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Matthew 5:1-12 Part 1

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Matthew 5:1-12 Part 1

Notes & Transcripts

Review

During our last time together we looked at the ministry of Jesus and, based on chapter 4 verses 23-25, we boiled it down to two basic categories, his words and his works. His words were centered on the gospel, or the good news, of the kingdom of heaven. Jesus’ ministry was first and foremost a message and a proclamation of the kingdom of God and of its king. A people dwelling in darkness had seen a great light, and that light was Christ. His message of the kingdom would be a beacon of hope for all those who would repent and believe, both then and even now for us.
Jesus took this message throughout all of Galilee teaching and preaching in the Jewish synagogues. And like Ezra, a priest and scribe before him, he read and taught from God’s law with authority and clarity. He read the Scriptures aloud to the people and declared to them that he was the fulfillment of their teaching.
18  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19  to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Oracles of wheal and oracles of woe. These beatitudes are oracles of wheal - or blessing.
18  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19  to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
We also saw that great miracles were performed at the hands of Jesus as he travelled throughout the region. We saw how those miracles were manifestations and tangible evidences of God’s kingdom having come not only in word but also in power. These miracles were intended to be but a foretaste of the kingdom of heaven. They gave evidence to the inauguration of God’s kingdom on earth.
These miracles also confirmed the identity of Jesus as the prophesied Messiah. As Nicodemus testified in John’s Gospel, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do theses signs that you do unless God is with him.” These miracles were signs that God’s kingdom, and more specifically, that kingdom’s king had come. It was Jesus’ message and his miraculous works that would confirm to John the Baptist that Jesus was the “one who is to come.”

The Sermon on the Mount

This week we continue our study in the book of Matthew and turn to what’s likely the most famous block of teaching recorded in the Gospels from the mouth of Jesus - to what’s been famously called the sermon on the mount. We’ve spent a lot of time looking at the good news of the kingdom and the inauguration of the kingdom at the arrival of Jesus, but now we’re going to see Matthew point his readers to the specific teachings of Jesus.
The ethics of the kingdom
In these teachings here in chapters 5-7 Jesus will spend a great deal of time outlining the character and the behaviors of those who are citizens of the kingdom. These are what some have called the ethics of the kingdom. What Jesus will teach us here in this sermon is the kind of character that will mark those who profess Jesus as their Lord. He will outline what our lives as Christians ought to look like as citizens of his kingdom. Answering the question, “What is it to be a citizen of God’s kingdom?” This teaching is what we might call Christianity 101.
Jesus teaches his disciples
So, Jesus, “seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them.” Now, at this point Jesus has continued to amass a following of people, but seeing the crowds he ascends a mountain, sits down and begins to teach his disciples. We get the picture that while the crowds likely followed Jesus up the mountain Jesus intended to sit down and teach his close circle of disciples.
Discipleship
While this particular block of teaching is known by most of us as the sermon on the mount, in many ways the text of Scripture seems to indicate that this was a teaching with the explicit intention of discipleship. He’s not only declaring the good news of the kingdom at this point but explicitly teaching his disciples the details and the requirements of that kingdom. He’s teaching and calling his followers to something. This is the point where we as Christians should take notice that this teaching is directed specifically at us. As disciples of Jesus we are called to these very things and if our profession be genuine we ought to take them to heart.
Sitting and opening his mouth
Now, it was customary at this time for the disciples of a rabbi to follower their teacher everywhere he went, and when the rabbi would sit it was a signal to his disciples that he intended to teach them. So after Jesus ascends this particular mountain he sits and opens his mouth. This formula of sitting and opening his mouth would have been a clear indication of Jesus’ intention to teach his followers by the Jewish readers in Matthew’s day. Sitting was a position of authority and it was customary even within Jewish synagogues for the scribes to sit and teach from the Scriptures.
Jesus
A parallel with Moses and the law
Many before us have recognized that this sermon on the mount by Jesus in many ways parallels the events surrounding the Israelite’s and Moses at mount Sinai. Moses ascends mount Sinai, receives the law of God and finally delivers that law to the people. While there are certainly parallels here that are reminiscent of Moses and the Israelites who have just come out of Egypt, what sets Jesus’ words apart is his careful attention to get at the heart of God’s law. Jesus isn’t saying anything new, but he is honing in on the intent of God’s law. He’ll say things like,

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

We cannot please God by merely outward conformity to his law
The idea that we can please God by merely exercising external conformity to his law is nothing new. Untold billions of people around the globe, from Europe to Asia, and Africa to Australia and all over the American continents are falsely assured that by some external conformity to a higher moral law will somehow grant them access to some imagined form of heaven, and the Jewish people were of no exception. It didn’t matter if their theology was right or if there lives had the outward appearance of righteousness or not, what mattered was the state of their hearts, and Jesus makes a bee line for the heart, our hearts in fact, here in his sermon on the mount.
The idea that we can please God by merely exercising external conformity to his law is nothing new. Untold billions of people around the globe, from Europe to Asia, and Africa to Australia and all over the American continents are falsely assured that by some external conformity to a higher moral law will somehow grant them access to some imagined form of heaven, and the Jewish people were of no exception. It didn’t matter if their theology was right or if there lives had the outward appearance of righteousness or not, what mattered was the state of their hearts, and Jesus makes a bee line for the heart, our hearts in fact, here in his sermon on the mount.
There is no blessing or assurance of salvation in the merit of our own works. says,
6  We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. 7  There is no one who calls upon your name, who rouses himself to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities.
and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.
We all fade like a leaf,
and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
7  There is no one who calls upon your name,
who rouses himself to take hold of you;
Jesus is good news
for you have hidden your face from us,
And it’s for this reason Jesus is good news, because in Christ God has not hidden his face from us but he has revealed himself to us through his Son, and what a blessed people we are to be steeped in the knowledge and reality of the love of Christ. There are so many people outside of these doors who are perishing because they don’t know the gospel, and to the credit of none of us here in this room we know the truth, and much more than that we love the truth, yet we so often we treat this treasure not as the man who who sold everything he had to acquire it but instead we keep it secret. So I implore you not to shrink back in fear, but in joy and in the full assurance of your salvation rejoice “when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on” account of Jesus.
and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities.
Listen to Jesus’ words in verses 10 and 11,
Listen
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 5:10–12). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Oracles of wheal and oracles of woe. These beatitudes are oracles of wheal - or blessing.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Blessedness

Jesus begins his sermon with these statements of blessing or what theologians call oracles of weal. Or what we might call pronouncements of blessing and prosperity. The prophets of the OT would use this literary device to communicate blessing, and in similar fashion they would communicate God’s curses by oracles of woe. We see examples of both of these all throughout the OT. The book of Psalms, for instance, begins with an oracle of weal,

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

1 Blessed is the man

who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,

nor stands in the way of sinners,

nor sits in the seat of scoffers;

2  but his delight is in the law of the LORD,

and on his law he meditates day and night.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2  but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
reads,
1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
says,
7  “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Je 17:7). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.
says,
11 Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, for what his hands have dealt out shall be done to him.
reads,
“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Je 23:1). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.23 “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Je 23:1). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.23 “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Je 23:1). Wheaton: Standard Bible Soci blessedness that Jesus speaks of here is a happiness and a state of joy and peace that’s not dependent upon on our circumstances. Instead it’s a happiness and a blessedness that’s rooted in God - the very fountainhead of joy.
1 “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD.
These pronouncements of blessing, or what we often call beatitudes, are Jesus’ introductory statements to his sermon on the mount. And the blessedness that Jesus speaks of here is a happiness and a state of joy and peace that’s not dependent upon our circumstances, but instead it’s a happiness and a blessedness that’s rooted in God - the very fountainhead of joy.
The blessedness that Jesus speaks of here is a happiness and a state of joy and peace that’s not dependent upon on our circumstances. Instead it’s a happiness and a blessedness that’s rooted in God - the very fountainhead of joy.
The blessedness that Jesus speaks of here is a happiness and a state of joy and peace that’s not dependent upon on our circumstances. Instead it’s a happiness and a blessedness that’s rooted in God - the very fountainhead of joy.

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

The blessedness that Jesus speaks of here is a happiness and a state of joy and peace that’s not dependent upon on our circumstances. Instead it’s a happiness and a blessedness that’s rooted in God - the very fountainhead of joy.
The Beatitudes stand in stark contrast to the values of the world
Now what’s most obvious about these beatitudes is that they stand in start world says, “Blessed are the rich!”, “Blessed are the famous!”, “Happy are those who are self-seeking!”, “Blessed are the popular!”, “Blessed are those who are liked by others!”, “Happy are those who have much!”, “Happy are those who seek after pleasure and find it!”, “Blessed are the full, for they shall be satisfied!”, “Blessed are the successful!”
Now what’s most obvious about these beatitudes is that they stand in stark opposition to what we might call the beatitudes of the world, “Blessed are the rich.”, “Blessed are the powerful.”, “Blessed are those who are watch out for themselves.”, “Blessed are the popular.”, “Blessed are those who are liked.”, “Happy are those who have much.”, “Happy are those who seek after pleasure and find it.”, “Blessed are the full, for they shall be satisfied.”, “Blessed are the successful!”
Paradoxical statements
These statements by Jesus are in a very real sense paradoxical. At first they don’t seem to make sense. How is it a good thing to be meek, shouldn’t we be ambitious. Isn’t it the ambitious and the strong who will inherit the earth? But instead it’s, like Jesus said, those who humble themselves like a little child are the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. In fact, it’s precisely what Jesus means when he says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” We enter the kingdom of heaven not by pride or by our own doing, but rather by humility, which is in its very essence utter reliance upon God.
Blessedness is found in God
What Jesus is seeking to communicate to us as his disciples is that blessedness is not found in the world or in any of the things of this world. Blessedness is not found in anything within us or within our neighbor. It’s not found in power, it’s not found in wealth, it’s not found in possessions, it’s not found in physical pleasures, and it’s not found in comfortable circumstances. It’s not found in anything outside of God, because, God is the very wellspring of joy and blessedness. He’s our only true source of happiness.
The assumption of the Beatitudes
There’s also something implicit in these pronouncements of blessing, a particular qualifier that’s assumed in these statements. When Jesus says, “blessed are the those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” he does not mean that every person on planet earth who mourns will one day be comforted, no the assumption is that every one who mourns and fears God will be comforted. You might read Jesus’ words like this, “blessed are the godly who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
The Beatitudes are descriptions of God’s people
Remember Jesus’ audience, he’s speaking to the blessedness of those who are a part of the kingdom. These beatitudes and his sermon on the mount is not merely some statement on social justice, but a description of those who are united to Christ by faith. These beatitudes are descriptions of God’s people. And it’s these descriptions that help point us in the right direction in our pursuit of righteousness. Not that we can attain it on our own but that as we humbly approach God and stir our affections for God he enables us, over time, to live a life that is pleasing to him.
A blessed thing to be a Christian
And what a blessed thing it is to be a Christian, we’re given these bigger than life promises that the world simply can’t compete with. We will inherit the kingdom of heaven, we are given a righteous that we could not attain for ourselves, we shall see God and be called sons of God. And it’s these blessings that give us reason to rejoice and to be glad, even in the midst of hardship and persecution, because we’re reminded that our reward is great in heaven.
Do not think it strange when you’re persecuted
And lastly, we are reminded that we are not to think it strange when persecutions come. The beatitudes are profoundly counter-cultural, and those who are marked by them with be a strange and a peculiar people by the world’s standards. Not only will we seem strange but we will ultimately be a stench to those who are perishing. The Apostle Paul writes this in his letter to the Corinthian church,
“For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.” -
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (2 Co 2:15–16). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
My prayer is that we would be mature citizens of God’s kingdom, that we would be like Christ, and that we would shine the the light of the gospel to our neighbors, because we have the promise that God will “lead us in triumphal procession, and through us spread the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.”

Prayer

.
1) The sermon on the mount will show you the need for new birth.
2) It’s the only way to happiness and blessedness for Christians
3) It’s the only way to happiness and blessedness for Christians
3) Because it shows us how to please God. We have the privilege of pleasing, the privilege that we might bring delight to your maker.
Audience
The sermon on the the mount has nothing to offer to anyone except those who united with Christ in faith
All authority in heaven and on earth
The temptation to have the kingdoms of this earth given to him if he were to bow down and worship Satan versus after his accomplished work on the cross he’s given all authority in heaven and on earth.
Heavenly Father, we come before you this morning humbled by your word. You have given us great reason to filled with joy. You are the blessed one and have given us tremendous blessings, even now. You call us sons and daughters, you have made us heirs of your kingdom, and provided for us a righteous that is not our own.
Matthew’s gospel - 5 teaching blocks
I ask that you would help us to rejoice and be glad then others revile us and persecute us and utter all kinds of evil against us falsely on your Son’s account. In these coming weeks as we meditate on these beatitudes help us to humble ourselves, help us to be meek, help us to be merciful, and give us pure hearts so as to see you.
The sermon on the mount begins by telling us the blessedness of who we are as Christians.
How the kingdom works
We desperately desire to be like you, to be like your Son. Give us hearts to love your law, may we delight in it and so obey it. We ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen
How the kingdom works
How the people live within the kingdom
Sermon on the mount is the first of 5 teaching blocks in Matthew
We might call the sermon on the mount Christianity 101
Teaching us what it is to be a citizen of God’s kingdom
Jesus focuses a lot on the heart of God’s law, not merely external conformity to it
The sermon on the mount begins by telling us the blessedness of who we are as Christians.
The beatitudes tell us that being is the foundation for doing.
These are the descriptions of God’s people.
Jesus is promising the fulfillment of his kingdom
This new way of life is so counter-cultural that it will bring you into conflict with the world (i.e. persecution)
They are profoundly counter-cultural. The world devalues the values of God.
This new way of life is so counter-cultural that it will bring you into conflict with the world (i.e. persecution)
We cannot have a Christ without a cross, and nor can we have Christ with our cross. Just as Peter would later say in his epistle to no think it strange that fiery trials have come upon us. God’s kingdom is in direct conflict with the kingdoms of this world. Jesus prepares us for opposition.
Being a citizen of the kingdom means we belong to Christ.
The beatitudes ultimately describe Christ in whose image we’re to be conformed to. Jesus was meek, he was lowly in spirit, and persecuted for righteousness sake. The beatitudes are telling us what it really means to become like Jesus Christ.
Poor in Spirit
In order to enter the kingdom of heaven we must become poor in spirit. We must rightly understand our own lack before God. We must see our deep need for Christ. Our pride must be demolished. This is what it means to be poor in spirit. No one has ever entered God’s kingdom by their pride.
Hunger and thirst for righteousness
In the new birth we begin to have to tastes new ambitions, we begin to hunger and thirst for righteousness. No longer are we satisfied with the things of this world but now we find only satisfaction in Christ, we delight in the law of the Lord.
Merciful
We learn to be merciful as we experience God’s great mercy toward us.
Pure in heart
When we begin live as Christ we, by faith, begin to see God. His beauty is revealed to us as we’re conformed to the image of His Son.
Peace
In our conversion we experience peace with God and so we being to desire that others would also experience that same peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We become proclaimers of this peace, not some pagan world peace as idealized by the world but a real, and lasting peace, first with God and second by extension peace with our neighbor. You can’t have peace with one another without first peace with God. Such a notion is a fantasy and even downright evil.
Do you remember when we read from Luke chapter 2 when a multitude of angels appear to shepherds at night and say, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”? Jesus is the great peacemaker, he’s the one who’s being announced, and with him comes a way for mankind to have peace with God. And as believers we become ambassadors for Christ, delivering his message of peace.
Reviled and persecuted on my account
And paradoxically we’re persecuted for our message of peace. We’re reviled for our allegiance to Christ, and just as Jesus would say, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.” While this message of peace being peace to those who embrace Christ by faith it divides whole households as many in the world revile the message.
Rejoice and be glad
Do not revile them in return, but instead rejoice and be glad, because remember you will inherit the kingdom of heaven.
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