Friday, October 30, 2020

Comments On The Sermon On The Mount

The Sermon on the Mount is the first of five great discourses in Matthew (chs. 5-7; 10; 13; 18; 24-25). It contains three types of material: (1) beatitudes, i.e., declarations or blessedness (5:1-12), (2) ethical admonitions (5:13-20; 6:1-7:23), (3) contrasts between Jesus’ ethical teaching and Jewish legalistic traditions (5:21–48). The Sermon ends with a short parable stressing the importance of practicing what has just been taught (7:24–27) and an expression of amazement by the crowds at the authority with which Jesus spoke (7:28–29).

Opinion differs as to whether the Sermon is a summary of what Jesus taught on one occasion or a compilation of teachings presented on numerous occasions. Matthew possibly took a single sermon and expanded it with other relevant teachings of Jesus. Thirty-four of the verses in Matthew’s Sermon occur in different contexts in Luke than the apparently parallel Sermon on the Plain (Lk 6:17–49).

The Sermon on the Mount’s call to moral and ethical living is so high that some have dismissed it as being completely unrealistic or have projected its fulfillment to the future kingdom. There is no doubt, however, that Jesus (and Matthew) gave the sermon as a standard for all Christians, realizing that its demands cannot be met in our own power. It is also true that Jesus occasionally used hyperbole to make his point (see, e.g., note on 5:29–30).

Concordia Self-Study Bible, New International Version, p. 1456

1 comment:

  1. So here's a debate which arises now and then with a particular "progressive" "Christian" (each individually surrounded by "scare quotes" due to his being, in my opinion, neither progressive or Christian). This dude likes to impose his socialism on Scripture, and points to "Blessed are the poor" as some holy indictment of wealth creation. But the Matthew version says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit", which suggests Christ's concern for the spiritual us as opposed to the material us. By the rantings of this...guy...Christ gave two sermons teaching completely different things. Doesn't seem likely to most who are not "progressive" "Christians" concerned with the money in the pockets of others.

    Not completely off topic, but a serious difference in understanding which I believe perverts the lesson. I believe the teachings are the same, and that the Luke version is teaching exactly the same thing as the Matthew version, just with slightly different wording. While Christ encourages us to help those in need, "Blessed are the poor" is not speaking of those with no cash.