Intro to The Sermon on the Mount
Matthew 5:1-11 (The Message)
5 1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:
3 “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
4 “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
5 “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
6 “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
7 “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
8 “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
9 “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
11-12 “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.
Why do we experience conflict in ourselves? in our family? in our society?
James 4:1-9 - What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? 6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
What a wonderful phrase!?!
Whenever the words of Jesus are preached, something happens. Something redemptive happens. This sermon challenges us to the core. It cleanses us to the core. It lays bare all the things very deep in our souls. Our darkest desires and our highest ambitions are revealed in Jesus’ sermon.
The first listeners were amazed Matt 7:28-29 “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.”
A sermon with Authority = Exousia - out from the centre of his being.
“[The] reason for studying it is that nothing shows me the absolute need of the new birth, and of the Holy Spirit and His work within, so much as the Sermon on the Mount. These Beatitudes crush me to the ground. They show me my utter helplessness. Were it not for the new birth, I am undone. Read and study it, face yourself in the light of it. It will drive you to see your ultimate need of the rebirth and the gracious operation of the Holy Spirit. There is nothing that so leads to the gospel and its grace as the Sermon on the Mount.”
A Warning - Never separate the sermon from the preacher (and his gospel). Otherwise:
1) Frustrating Idealism - defeating guilt and shame
2) Oppressive Legalism - tired and weary moralism
So Who is this preacher?
1) The Promise to Abraham (Matt 1:1, 17)
2) The Son of David (Matt 1:1, 17)
3) God come to Rescue us (Matt 1:25)
4) God With us - Immanuel (Matt 1:23)
5) The New Israel (Matt 3- 4)
The Sermon in Context
“Seeing the crowds he went up on the mountain and when he sat down his disciples came to him.” - Matthew 5:1 - 2
A: Seeing the Crowds (Matt 5:1)
B: He Went up the Mountain (Matt 5:1) from where?
12 Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee. 13 And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
15 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles
16 the people dwelling in darkness
have seen a great light,
and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death,
on them a light has dawned.”
17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Calling His Disciples to Follow Him - Repentance.
What is he calling them to follow him in?
And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, those having seizures, and paralytics, and he healed them. And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.
Jesus' gospel message:
- Eternal Life
- Fullness of God’s Freedom
- Call to join in His mission
His audience knew, "“The longed-for [divine] revolution is now underway.”
How do we respond to Jesus' call?
Repent - metavnoia
A changing of the mind | Turn Around
“No other “sayings” have impacted the human situation the way Jesus’ “sayings” have. Whenever they have been taken seriously there has been a powerful release of new life, Kingdom life, affecting every dimension of our existence. No one can live for long in Jesus’ Sermon without being changed. And as I trust you will discover, the change engendered by His Sermon is toward becoming more truly human.” - Darrell Johnson.