- The sermon of the mount was delivered in a mountain in Galilee (4:23).
- Large crowds were following Jesus (4:25), but the sermon of the mount (chapter 5 to 7) was delivered only the few small group of people, His disciples (5:1).
- Sermon of the mount is not laws we need to follow in order to get saved. Men are saved by grace through faith (Eph 2:8).
- When we believed in Jesus as our savior, God has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of His Son (Col 1:13). The sermon of the mount is a description of how the citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven ought to live their life on this earth.
- When the disciples live out the life as citizens of the kingdom of heaven, the crowds would be attracted to want to be part of the kingdom.
- When you read these teachings, you will surely find that these are not how natural men live. These are teachings are not from men, but from the King of the Kingdom of Heaven. These teachings are taught to the citizens of the kingdom of heaven. The citizens’s role on this earth is to be the ambassador of the King of the Kingdom of Heaven (2 Cor 5:20).
- No believers can obey these teachings, unless they truly submit themselves completely to the Lord Jesus as their King.
- The disciples must be puzzled when they first heard these teachings from the Lord. They heard Jesus proclaimed the kingdom of heaven is hear (4:17). The Jews’ image of a kingdom is an strong earthly kingdom that is independence from the Rome.
- These teachings of the kingdom of heaven are all about the characters of the citizens of the kingdom. The disciples might be thinking about how they can be a strong kingdom if they live according to the sermon of the mount because these teachings seem to show sign of weakness instead of strength in a person. But that is exactly how God’s works. He opposes the pround but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things and the things that are not, to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him. (1 Cor 1:27-28).
The Beatitudes (v3-12)
- Christians who live according to the sermon of the mount received special blessing from the Lord, these are His promises. Nine blessings are mentioned in the beatitudes. This is the same king of blessing John mentioned in Revelation 1:3 “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near”
- “Blessed” (G3 Makarios) in greek means happy! It is God’s will for us to be happy, to be joyful!
- Our worldly idea of being happy is to “do” things, and to “possess” things. But in the Kingdom of Heaven, to be happy is to “be”. Blessed “are” the poor in spirit, blessed “are” those who mourn, blessed “are” the meek.
- Happiness has its root, not in outward circumstances, but in inward condition of characters. True happiness comes from having the characters of the Kingdom of Heaven, not from possessing material things in our life. How much happiness do you get from owning the latest gadget? A new car? A big house? Only temporal and shallow happiness. The Lord does not creates happiness in us by new surroundings. Instead He creates new surroundings by happiness.
- There are 9 blesseds in the beatitudes. The first seven are regarding the characters, the last two are regarding the process. The first 4 of the characters are passive (poor, mourn, meek, hunger and thirst). The last three of the characters are active (merciful, pure in heart, peace makers).
Blessed are the Poor in Spirit
“Poor” means lack. It is a recognition of a lack, but also a recognition of the abundance God who can supply our lack. To be happy, we must first recognize that we cannot be happy by our own means. True happiness starts from the realization of we are poor in spirit, which means we realized our own incompetence and unworthiness. And then truly happiness is fulfilled when we come before the Lord to trust that He is the only One who can satisfy our poor spirit.
The man who is poor in spirit is the man who is willing to be governed. It means willingness to wholly surrender to the King. When are believe in the Lord as Savior, we have the position as citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. But it is only when we completely submit ourselves to the King that we would truely experience the beauty, the power, the blessing of the Kingdom.
Blessed are those who mourn
When we mourn over own own sins and failures, the Lord promised we will be comforted. The Lord Jesus is our Comforter, and He has sent another Comforter, the Holy Spirit to live in us and to comfort us (John 14:16). Who can truly comfort our sorrow? Only God Himself can give us true and eternal comfort.
Blessed are the meek
The meek are those who are obedient to the rule of the King. Meekness means gentleness (Matt 11:29; 21:5; 1 Peter 3:4). Gentleness is the character of the King in the Kingdom of Heaven. Being meek is to be like the King. The King has omnipotent, but He willingly control His power. Meekness is the opposite of out of control. In the world’s kingdom treasures strong army to conquer land. In the Kingdom of Heaven, the meeks are the one who truly inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
It means discontent with everything unlike God. It means the desire to live a righteous life. When we desire, our spirit will be filled, and will experience ultimate satisfaction.
Blessed are the merciful
We have received mercy from God, and we ought to demonstrate God’s mercy by extending mercy to others. We will be shown mercy by God on the judgement seat of Christ.
Blessed are the pure in heart
The double-minded heart (James 4:8) cannot see God. In order to see God with our spiritual eyes, our heart needs to be pure for God.
Blessed are the peacemakers
We are in the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:17-18). We are called to bring peace between men and God. When we accepted Jesus as our Savior, we became the sons of God. But in order for others to recognize us as sons of God, we need to live our life as peace makers.
Blessed are those who are persecuted
When are live as Kingdom life, we would naturally stand out in the crowd and would not be understood other the world. We would be persecuted in the same way the prophets were, others would speak evil against us. But the Lord promised us reward in heaven, so rejoice and be glad!