Sermon on the Mount A Series of Sermons from the Mountain Message 2013
Background The sermon begins with a description of the character of kingdom citizens. The Jews would have assumed that God’s kingdom would be comprised of Israelites. Even if it wasn’t all Jews, people were citizens of earthly kingdoms because of physical location or authority – not by choice. Jesus, though, provides a description of the characteristics of a citizen of the heavenly kingdom that were not normal or natural to everyone. Rather, these characteristics are learned, developed and practiced by choice.
The Beatitudes Matthew 5:1-12 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (ESV)
The Beatitudes Matthew 5:1-12 1.These characteristics are not a description of just the “elite” in the kingdom. It is a description of all citizens. 2.The characteristics are not exclusive of one another. In other words, you can exhibit some or all at the same time. As a matter of fact, we must. “Blessed” 1.It is a word that means happiness, but not based upon the circumstances or happenstances of life. 2.It is an enduring joy.
Kingdom Character: Empty Yourself “Blessed are the poor in spirit…” Poor – It is from a word which means to crouch or cringe. It is abject begging. – Consider Lazarus in Luke 16:20-21. Spirit – It is a view of oneself as he stands before God. – Examples: Isaiah (Isaiah 6:5), the Canaanite woman (Matthew 15:21-28) and the Publican (Luke 18:9-14)
Kingdom Character: Empty Yourself “Blessed are the poor in spirit…” We cannot be part of the kingdom of heaven – God’s kingdom – if we are not poor in spirit. Psalm 51:17 – “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (ESV) Isaiah 57:15 – “For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. (ESV)
Kingdom Character: Empty Yourself “Blessed are those who mourn…” Mourn – It is the strongest word, one that means inconsolable. Just as the poor did not have reference to physical or material wealth, those who mourn does not have specific reference to mourning over physical problems.
Kingdom Character: Empty Yourself “Blessed are those who mourn…” The blessed person is the one who mourns over the effects of his sin. – It hurts the Father. – It separates him from the Father. – Note: The Prodigal Son mourned over his wrongdoing and sin against the father.
Kingdom Character: Empty Yourself “Blessed are those who mourn…” James 4:8-10: “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” (ESV) Joel 2:12-13: “Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.” (ESV)
Kingdom Character: Empty Yourself “Blessed are those who mourn…” Romans 7:24 – “Wretched man that I am! Who will delivery me from this body of death?” Matthew 26:75 – “And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.”
Kingdom Character: Empty Yourself “Blessed are the meek…” Meekness during the time of Christ, much like today, was not viewed as a desired trait. Meekness should not be misunderstood as weakness. Consider some of the men described as gentle or meek. – Moses (Numbers 12:3) – Jesus (Acts 5:29)
Kingdom Character: Empty Yourself “Blessed are the meek…” Meekness is really strength through discipline. The word originally had reference to the taming of a wild animal. The wild animal does not lose its strength, but rather has it brought under control. Meekness then is having strength under the control of another – specifically God. Meekness is not natural and we cannot “catch it” like a cold. It is a learned characteristic that we choose.
Kingdom Character: Empty Yourself “Blessed are the meek…” To be meek, a person must be… 1.Teachable: Psalm 25:9, James 1:21 2.Lowly: Matthew 11:29 3.Gentle: 2 Corinthians 10:1
Works Cited Adams, W. (2011). The Beattitudes. Bryan: Tops Printing, Inc. Bell, C. (2004). The Kingdom Handbook. Chumbley, K. L. (1999). The Gospel of Matthew. Nashville. Deason, J. (1999). Message of the Mountain. Earnhart, P. (1999). Invitation to a Spiritual Revolution. Floyd Knobs: Gary Fisher. Lloyd-Jones, D. M. (1971). Studies in the Sermon on the Mount. Grand Rapids: WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. McCord, H. (1956). Happiness Guaranteed. Murfreesboro: Dehoff Publications.