5:1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven… 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven… 6:31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” (Matthew 5:1-3, 20; 6:31-32)
In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ teaches us the heart and way of life that God intends for His people. In the words of R.T. France, “It deals with the character, duties, attitudes and dangers of the Christian disciple. It is a manifesto setting out the nature of life in the kingdom of heaven.” Basically, our King and Savior teaches us two things:
- Do not be like the hypocrites. They profess faith in God, but it’s all a mask. The truth is that they “relax” God’s word and teach others to do the same (5:19). Their religion is all a show (6:1).
- Do not be like the heathen. Material things are all they are after, and they have no regard for the Lord (6:31-32).
Christian believer, Jesus our Messiah demands that we live according to the standards of His heavenly kingdom. By the grace and power of the Holy Spirit, forsake sin and worldliness. Be a true believer in heart and life.
“In no gospel does the prophetical aspect of Jesus come to the foreground as clearly as it does in [Matthew]. Not only is it true that Jesus is the fulfillment of prophecy, but he himself… functions as prophet… He is the true prophet, the prophet of Deuteronomy 18:18… In this gospel, it is the word of Christ, rather than his work, that receives the emphasis.” – F.W. Grosheide
The Mount of the Beatitudes have often been compared and contrasted with Mount Horeb, where Moses received the law from God. On the one hand, Mount Horeb: cold, bleak, barren, almost inaccessible, situated in the midst of a howling wilderness with its fiery serpents. On the other hand, the Mount of the Beatitudes with its smiling landscapes and grassy slopes, as it were extending a hearty welcome to all and spreading delight by means of its lilies, daisies, hyacinths, and anemones. At Horeb: God appearing in thunder and lightning, and the people overcome with fear. In Galilee: Immanuel, grace and truth proceeding from his lips, sitting down in the midst of his disciples who listen with fear or trembling. Yet we must be careful. Although it is true that from Mt. Horeb Jehovah revealed his greatness and his glory, nevertheless the law was given in a context of love (see Exo. 20:2; Deut. 5:2, 3, 6, 28, 29, 32, 33; 6:3-5). Also, what was proclaimed at Sinai is not set aside but is given its deeply spiritual interpretation by Jesus Christ… Christ in this discourse deals with those fundamental principles of conduct, which, according to his own testimony, remain the same in every age (Matt. 5:17, 18).” – William Hendriksen