Faithlife Sermons

Sermon on the Mount

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A collection of Jesus Christ’s teaching on the theme of discipleship. It deals with the righteousness required of disciples, the way they are to perform their religious duties, and the blessing and persecution they will know as followers of Christ. It can be seen as a manifesto setting out the nature of life in the kingdom of God.


The setting of the Sermon on the Mount

Mt 5:1; Lk 6:17 Either Jesus Christ taught similar material in two different locations, as is common in preaching, or else Luke more specifically identifies that he taught on a level place or plateau on the mountainside.

The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount

The blessings of being in the kingdom

See also Mt 5:3–12

Jesus Christ’s disciples are to have a positive influence on the world

Matthew 5:13–16 ESV
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

A pattern for prayer

Matthew 6:9–15 ESV
Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

True disciples will obey Jesus Christ teaching

Matthew 7:21 ESV
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
See also Mt 7:15–20; Mt 7:24–27

The relationship between Jesus Christ’s message and the law

Matthew 5:17–21 ESV
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’

Jesus Christ’s disciples are to exhibit a new depth of righteousness

Matthew 5:20 ESV
For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
See also Mt 5:48

The righteousness required of Jesus Christ disciples

Not only murder but also anger and broken relationships are wrong:

Mt 5:21–24; Ex 20:13; Mt 5:25–26

Not only adultery but also lust is wrong:

Mt 5:27–30; Ex 20:14
Mt 5:31–32 faithfulness in marriage is called for; Mt 5:33–37 faithfulness in speech is called for; Mt 5:38–48 Retaliation must be abandoned, and enemies as well as neighbours must be loved.

Jesus Christ’s disciples are to seek only God’s approval in their religious duties

Matthew 6:1 ESV
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

How religious duties are to be performed

See also Mt 6:2–4 Giving to the poor is to be done secretly; Mt 6:5–8 Prayer is not to become a public display; Mt 6:16–18 Fasting is to be done without show.

The kingdom is to be valued above material possessions

Matthew 6:19–21 ESV
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
See also Mt 6:24–34

Jesus Christ’s disciples are to avoid being judgmental

Matthew 7:1–2 ESV
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.
See also Mt 7:3–5

Jesus Christ’s disciples should pray, confident of an answer

Matthew 7:7–8 ESV
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
See also Mt 7:9–12

Characteristics of Jesus Christ’s teaching in the Sermon on the Mount

Matthew 7:28–29 ESV
And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.
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