Sermon on the Mount
Matthew 5, 6, 7
The Church is new and it is an age with beginning and end.
The standard of the Kingdom remains, but the dispensation changes.
Prologue Origin and Birth of Jesus: Chapters 1,2
Section I Gospel of the Kingdom 3,4 5,6,7 – “Sermon on Mount”
Section II Kingdom Extended 8-10:4 10:5-11:1
Section III Teaching/Preaching 11:2-12 (opposition) 13 - “Kingdom Parables”
Section IV Glory and Shadow 13:54-17:27 (polarization) 18-19:2
Section V Opposition & Eschatology 19:3-23:39 24, 25 – “Olivet Discourse”
Ending Death, Resurrection, Commissioning of disciples ( open ending )
situation but the same general statement.
Luke’s Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6:20-49)
- Possibly the same event. Matthew records the hills and Luke the plateau in those hills.
- Possibly a similar but a different time with similar teaching.
2) Classic Liberalism (from 1800’s)
3) Moral Standard
This makes Jesus’ teachings incompatible with other scripture. Even chapter 5-7 must be taken out of context to fit this application.
5) Interim Ethics
“I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.”
“I have more than enough of burnt offerings,. . .I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls. . .
Stop doing wrong, and learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.”
7) Dispensational Teaching
theme in Matthew is “
Kingdom life is presented here as:
“blessed” is “makarios” in Greek and describes the man favored by God and so happy. It means “in a happy
condition” of life )not attitude or mentally. Also, “fortunate” and “well off.”
Man “blesses” (“makarios”) God by approving and praising him.
God “blesses” (“makarios”) man by approving and praising him.
1) The beatitudes outline the attitude & results of a true disciple who accepts the demands of God’s kingdom
2) Notice all the results are in the future tense, but the use of the present tense in 5:3 & 5:10 warn against
exclusive future interpretation.
3) Notice in 5:3 the person is poor in spirit, and desiring righteousness in 5:6, but by 5:10 the world is
persecuting them because of their righteousness. A major turn around in performance.
5:3 “Poor in spirit” Recognized need
5:4 “Mourn” Sorrow over condition
5:5 “Meek” Teachable and Submissive to instruction for improvement
5:6 “Righteousness” “Filled” – Holy Spirit brings positional righteousness and empowers
(personal) you for production of fruit of the Spirit (personal righteousness)
5:7 “Mercy” Reciprocate it to others (6:12, 18:21, 18:35)
5:8 “Pure” Not double minded towards God (James 4:6-10)
5:9 “Peacemakers” Between God and man (ambassadors)
5:10 “Righteousness” The world sees it
5:11,12 – “persecuted. . .because of me” means the believers are imitating Christ.
A profession of allegiance to Jesus is a commitment to his righteousness also.
Allegiance to the suffering Christ would result in Christian suffering
Jesus’ disciples living in righteousness of the kingdom are compared with the OT prophets who lived
in righteousness of the kingdom. Again in chapters 10, 24.
5:13 – Problem One: Not having righteousness
· Prevents decay and corruption in meat
· Adds flavor to food
But, it only does this if it maintains the character of salt.
The believer (disciple) is to be the salt to the earth:
· The believer’s righteousness prevents decay of people, society, families, themselves, etc.
· The believer’s righteousness adds hope (flavor) in an oppressed and depressed world.
· Legalism is not salt. It is tyranny.
· Lack of righteousness deeds is not grace, freedom, or spirituality. It is rebellion.
Sodium Chloride (Salt) is a stable compound and can not “lose” its saltiness. But, in the ancient world salt came from salt marshes (mineral deposits). There were many impurities in it. Salt (sodium chloride) was more soluble and would be absorbed out easily or dissolve. This would leave only the impurities.
Disciples are the moral preservatives when they conform to the kingdom norms.
If the disciples do not have these virtues they can not serve their purpose.
Rabbis used salt as figure of wisdom.
mwranqn is translated “loses its saltiness”
Luke 14:34 – (same)
Romans 1:22 – “they claim to be wise . . .they became fools and exchanged”
1 Corinthians 1:20 – “made foolish the wisdom of the world.”
A foolish disciple (one who has no righteous deeds) has no influence in the world and thus no rewards in the kingdom.
5:14 – Problem Two: Hiding your righteousness
· “Light of the world” No light means the world has no hope, no direction w/o you
· “City on a hill We are to be like a city on a hill: easy to find and in the most
obvious places. Not a city in a cave hidden from the world.
· “Lamp under a bowl” Our purpose is not only to have a light on the inside for our own
personal faith, guidance, and hope. It is crazy to light a lamp only for the inside of a bowl (Lk 8:16, Mk. 4:21 –lamp lit and placed under a bed.)
2 Corinthians 4:7 – “we have this treasure in jars of clay.”
The purpose of the light (good deeds) is not to draw attention to self but to direct others in darkness.
A secret disciple is no more useful than a lamp under the bed.
In fact, that is foolish, weird, and dangerous.
Isaiah 42:6,7 – Jesus mission now shared by us.
5:16 – Salt is salty and tasted by men.
Lamp gives light and is used by men
A city on a hill is obvious and found by men.
POINT: Believers are righteous and seen by men
Your light will do these three things depending on who sees it:
a) provoke persecution
b) be misunderstood
c) cause others to praise your Father in heaven
2 Corinthians 4:6 – “made his light shine in our hearts”
1 Peter 2:11-12 – “abstain from sinful desires. . .live such good lives. . .pagans will accuse you, but. . . they’ll see your good deeds and glorify God.”
Use words? Yes. Actions? Mostly!!
(“Always preach the gospel and if necessary use words.”)
James 2:18-26 – “Show me faith without deeds.”
It can not be done. Faith is unseen unless accompanied by deeds prove your faith.
Faith is not seen until it is an action.
Hebrews 11 – Everyone’s faith “did” something in response to their faith.
James 2 – “demons believe” even demons have a “faith” but their faith does not produce deeds.
5:17 – “Do not think” or “Never think that. . .”
Jesus is heading off an easy misconception about the teaching he is about to share.
(Also, Mt. 10:34 – “Do not think I have come to bring peace. . .”)
Jesus is saying that the teaching that is going to follow could easily be understood to abolish the OT
scriptures. “Law and Prophets” refers to the scriptures of the Jewish people.
If they would misunderstand what Jesus was saying as he taught from the scriptures it indicates how
far off their interpretation and application had gotten.
Jesus, the author came to explain it and they thought he was undermining it.
Dividing line between OT and the introduction of the New was John the Baptist Lk.16:16-17.
“Fulfill” is “pleroo”
1) It is not Jesus doing the law.
2) It is not Jesus being governed by the law.
3) It is Jesus showing where the OT points as he will demonstrate in 5:21-48
4) Jesus presents himself as the goal of the OT.
5) Jesus presents himself as the only authoritative interpreter of the OT.
6) Jesus gives the OT continuity with the
7) It is Jesus taking the
5:18 – “smallest letter” yod
“least stroke of a pen Hb: or
Eng: O or Q
“until heaven and earth pass away” refers to the end of the age or may mean “never”
“everything is accomplished”
refers to the entire divine purpose prophesied in scripture takes place.
“accomplished” refers to the prophetic element in the Law of Moses and the entire OT
“accomplished” means “happen, come to pass”
“accomplished” does not mean “obeyed”
5:19 - “Breaks commandment = “least in the kingdom”
Notice: Breaking commandment does not result in exclusion from the kingdom.
Violation is two fold:
a) breaking commandment
b) teaching others to break commandment
Violators will be:
a) very small in the kingdom
b) very unimportant in the kingdom
Graduations (levels) of privileges in the kingdom is found through out the scriptures:
Matt 20:20-28 – James and John’s question
Matt 18:1-4 – little children
Matt 26:28-29 – who has will be given more
1 Cor. 3:14 – “if what he has built survives he will receive his reward.”
2 Peter 1:11 – “a rich welcome into the kingdom”
“Least of these commandments” refers to the Old Testament Law and Prophets
The nature of fulfilling these commandments has already been set up for a change in 5:17,18
The law and prophets pointed to Jesus coming and his teaching.
So, conforming to Jesus “fulfillment” or “teaching” is obeying the law.
Dt. 19:15 – “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your
own brothers. You must listen to him.
5:20 – Jesus teaching?
It was not more lenient. It was the expectation of perfection.
Pharisees and teachers: Their radical regulations concerning the commands of God lost focus on the
radical holiness of God and placed it on the legalistic ability of man. (Adam/Eve in Gn.3:3)
Jesus did not criticize them here as evil but as not “good enough.”
The did not point to man’s ability, but to God’s holiness and so, man’s sin.
If you discovered man’s righteousness in the Law then you missed reality & kingdom expectations.
5:3 “poor in spirit” results in 5:20 “righteousness
5:20 establishes the level of righteousness of the kingdom.
5:20 does not establish how to:
a) gain righteousness b) develop righteousness c) be empowered to do a) or b)
Isaiah 61:3 – the oaks of righteousness will be a work of the Messiah.
“surpasses” suggest a new righteousness that is greater in:
a) quality b) quantity