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The Sermon on the Mount is the name given to an extended teaching by Jesus recorded in Matthew 5-7. It derives its name from Matthew 5:1-2, which says: "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." The Sermon on the Mount contains many well-known passages, beginning at the very start of the sermon, with the so-called Beatitudes (deriving from the Latin word for "blessed"), in which Jesus discussed characteristics or attitudes that God would bless individuals in various ways for possessing. Many of the teachings of Jesus found in the Sermon on the Mount are recorded in various passages by the other gospels (such as in Luke 6:20-49), but not in such a lengthy or consolidated format.
The Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7, was a message by Jesus for His disciples. There are some who think that it teaches the way to heaven. If it did, it would contradict other parts of the New Testament which clearly show entrance into it is by rebirth, by believing in Jesus. If it were a manual showing how to get to heaven, it would be teaching that salvation is by a number of works to perform. But this sermon was specifically for believers. In Matthew 4:12, just before this sermon, John the Baptist was arrested. The great evangelistic work by John and Jesus had to have been done by this time. This sermon comes on the heels of this work and is the next step for those following Jesus. Throughout the sermon are references to the ‘Heavenly Father’ and “your Father” Matthew 5:48, 6:1, 4, 6, 8, 14, 18, 26, 32, 7:21, and also prayer, that includes, “our Father...” Matthew 6:9. The sermon constantly refers to those who are the Lord’s people, “great is your reward in heaven...,” Matthew 5:12, “you are the light of the world.” Matthew 5:14 The term ‘blessed’ is about those who already have believed on Jesus and who proceed to obey and live by faith. It must be noted that the Sermon on the Mount and the corresponding Sermon on the Plain in Luke 6, target disciples or followers, Matthew 5:1 and Luke 6:17, 20. In both passages there is a distinction between the ‘disciples’ and the ‘multitude.’ The disciples, recognized followers of their teacher, took their places seated at the feet of Jesus. The curious multitudes would gather around to listen in. Perhaps some of them would become saved and become disciples. In both passages Jesus specifically addresses the disciples. If the sermon does not teach how to get into heaven, it must teach something else. The sermon was a direct address to believers about the nature and character of the Kingdom that is yet future. It was not intended to show how to enter it but to show what kind of people they ought to be now for the life they will live in the Kingdom. The emphasis is on present success for rewards when the King comes. In fact, there are nine references to rewards in the Sermon which says it is important. The Sermon on the Mount is also a message revealing the very high standards of Jesus in every area of life, whether personal dealings, religious matters, or material or financial matters. It covers the correct view of anger, immorality, divorce, oaths, and vengeance. It teaches the correct method of giving, praying, and fasting and clarifies the proper perspective on serving, trusting, judging, and sharing. When the Jews in unbelief rejected the message, Jesus then turned to the Gentiles, Matthew 21:43. The sermon is now relevant for the church age believers (Jews and Gentiles) to have the kingdom qualities so they can reign with Christ in the future kingdom.
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