The Sermon On The Mount

The Sermon On The Mount takes up three chapters of Matthew’s Gospel.  That’s more than 10% of what he wrote.  Matthew was recording this famous event from the point of view of a Jewish person.  That’s important.  It’s gives us a view of what changed from the Old Testament to the New Testament.  More properly – and in more useful wording – what changed from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant.  For more on that thought, please read The problem of – With all your mind. Or not?.

The Sermon On The Mount

When we hear about The Sermon On The Mount, we probably think of Jesus speaking on the side of some big mountain.  At least that what people that live in some parts of the world will think.

Here in Southern California, we have good sized mountains.  We think so anyway.  But in other places, our mountains are relatively small.  But then I remember growing up back in New England and Pennsylvania.  The “mountains” in some of those places are merely “hills” in others.

Who cares about the setting of The Sermon On The Mount?

Well, I bring this up to point out the reality of the place where The Sermon On The Mount took place.  Above is a modern day picture.  The nicely planted fields, road, and probably the building were probably not there in Jesus’ time.  However, we can tell that it’s reasonably flat.  It’s not a steep “mountainside”, even though that’s what the English Bible says.

Also, I want to point out that acoustics were probably much better than we think of today.  There wasn’t a lot of background noise.  No trucks, car, motorcycles, factories, Etc.  I remember being in Greece one time – out in the middle of some old ruins.  There was an amphitheater.  It was rather large.  Even sitting at the very top row, I could hear people on the stage talking.  Not because they were yelling, or even talking loudly.  Just normal conversations.  But it was easy to hear them.

Why bring all this up?

Because I want to try to remove any doubts you might have about whether or not this event could ever take place.  Our focus shouldn’t be on the little details of where and how this happened.  No – our focus should be on what Jesus said.  Why He said the things He did.  And what Jesus wanted us to learn from His words.

As of this writing, I’m just getting started.  Of course, that means The Beatitudes will be first.

So here we go.  Here are the write-ups on The Sermon On The Mount.

 

Blessed are those who are persecuted

Blessed are those who are persecuted
Blessed are those who are persecuted.  Huh?  Persecuted for what?  And why?  Why is it a blessing to be persecuted?  And what is the blessing that's received?  If you don't know what this is about, it probably sounds like someone's really into being dumped on.  But then, if you're a ...
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Blessed are the peacemakers

Blessed are the peacemakers
Blessed are the peacemakers.  But who / what are peacemakers?  Some of you will think of a Colt handgun.  Or a strategic bomber.  Or maybe even an MX Missile.  If you're Christian, or think you're Christian, hopefully those aren't the first things that come to mind.  Why not?  Because Blessed ...
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Will God punish us today, like when He didn’t allow Moses to enter the Promised Land?

Does God punish us today, like when He didn't allow Moses to enter the Promised Land?
Does God punish us today, like when He didn't allow Moses to enter the Promised Land?  That's a question that came up when we were studying one of the Beatitudes - Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.  You can maybe see how the question might ...
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Blessed are the pure in heart

Blessed are the pure in heart
Blessed are the pure in heart.  What does that even mean?  In this day and age, do we even know what the word "pure" means?  And what's meant by the word heart?  We hopefully know it's not about someone with a healthy heart pumping pure blood without infections, foreign matter, ...
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Blessed are the merciful

Blessed are the merciful - feeding a tiny kitten
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.  Very much like the golden rule.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Except in this case, the one doing unto us is God.  So if we show mercy to other people, then God will show ...
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Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness

brunch - Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst ...  Sounds like someone who wants to dig into the brunch picture below.  Until we add just two more words.  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.  That really changed, didn't it?  But still, it could mean "righteous" food, right?  As ...
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Blessed are the meek

Blessed are the meek - lamb
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.  Yeah.  That sounds about right.  The meek.  The weak people.  The ones who never stand up for themselves.  They just take whatever comes their way.  Truth is, they're probably the only kind of people who would even accept this old ...
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Blessed are those who mourn

blessed are those who mourn
Blessed are those who mourn.  Oh yeah.  That's a message we all want to hear.  Especially when it's translated as "happy are those who are unhappy".  But remember, this is Jesus.  Everything's either upside down or backwards.  After all, Jesus is the one who said, Mt 20:16 “So the last ...
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Blessed are the poor in spirit

Blessed are the poor in spirit
Blessed are the poor in spirit.  Seriously?  The poor in spirit are blessed?  That sounds so backwards!  It's even more strange when it's translated as happy are the poor in spirit!  It seems like it should be blessed are the rich in spirit.  And yet, that's not what Jesus said.  ...
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The Beatitudes – Introduction

The Beatitudes
The Beatitudes - the "blessed are" verses.  But Who are they for?  And What do they mean?  I mean, it's nice to be blessed, isn't it?  But some of these don't sound so nice.  Who wants to be poor in spirit or in mourning?  Probably not too many people.  Unless ...
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A note on happiness

happy dog
Are we supposed to be happy?  To most people, the answer is probably obvious.  At least it may seem obvious.  But to others, like me, who have issues with depression - the answer is hardly obvious at all.  Being happy can feel like something for other people.  Whether happiness is ...
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The Sermon On The Mount – Introduction

The Sermon On The Mount
I doubt that a huge number of people today would refer to Christianity as counter-cultural.  In fact, being in what's called a post-Christian era, more people are likely to view Christianity as the old way - much like young people don't use email, Facebook, and countless other "old" technologies. The ...
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