Sermon on the Mount

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Sermon on the Mount

Post by mikew » Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:35 pm

I've seen the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5 to 7) as a step in a legal process. In a sense it would be like an indictment, though I would think that Matt 23 is closer to an indictment by telling the people that they have been charged with the killing of prophets He would send them.

This sermon then is maybe more like a formal statement of the problem in contrast to the proper status. The message seemingly was given with some focus upon the leaders as the prime violators of what is right.

If you look at the "blessed are the merciful" it seems to be appropriate to say that the Pharisees were not merciful. I may be a little too narrow in pointing to the Pharisees or leaders though.

The main thing here is that the audience would see how far wrong things had gone. As a result of the sermon then people could have sought Jesus for the way to the proper status -- to seek His solution.

Does this seem to fit or is there a better description? Its something that I haven't tried to research yet.

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Re: Sermon on the Mount

Post by Paidion » Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:41 pm

The “Sermon on the Mount” is not “a step in a legal process”. Carrying out Christ’s teachings literally is a requirement for every disciple. The requirements for being a disciple of Christ are very stringent. Jesus said:

Luke 14:26 "If any one comes to me and does not disregard his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.

Jesus did not say that he who does not put Christ first before his family would be a poor disciple or an inferior disciple. He said that such a one cannot not be His disciple at all! And there is no difference between disciples and Christians. (Acts 11:26)

In the very next sentence, Jesus said:

Luke 14:27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.[/b]

Why did Jesus bear His own cross? He bore it to die on it! Bearing our own cross also requires our death --- death to sin, death to the self-life.

Peter stated that this was the very reason for Christ’s death:

He himself bore [or “endured”] our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. I Peter 2:24

After giving further instruction concerning counting the cost of discipleship, Jesus said:

"… whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. Luke 14:33

Jesus finished “The Sermon on the Mount” with these words:

"Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.’

"Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.

“And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it."

Those who enter the Kingdom of Heaven will be those who do the will of the Father. They are those who not only hear but carry out the instructions of Christ in “The Sermon”. Anyone who doesn’t will not enter The Kingdom of Heaven or stand in The Great Day.

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Re: Sermon on the Mount

Post by Theophilus » Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:55 am

The Sermon On The Mount as recorded in Matthew is a collection of Jesus' teachings describing what Kingdom living is like.

Matthew was writing to a Jewish audience and could be drawing a parallel between God meeting with Moses on Mount Sinai to give the law and Jesus meeting with his disciples to describe how they will live in his Kingdom.

Kingdom is a word meaning kings dominion, or where the king rules or has authority.

The Sermon's teaching about asking, seeking and knocking in Matt 7:7-11 as well as the parallel passage in Luke 11:9-13, could also be linked to Jesus' teachings in John 3.

5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

So Kingdom living as described in The Sermon will require repentance and the power of God, or the Holy Spirit.

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Re: Sermon on the Mount

Post by Homer » Sun Aug 31, 2008 9:39 pm

In my opinion, we make a huge mistake if we take the Sermon on tne Mount as a rigid set of laws that must all be literally obeyed. Some of them are always to be literally obeyed and others are to be obeyed as principles as it is appropriate to do so. Who always prays in a closet? Jesus prayed publicly. He was establishing a principle about prayer.

And here is an example of what I mean. Let's suppose we have a terrible windstorm and our home escapes damage. The phone rings and my friend Ralph says he lost most of the shingles on the south side of his house, and requests that I please come and help him before the next storm arrives. When I arrive, Ralph says he will head to town to get the materials to fix the roof and asks me to clear the remaining shingles and prepare the roof for the new shingles. When Ralph gets back with the material, he finds the south side cleared off and finds me busily ripping the shingles off the good side. So much for "going the extra mile"!

I think you get my point about "as appropriate".

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Re: Sermon on the Mount

Post by mikew » Mon Sep 01, 2008 1:32 am

I somewhat am backing off the original post's idea that this was like part of a legal process. The reason I'm backing off is that the audience consisted of the disciples (those disciples of that point in time).

Then there's some agreement with Paidion in that this was instruction to disciples. Yet the instructions weren't steps that could be taken by the disciples but more were contrasts between the flesh and the spirit that would occur when they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Certainly many points could be used as instruction to disciples then and now, but many items do not extend to believers today, at least in the manner presented.

In Matt 5:5 the meek are blessed with the earth. But the meekness is something of the spirit rather than of the flesh. This was not something we really change but only is changed in us by the power of God.

Then in verses 31 to 32 Jesus made the spirit of the Law harder to follow. We may learn as Christians that God is truly for successful marriages but at the same time the Christian is not under the letter of the Law. What Jesus seemed to say was that their efforts to follow the Law still came short of avoiding the problems addressed by the Law -- their successes at following a law was still a failure to follow the spirit of the Law.

The various phrases can be applied as wise instruction but none appear to be intended to be followed as a law by Christians today. Again it is the contrasts between the before-Christ and after-Christ that are emphasized.

Finally it is true what was said about linking the Sermon on the Mount with John 3. The only thing I would say in modification is that Jesus described life as a believer and was not describing the kingdom. This difference is driven by the apparent tendency of scripture to describe the kingdom of God as being God's political rule over nations rather than being about the church.

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Re: Sermon on the Mount

Post by RND » Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:47 pm

Theophilus wrote:The Sermon On The Mount as recorded in Matthew is a collection of Jesus' teachings describing what Kingdom living is like.
In a sense I agree. The Sermon of the Mount was an explanation of what the true purpose of the law was to be.
The reason I'm backing off is that the audience consisted of the disciples (those disciples of that point in time).
He spoke to those that would hear Him which included His disciples and those in the multitude.
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident." Arthur Schopenhauer, Philosopher, 1788-1860

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Re: Sermon on the Mount

Post by kaufmannphillips » Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:54 am

How about this proposal:

In the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew tells us what Jesus (putatively) thinks. After reading it, our actions tell what we think.
"The more something is repeated, the more it becomes an unexamined truth...." (Nicholas Thompson)

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