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The Sermon on the Mount

Lesson 3
Memory Text
Matthew 7:28-29 (NIV)



When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were
amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had
authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

How did Jesus teaching contrast with the other teachers of His day?
1. The Rabbis of Jesus day had amassed a great number of traditions which
they had elevated to the status of the law of God.
2. This was particularly true of the regulations regarding how the Sabbath
was to be kept.
3. All of these regulations were eventually written down in the Mishnah, a
six-volume encyclopedia on what to do and what not to do.
4. They cited others as their authorities. Rabbi so-and-so wrote that bla-blabla.
5. Remember how Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount?
Matthew 5:21-22 (KJV)
Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time
But I say unto you
6. The OT prophets passed on the word of God by saying, Thus saith the
7. But Jesus said, I say unto you
8. He uses this phrase more than 130 times in the gospels.
9. In our memory text, Matthew records the reaction of the people: He taught
as One who had authority.
10. When Jesus began His ministry in Capernaum, Mark records these words:
Mark 1:22 (NKJV)
And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one
having authority, and not as the scribes.
11. Luke writes this:
Luke 4:31-32 (NKJV)
Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was
teaching them on the Sabbaths. 32 And they were astonished at His
teaching, for His word was with authority.
12. Here Jesus would have been teaching in the synagogue where Peter,
Andrew, James, and John would have heard Him.
13. No wonder they left their nets immediately and followed Him.
14. At the end of His ministry, the chief priests and the Pharisees wanted the
temple guard to arrest Jesus in the temple but they came back empty handed
John 7:46New King James Version (NKJV)
[The officers answered,] No man ever spoke like this Man!
15. There was definitely something different about the teaching of Jesus. He
spoke with authority.


What was the source of Jesus authority?

1. Jesus authority could hardly have been greater.
2. He is the Son of God. Emmanuel. God with us.
3. He is the active agent in creation.
4. He is the Messiah.
5. He has the authority of His Father.
6. He is the light of the world; the way, the truth, and the life.
7. He is the giver of the Law.
8. He is the Redeemer of mankind.
9. He is the sinless One whose sacrifice is sufficient and acceptable to God.
10. He has been Gods emissary to our fallen world from the beginning.
11. Jesus authority is based on who He is and what Hes done.

Getting Started
How does Matthews gospel present the order of events in Jesus
early life in a way that would appeal to a Jewish audience?
1. The introduction of our lesson this week draws some interesting parallels
between the order of events in Jesus life and in the nation of Israel.
2. There was a divine act that created both the nation of Israel and the
Messiah of Israel.
3. In the first case God called Abraham and promised him the Seed; in the
second case, God called Mary and produced in her the Seed (Christ).
4. The sons of Jacob fled to Egypt to escape death by famine; Jesus fled to
Egypt to escape death by the sword.
5. God led His people out of Egypt when Pharaohs first born died; God called
His Son to return out of Egypt when Herod died.
6. Israel was baptized in the red sea; Jesus was baptized in the Jordan.
7. Israel spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness; Jesus spent 40 days
hungering in the wilderness.
8. God fed His people with manna from heaven; Jesus was the Manna from
heaven that fed His people.
9. God gave the law to His people on Mt. Sinai; Jesus magnified the law for
His people on the mount of blessing.
10. So today we try to scratch the surface of the teaching Jesus gave His
disciples in the sermon on the mount.
Why is the sermon on the mount so long in Matthew compared to
Luke and Mark?
1. Some scholars believe that Matthew here presents a collection of Jesus
teachings many of which may have been given at other times.
2. As we studied in Lesson 1, the historian Papias is quoted as saying that
Matthew collected the sayings of Jesus in the Hebrew tongue.
3. Matthew may have taken this opportunity to include more of what Jesus
taught than on just this occasion.
4. In Matthew, the sermon on the mount covers 107 verses.
5. In Lukes version of the sermon on the mount, there are only 29 verses
(Luke 6:20-49).
6. Of the 107 verses in Matthew, 47 have no corresponding parallel in Luke.
7. But 34 verses of the sermon on the mount in Matthew are found in Luke in
different places and contexts.
8. Scholars think it is more likely that Matthew collected the sayings of Jesus
into the sermon-on-the-mount than that Luke broke up the sermon-on-themount and scattered it throughout his gospel.
9. We can also look at Matthews introduction where he says:
Matthew 5:2 (NKJV)
Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
10. The Greek for taught is a verb form that denotes a recurring action in
the past.
11. So it could be translated This is what He used to teach them.
12. In any case, the important thing is that all that Matthew records here
were teachings of Jesus given specifically to His disciples.
13. The sermon on the mount has been called the Manifesto of the King.
14. It presents the principles upon which the Kingdom of God are based.
What subjects does Jesus cover in the Sermon on the Mount? [Link]
Sermon on the Mount
Gods Law
Asking & receiving
Golden Rule
Broad & Narrow
False teachers


Saying and Doing

Two builders

1. These are all the subjects upon which Jesus teaches.

2. We could spend a whole quarter studying these teachings and were trying
to do it in a single lesson.
3. Obviously we can only scratch the surface.
4. On each of these subjects, Jesus has something to say that we need to

How does Jesus begin the Sermon on the Mount? (Matt 5:3)

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Q1: What do you think Jesus means in this beatitude? What does it mean
to be poor in spirit?
1. The poor in spirit are those who recognize their spiritual need.
2. They recognize their sinfulness and their need of forgiveness.
3. They recognize that they are helpless and hopeless apart from Gods
mercy and grace.
4. The best illustration of one poor in spirit was Jesus parable of the Pharisee
and the publican that went up to the temple to pray.
5. The Pharisee prayed with a loud voice for all to hear.
6. All he did was brag about how good he was and how lucky God was to
have someone like him as a follower.
7. He had no sins to confess; he couldnt think of a thing he had done that
was wrong.
8. In contrast,
Luke 18:13 (NKJV)
And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes
to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, God, be merciful to me a sinner!
9. Jesus said it was the tax collector that went down to his house justified
rather than the Pharisee.
10. When we are poor in spirit, we recognize our spiritual need and recognize
that only God can meet that need in Jesus Christ.
11. So we might paraphrase this beatitude as:
12. Blessed is the man who recognizes his own sinfulness and helplessness
and puts his whole trust in the mercy and forgiveness of God, for his is the
kingdom of heaven.
What kingdom principles is Jesus presenting in these beatitudes?
Characteristics and Rewards
Poor in Spirit
Kingdom of heaven
Inherit the earth
Hunger and thirst for
Filled (with righteousness)
Obtain mercy
See God
Pure in heart
Children of God
Kingdom of heaven
1. Everything on the left is a characteristic of those who are citizens of
the kingdom of God.
2. Everything on the right is the reward that citizenship brings.

3. These eight characteristics are similar to the nine fruit of the Spirit
given by Paul.
4. And just like the fruit of the Spirit, we cant pick and choose to have
some but not others.
5. The same is true of the beatitudes: citizens of the kingdom of God
will manifest all of these characteristics.
6. Since they apply to citizens of the kingdom of heaven, I think they
are to be understood in a spiritual sense.
7. The poor in spirit recognize their spiritual need, and their greatest
spiritual need is to be forgiven of their sins.
8. Those who mourn, mourn for their sins and the separation from God
they have created.
9. The meek are those who are humble and teachable and are willing
to accept Gods remedy for their spiritual need.
10. When we learn the goodness of God, His love, mercy, forgiveness,
and grace, we long to be forgiven and reconciled to Him. We want to
be righteous.
11. The merciful are those whose love for God spills over into love and
compassion for others.
12. The pure in heart are those who have been born again, are
forgiven, and are living in the Spirit.
13. The peacemakers are those who have found peace with God and
can bring others to justification and peace with God (Rom 5:1)
14. The persecuted are those who are willing to stand up for Jesus and
be faithful to Him regardless of the cost.
15. These are the characteristics that will be manifested by those who
have joined the kingdom of grace through faith in Christ.
Now look at the rewards:
They possess the kingdom of heaven.
1. They are comforted for their sorrow for sin by being forgiven. Their
guilt is taken away and they are treated as if they had not sinned.
2. They inherit the earth. Our final home will be hear on planet earth
when the New Jerusalem descends.
3. They are filled with righteousness: We are saved by the perfect
righteousness of Christ, and only the righteous will inherit the kingdom.
4. They will obtain mercy because Christ took our punishment. Those
outside the kingdom will receive justice.
5. They will see God, and live, because our sins have been forgiven.
6. They will be called children of God, because God adopts us into His
family when we receive Jesus as our Savior.
7. So those who have become citizens of the kingdom of grace by
the blood of Jesus will become citizens of the kingdom of Glory when
He returns.
Is Jesus describing who His followers are or describing what they must do?
1. Jesus is describing the characteristics of those who belong to the
Kingdom of Grace.
2. This is who they are. This is what they have become.
3. We enter the Kingdom by grace through faith, not by works lest any man
should boast.
4. We start by seeing our own sinfulness and spiritual need and we trust in
God not in ourselves.
5. God saves us by grace, fills us with the Holy Spirit, and produces these
character attributes in our life.
6. This is not a check list of things to do in order to get into the kingdom of
7. Rather it is a list of what God will do to those who surrender to Him and
receive His Son.
What common metaphors did Jesus use to describe how His
followers should affect the world? (Matt 5:13-16)



You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how
shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out
and trampled underfoot by men.
You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be
hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on
a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your
light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and
glorify your Father in heaven. [R]

Q1: How should followers of Jesus be like salt?

1. Salt is a preservative but only if it is in contact with the thing it is

2. So Christians need to contact our culture to preserve righteousness and
morality and goodness and faith.
3. It seems like the whole of society is in a moral free-fall.
4. Salt imparts flavor to food but only if it permeates the food it is flavoring,
5. So Christians should impart flavor to those with whom they come in
6. The flavor we can impart is the flavor that the gospel brings to life.
7. Without the gospel, life is a dead end. It has no meaning, no purpose, no
future no lasting enjoyment.
8. Life comes alive with flavor when we hear and accept the gospel and find
a life with meaning, purpose, and hope: a life with no death at the end.
9. Jesus said: I have come that they may have life, and that they may have
it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
Q2: How should followers of Jesus be like light?
1. Light represents truth that dispels the darkness of error.
2. Jesus calls His followers to be the light of the world.
3. Too often were content with being a light in the church.
4. We have the gospel truth that needs to shine in the darkness of the world
around us.
5. A light is meant to be seen.
6. Our Christianity should be perfectly visible for all to see, like a city set on a
hill or a lamp on a lampstand.
7. It has been said, There can be no such thing as a secret disciple. For
either the secrecy destroys the discipleship or the discipleship destroys the
8. Let us be visible and transparent in showing how Christ has changed us.
9. A light is a guide. It makes the path visible so others can walk in safety.
10. A Christian must make the right way clear for others.
11. Lead them to the word which the Psalmist says is a lamp unto his feet and
a light unto his path.
12. A light can also be a warning as at a RR crossing or a traffic intersection.
13. So Christians are called to give a warning in love to souls in danger.
[See notes on linked slide]
1. Summary:
2. So far in the sermon on the mount, Jesus has described the characteristics
of those who are citizens of the Kingdom of Grace.
3. The beatitudes describe their character and their reward in the kingdom.
4. The metaphors of salt and light describe their function in the world.
5. Jesus now turns to the law and describes additional principles of His
kingdom of grace.

Permanent or Temporary?



How did Jesus regard the law as given in the OT? (Matt 5:17-

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am

not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till
heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass
from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break

one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall
be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do
and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of
heaven. [R]

Q1: Is there any hint here that Jesus is doing away with the OT
moral law?

1. Absolutely not!

Q2: What does Jesus say in support of the permanence of the law?

1. Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise
pass from the law till all be fulfilled.

2. A jot or yod in Hebrew was the smallest letter of the Hebrew

alphabet; a tittle was a little projection on a letter that made a
difference between one letter and another.

3. Not the smallest part of the law would pass away till heaven and
earth pass away.

4. When Jesus refers to the Law or the prophets, He is referring to

the scriptures of the OT.

5. So the laws of scripture shall not pass away till all be fulfilled.

6. Now Jesus fulfilled the ceremonial laws. He became the true

sacrifice for sin to which all the animal sacrifices pointed.

7. But the moral law of God is based on principles that are as eternal
as God himself.

8. Nothing will ever make those principles unnecessary.

Q3: What principle undergirds Gods moral law of 10 commandments?

1. It is the principle of love.
2. The first four commandments are based on love and respect and
reverence for God.
3. The last six commandments are based on love and respect for our fellow
4. These 10 commandments were well summarized by Jesus when He said:
Matthew 22:37-40 (KJV)
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy
heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
5. If God is love, and the foundational principle of His law is love, will the law
ever pass away or change? Never!

How many OT saints were saved by keeping the law?

1. Zero.
2. No one will be saved by their obedience to the law because no one has
ever kept the law perfectly.
3. We are all sinners saved by grace.
4. Hebrews 11 looks at many of the OT saints and declares that they lived by
faith and that they will be saved by faith.
5. But certain of the Judaizers in Pauls day were teaching that obedience to
the Law of Moses was necessary for salvation.
6. The apostle Paul points to Abraham
Romans 4:3 (NKJV)

For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was
accounted to him for righteousness.
7. This idea that people in the OT were saved by keeping the law can be
traced back to dispensationalism in the late 1800s and the Schofield
Reference Bible.
8. Unfortunately, the idea still persists in some Christian circles.
9. But God does not have different means of salvation for different
dispensations in history.
If Jesus referred to the moral law of scripture (the Law and the
Prophets) as being permanent, what law, cited often by the Pharisees,
would that exclude?
1. Do you remember the Pharisees criticizing Jesus for allowing His disciples
to eat with unwashed hands?
2. How about when they accused the disciples of breaking the Sabbath for
eating some grain as they were passing through a field?
3. These were part of the oral law of the scribes based on the traditions of
the elders.
4. These laws were later codified in the six volume set of books called the
5. They laid down specific prohibitions that the elders felt fit Gods laws
including 39 categories of work that were forbidden on the Sabbath.
6. This included carrying a burden on the Sabbath.
7. Jesus had no qualms about breaking the oral tradition of the scribes: He
told a man He healed on the Sabbath the take up his bed and walk.
How Righteous?
Read Matt 5:20
20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the
righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means
enter the kingdom of heaven. [R]
What kind of righteousness does it take to enter the Kingdom of
1. It takes a perfect righteousness.
2. It takes the righteousness of Christ, a righteousness that comes from God.
2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV)
21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might
become the righteousness of God in Him.
3. Jesus takes our sins and God gives us Christs righteousness.
Romans 3:21-22 (NKJV)
21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed,
being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the
righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe.
4. The righteousness that saves us doesnt come from keeping the law; it
comes from faith in Jesus Christ.
Romans 3:24 (NKJV)
24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in
Christ Jesus,
5. We are justified by grace and declared righteous when Jesus redeems us
by His blood and forgives our sins and imputes His righteousness to us.
B3: What kind of righteousness did the scribes and Pharisees have?
Where can we get perfect righteousness?
1. Their righteousness was an outward righteousness. A self-righteousness.
2. To a large extent, the Pharisees were hypocrites.
3. In Mat 23, Jesus refers to them as whited sepulchers.
Matthew 23:27 (NKJV)
27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like
whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but
inside are full of dead mens bones and all uncleanness.
4. They had an external obedience to the law and traditions of the elders,
but did not love the God they claimed to serve.
5. The Pharisees were not poor in spirit. They were proud in spirit.

6. Their problem was compounded by their external righteousness.

7. When you see yourself as sinless, you wont confess your sins, so you
cant be forgiven.
8. The Pharisees were depending on their own righteousness to be right with
9. In reality, they fit Isaiahs description:
Isaiah 64:6 (NKJV)
6 But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are
like filthy rags;
1. We find it at the foot of the cross.
2. It comes by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
3. It is the perfect righteousness of Christ which God puts to our account
when receive Him as our Savior, trusting in His blood to forgive our sins.

Ye have heardBut I say

What is Jesus doing to the law where he contrasts what He says
with what others have said? [Link]
You have heardBut I say
Shall not murder
Shall not hate
Shall not commit adultery
Shall not lust
Divorce with a writing
Divorce only for Immorality
Shall not swear falsely
Shall not swear at all
Take revenge only in kind
Take no revenge
Hate your enemy
Love your enemy
[See notes on linked slide]
1. On the left we have what those of old time said.
2. On the right we have what Jesus said.
[Read through list.]
3. What is Jesus doing to the law here?
4. Is He abolishing it or magnifying it?
5. Is He making it easier to keep or harder?
6. Is He saying just stop at the letter, or is He saying consider the spirit and
the principle of the law?
7. Is He saying the law should govern only our actions or also our attitudes?
8. What Jesus says goes beyond the letter of the law, but not contrary to it.
9. As an aside, I dont know where the last one on the left comes from, the
command to hate your enemy.
10. I dont recall anything like that In scripture.
11. Perhaps it was an oral tradition of the scribes.

How does Jesus conclude His teaching on the Law? (Matt 5:48)
Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is
perfect. [R]
Q1: Is Jesus asking the impossible here?
1. It depends on how we understand the word perfect.
2. Our common understanding of the word would require sinless perfection
like God.
3. However, Jesus didnt speak English and Matthew didnt write in English.
4. In the Greek, the word is teleios.
5. Its primary meaning is complete, full grown, mature, well suited for its
intended purpose.
6. So the idea is for us to be full-grown, mature Christians, treating others as
God has treated us.
7. In Lukes account, his rendering is:
Luke 6:36 (NKJV)
Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.
8. Again the idea is to treat others as God would treat them.
9. So Jesus is not asking the impossible of us here.

[See notes on linked slide]


Read the context of this command to be perfect in Matt 5:44-47.

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do
good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use
you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in
heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and
sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who
love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do
the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do
more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? [R]

How does the context help us to understand what it meant to be
perfect like our Father in heaven?
1. After these verses that weve just read comes the verse:
Matthew 5:48 (NKJV)
THEREFORE you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is
2. When we come to the word therefore we should stop and see what its
there for.
3. In this case, Jesus is telling us how God treats those who dont love Him.
4. He makes His sun rise on the evil and the good, and send rain on the just
and on the unjust.
5. God does not immediately snuff out the atheist that curses Him and uses
His name in vain.
6. Thank God! Because Id be dead long ago.
7. He treats even those who despise Him or ignore Him with compassion and
8. Jesus is saying here, if we treat our enemies with love (agape) we will
show ourselves to be children of our Father in heaven.
9. Because thats the way He treats His enemies.
Romans 5:8 (NKJV)
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still
sinners, Christ died for us.
Is Jesus saying we need to have a warm affectionate feeling toward
our enemies?
1. No.
2. In this passage, Jesus uses the word agape for love.
3. A warm affectionate feeling is described by another Greek word for love,
4. This is the word from which we get Philadelphia, meaning city of
brotherly love.
5. Agape love is acting in someone elses eternal best interest.
6. We can do that for others without having to feel warm and affectionate
toward them.
7. I can pray for Muslim terrorists that are beheading Christians, but I dont
have to feel affection for them.
Kingdom Parables
B1: What point is Jesus teaching in the parables of the pearl of great
price and the treasure hid in the field? (Matt 13:44-46)

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field,

which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all
that he has and buys that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful
pearls, 46 who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and
sold all that he had and bought it.
Q1: What is the main point that Jesus is teaching in these two parables?
1. He is teaching us that the kingdom of heaven is like the greatest treasure
we could ever find.
2. But in order to possess the treasure as our own, we must sell everything
that we have.
3. We must be willing to sacrifice all that the world offers us to obtain all that
God offers us in Christ.

4. We must place God and His kingdom at the top of our affections and let
nothing come between our relationship with Him.

[See notes on linked slide]

What point is Jesus teaching in the parable of the dragnet? (Matt

1. The teaching here is pretty plain: judgment is coming.

2. At the end of the age, Jesus and the angels will come to earth.
3. Then there will be a separation of the saved and the lost.
4. The saved will be gathered into the kingdom of God; the lost will be
destroyed in the Lake of Fire.
5. Those who are in Christ will receive eternal life; those who are not will
receive eternal death.
6. No wonder Jesus can describe the kingdom of God as a treasure hid in a
field or the pearl of great price.
7. The Kingdom of God provides is with eternal life in glory with God almighty
and Jesus our Savior and joy and peace forever.
8. The only other option is eternal death.
9. What a fantastic treasure! What an amazing opportunity!
10. Lets not miss it!
11. Lets make God and His kingdom our top priority.


Matthew collected the sayings of Jesus and gives us a wonderful

sample of His teaching in his account of the Sermon on the Mount.
In this sermon and throughout His ministry, Jesus taught His
disciples the principles of the Kingdom of God.
Jesus begins with the beatitudes which describe the character of
those who are citizens of Gods kingdom and the reward they will
receive in that kingdom.
Jesus establishes the permanence of the OT moral law and demands
a perfect righteousness for those who would enter the Kingdom of
Such a righteousness is found only in Christ whose blood cleanses us
from all sin and whose righteousness covers our filthy rags.
In contrasting teachings of old with what He says, Jesus does not
abolish the law; He magnifies it: to the letter He adds the spirit; to
our actions He adds our attitudes; to the external He adds the
internal; He places Love at the foundation of the Kingdom of God.
Jesus taught in parables to illustrate the nature of the kingdom of
In the pearl of great price and the treasure hid in the field, Jesus
illustrates the value of the kingdom of God and what it will take to
purchase it.
In the parable of the dragnet He illustrates the contrast between the
end of the righteous and the wicked.
Will you sell all that the world offers you, so that you can invest
all that you have in making Jesus Christ your Savior and Lord and
spending eternity with Him in the Kingdom of God?