, and take it to this book to find out if it's true, or not. Nothing anyone says is either true or false on it's own merit. Only in comparison to the revealed truth of this book, is something true or false.
Matthew recounts for us 5 great discourses of Jesus in his book. All of them end the same identical way, which makes it easy to seperate the discourses from the action segments. At the end of each discourse Matthew will say; 28When Jesus had finished these words,
We'll see that formula 5 times;
Sermon on the Mount - Manifesto of the King 7:28 When Jesus had finished these words,
Discipleship exacting Ch. 10 After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples
Parables of the Kingdom Ch. 13 When Jesus had finished these parables
Forgiveness, Restoration, Inclusion and little ones Ch. 18 When Jesus had finished saying these things
and finally, the Eschaton. Future things. Ch. 24,25 When Jesus had finished saying all these things
Those are our 5 discourses given by Jesus and they all end with that same formula. (And you're thinking will we live long enough to get through all 5 of them??) The Sermon on the Mount is the longest of all of the discourses.
In this first of 5 teachings Jesus will lay out His Kingdom, and what it will look like. If Adam hadn't sinned. If the order of the world had not been destroyed by the usurper, Satan, what would it look like?
What will it look like when Satan is locked away and all of the rebellious men are gone to judgement? What should it look like now? We are not excluded from this description. This is what the church should look like as God's kingdom removed from this world and set apart for His glory.
1When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.
The crowds of people who pressed around Jesus with all of their brokeness cause a reaction of sympathy in Jesus.
Satan rules this kingdom that Jesus has come to visit and set free. And having Satan as ruler is like having a fox in charge of the hen house. It's like having a lion in charge of the sheep.
In Matthew 9:36 one of the translations puts it this way; When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were bewildered and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Sheep without a shepherd are a pathetic lot. They have no self defense. They are slow and stupid. They have no sense of direction. They can't find the water when they thirst or the good pasture when they are hungry.
When Jesus see's the crowds, that is what he see's. Sheep that are worn out and confused. Walking in circles following some other dumb sheep in front of them.
Fallen people with Satan as their shepherd are just as pathetic. Following anyone or anything. Falling into pits and getting stuck in thickets. We are lost. The most brilliant philosopher is just as lost as the simplest child. We cannot find our way, except God take pity and help us.
So Jesus is moved by the crowds. Pathetic lost sheep. But He doesn't gather up the sheep and speak to them directly. That isn't His plan. What He begins here is training some shepherds. Good shepherds!
God's plan is discipleship. There will always be sheep. The way to help sheep is to raise up good shepherds, who can raise up more good shepherds.
1When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain;
There's a big discussion about whether Luke's version in Luke Ch. 6 is the same as what Matthew records.
Luke has Jesus coming down into a plain. The sermon on the plain. Matthew has Jesus going up on a mountain.
And so, right away the critics say, see, the Bible is full of errors like that. You can't trust any of it. 2 authors talking about the same event and it's all different. Luke only has 4 beatitudes and they're different in parts than what Matthew says. Luke has 4 'woes' that Matthew doesn't have.
Both of the teaching events are followed with the story of the centurion.
Let me kill this straw man for you. Jesus is on a preaching tour. Ch. 4 23Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.
Not so different from a politician who travels from town to town and gives a stump speech. Although that illustration casts a bad light since we don't like or trust politicians these days, but take the idea and run with it.
Jesus is an itinerant preacher going from town to town with this message of the kingdom. Of course there's material that is the same!
So this could be two distinct teaching events in different places on the same tour. That's one possibility. Luke records one of the messages in one of the towns, and Matthew records a different one in a different place.
When He gets home from the tour the Centurion is the next big event.
Moreover, it could be the same event. You go up a little mountain, over the rim and drop into a bowl that's perfect for a speaking event.
Matthew has Him going up the mount because one of Matthews goals is to show that Jesus is treading the same ground as Moses, except He's doing it to fulfil the law, not to fail like Israel did. Israel the disobedient son, Jesus the obedient Son. A mountain is the common connection of major revelation for both sons.
Luke has him descending to the plain. Luke isn't doing the Moses connection thing, he's talking to greeks. They could care less about a connection between Jesus and Moses.
And by the way, if anyone did any search at all on the word that Luke uses, you would see that the Septuagint writers many times used the word to speak of a plateau. A level place. Not necessarily apart from a mountain.
I've hiked enough to know how often you crest a mountain and drop into a level place on top. Perhaps there's shade, and coolness there.
Makes it pretty silly to try to make this a big discrepency. Anyone that's looking that hard for a discrepency probably has other issues going on. They're starting from a posture of dis-belief and building a false case.
He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down,
Sitting is the posture of a Rabbi when he is teaching. That was their custom. Not ours. I have little preacher syndrome. I need a big pulpit to hide behind. Remember in Pollyanna, the John Knox church with the pulpit that had a staircase and the preacher towers over the people.
Very out of style today. Today you need a Hawaiian shirt and you need to parade around the front and swagger.
You will recall in the story of Jesus in the Synagogue in Nazareth, when the attendant handed Him the book of Isaiah, He stood up to read, and when He was done reading, what did He do? He sat down. And when He sat down, there was a hush in the room, and every eye was upon Him, because that's the posture of a Rabbi who is going to teach. And that's what He did.
1When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.
That word for disciple is different than what we talked about last week. That word was (ak-ol-oo-theh'-o). Followers. In vs. 25 last week the crowds (ak-ol-oo-theh'-o). They follow Him.
The word here is (math-ay-tes'). And the root word here is to think.
I was looking at old family records on the web site and it listed my great great grandfather as head of family, and my great grandfather as scholar. That's a good old scottish word and it doesn't mean he was a Dr. of something or other, it just means he was a student.
(math-ay-tes') are scholars. Learners. Students. And the grammar tells us that these students, these learners are HIS. Personal / Possessive Pronoun; Genetive Masculine; 3rd person singular. His math-ay-tes. His scholars. His students.
These learners belong to Him. They are His.
There is method here. We saw it unfolding last week.
It wouldn't do a bit of good to gather the multitude, the pressing crowd with the ingrown toenails they want Him to fix, the broken confused sheep who are still in Satan's kingdom, and say these things to them. It won't help them. They're broken.
Jesus, here, begins the process of making shepherds for the sheep that God will sovereignly call out of Satan's kingdom, into His own.
That is the emotional reaction to the throngs of weary and lost sheep. Good shepherds. A few good shepherds. Feed my sheep, Peter. Feed my lambs, Peter. Feed my sheep, Peter. It's no different now, than then.
2 He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,
This is a hebrew colloquialism. We use colloquialisms all the time. If a hebrew came to Tonopah and we said, Welcome to our neck of the woods, he'd have no idea what we're talking about.
Even if he's studied english and he knows animals have necks, he knows that word and he may even decipher that we're talking about a wooded area, the woods, but he'd still shake his head trying to figure out what we're talking about.
That's what the term, He opened His mouth, is. To the original hearers it meant there's a hush in the room, and someone is going to speak and say things that have gravity. Jesus is going to teach!
and began to teach them, saying . . .
I used to love to listen to Rush Limbaugh say; "Words mean things!"
That's profound. Far more so than he realised. He was just trying to use sarcasm to wake up folks he disagreed with. But when you attach reavealed truth that is God spoken to that idea, it becomes more than profound.
We could spend a lifetime digging into these words. The tenses. The grammar. The meaning. 2He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,
There's a movement in the church these days that says preaching is out of date. It's day is over. Modern people don't want to hear it . . . blah blah blah. You need to have presentations. Video's. Giant screens. Technology. Performance art.
I visitied my daughter's church in Reno and the main dude guy with the hawaiian shirt, opens up one of those little beer cooler lunch box thingys and takes a dead plucked headless chicken out and launches it across the stage.
It was very entertaining! Thwaap goes the chicken onto the wood stage. I can't remember what his point was . . . . which is my point. (I can just imagine mother Joan. Oh the horror!)
Jesus opens His mouth and He uses words to impart knowledge to His own learners.
That is the example that has been carried on for 2000 years since then in pulpits like this. Long live the tribe of dinosaurs who do this.
2He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,
OK, here we go out into the deep end. So far I've been talking about Jesus, now we're going to shift gears and talk about His words.
But, this week, I'm going to do something a bit out of the ordinary. I want to read you the Semon on the mount, complete. The sermon as a unit, just as Matthew wrote it.
That will take about 12 minutes, so bear with me. Obviously Matthew has taken 50 - 90 minutes of teaching, that's just a guess, and condensed it into 12 minutes. Arguably, these are the most powerful words ever spoken in one place at one time.
So, adjust your seat on the bench, wake up, tune in, and just listen to Jesus words for the next 11 or 12 minutes. Next week we'll begin at Vs. 3 and do an exegetical study.
We're inadequate for this, but so is everybody else, so, here we go
1When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. 2He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5“Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
13“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
14“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
17“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18“For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19“Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20“For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
21“You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ 22“But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. 23“Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. 25“Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26“Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.
27“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; 28but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29“If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30“If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.
31“It was said, ‘WHOEVER SENDS HIS WIFE AWAY, LET HIM GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE’; 32but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
33“Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT MAKE FALSE VOWS, BUT SHALL FULFILL YOUR VOWS TO THE LORD.’ 34“But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is THE CITY OF THE GREAT KING. 36“Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37“But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.
38“You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’ 39“But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40“If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. 41“Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. 42“Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.
43“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ 44“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47“If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
1“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.
2“So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 3“But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
5“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 6“But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
7“And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. 8“So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
9“Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
11‘Give us this day our daily bread.
12‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]
14“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15“But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
16“Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 17“But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face 18so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22“The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23“But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
24“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
25“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28“And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30“But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32“For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
1“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2“For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4“Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
6“Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
7“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8“For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9“Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? 10“Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? 11“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!
12“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
13“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14“For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
15“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16“You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17“So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18“A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19“Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20“So then, you will know them by their fruits.
21“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’
24“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25“And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26“Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27“The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”
28When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; 29for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.
And thus ends this reading of God's Holy Word.
More in The Gospel of Matthew
March 26, 2017The Authority and Commission of Jesus Mt. 28:16 - 20
March 19, 2017Jesus IS Alive! The Tomb is Empty Mt. 28: 1 - 15
March 12, 2017The Burial of Jesus Mt. 27:55 - 66 pt. 2