I’ve been staring at this “Sermon on the Mount” for quite a while not sure what to do with it. On one hand, much of it may not seem to be directly tied to Calling & Stewardship, which is what we endeavor to uncover in the scriptures in this study. However, it is so foundational and incredibly important that all other understanding is built upon these things and thus can’t be ignored. It spans three chapters which makes it difficult to cover in the format that we’re using. I’ve decided to use this post to give an overview of the sermon on the mount. We’ll spend the next several days after this diving into what Jesus is teaching us here. He is basically laying out the fundamental principles of living the spiritual life that He came to call us to. This is what He calls “the Kingdom of Heaven” (or Kingdom of God in the other gospels). He will use this sermon to begin to differentiate between Man’s faulty understanding of God and how we should live with Him, and the true Kingdom which He came to introduce to our world.
He begins with what has been called the Beatitudes (v.3-12), by instructing us on the kind of heart that we need in order to approach God. Then He explains what we become to those around us as we are transformed by God’s Presence in our lives.
In the verses of 5:17-6:18, He will explain to us how by living according to His Kingdom a person will surpass in every way the righteousness of one trying to live according to the Law. The Law was (in U.S. terms) the Constitution of the Kingdom of Israel established by God to represent Him to the world. The Law given to Moses was a set of instructions on how to live in right standing with God, their ruler. Of course, the Law was impossible for men to live up to and thus they were constantly having to make sacrifices to bring themselves back into right standing with God. Because in the flesh, it is impossible for a person to fulfill God’s righteousness on his own. So, by his mercy and grace, God in due time sent His only begotten Son to make the righteous sacrifice once and for all. Thus, He fulfilled the Law on our behalf. Sin, which is recognized through the Law, can be fully forgiven in us. As we learn to live in the Spirit of Christ, we can attain unto a life of righteousness in the Kingdom of God.
Next, (6:19-7:6) Jesus teaches us what Life in the Kingdom of Heaven means and what kind of values its citizens will possess. What is really valuable? How to live life without worry or fear, step by step with God, knowing He will take care of all your earthly concerns and more than this bless us with life abundant. How should you live life in relationship with others? We could look at this like a Declaration of Dependence on God, which He shows is far better than the American ideal of Independence and establishes a new Kingdom of Heaven Constitution.
Finally (in 7:7-27), Jesus will show us How to receive, enter, and live inside the Kingdom of Heaven in our daily lives.
Please understand that throughout these discussings we are NOT discussing what it takes to get to the Heaven that awaits after we die. Unlike all other religions, that takes no work on our part other than to accept the grace of God through Jesus who paid the price for us. That is it. Accept Jesus with your mouth and your heart, and you will live with God in eternity. What Jesus is discussing here is the Kingdom of Heaven on earth that He came to establish through us.
Would you let others know about this discussion?