Graceful Perseverance: Sermon on the mount - 11/13/22
Welcome back to this week’s blog! This week I’m sharing with you one of my favorite teachings in the Bible – “Sermon on the Mount,” - Matthew, Chapters 5 through 7. What is so beautiful and uplifting about this scripture? For me, it’s another point in time where Jesus is the “profitable teacher.” Throughout scripture Jesus travels from town to town to spread the good news, the gospel according to God’s Word. Jesus spent his adult life teaching, correcting, instructing and healing the people according to God’s calling for His life. Jesus (the Son of God) was then and is today God’s messenger and teacher to the people to learn how to live according to God’s biblical instructions - "Sermon on the Mount."
God's word has no time limits. It is timeless. His same message 2,000 years ago applies to today. Sermon on the Mount is God's message and instructions to the people in those times, and for ALL GENERATIONS to come. I absolutely love Sermon on the Mount, as God is speaking to all of us with His authoritative instructions on how He wants you and I to live out our lives. Yes, it is that simple. Once we learn this is the key to how Christ wants us to live our lives, why would we not strive to keep His expectations of us?
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. – 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV).
“Sermon on the Mount” was just one of Jesus’ moral teachings to the multitudes of people who travelled for miles to hear Jesus’ teachings. Jesus not only was a teacher, a preacher of the gospel of the kingdom, but He also healed many with sicknesses of all types of diseases among the people. Jesus healed a great multitude of people in Galilee, where He was also teaching in the synagogues. His fame swiftly traveled throughout Syria. Eventually the people led Jesus to those who were afflicted with diseases and torments, even demon-possessed, epileptics and paralytics, in which He healed them all.
“Sermon on the Mount” began when Jesus walked up the mountain and settled himself. When He was seated, His disciples joined Him. When Jesus looked out into the multitudes of people, He opened His mouth and began to speak, blessings amongst all men. For myself, every time I read this scripture, I always wish I was one in the crowd, sitting in the front row, anxious to hear Jesus’ profitable teaching.
According to Matthew 5:3-12, Jesus began with, “3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus continued to speak and He said:
“4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Jesus continues to share with the crowd the following 21 main points of His message that is outlined in Matthew 5:13 to 7:29 (NIV).
1. BELIEVERS ARE SALT AND LIGHT
2. CHRIST FULFILLS THE LAW
3. MURDER BEGINS IN THE HEART
4. ADULTERY IN THE HEART
5. MARRIAGE IS SACRED AND BINDING
6. JESUS FORBIDS OATHS
7. GO THE SECOND MILE
8. LOVE YOUR ENEMIES
9. DO GOOD TO PLEASE GOD
10. THE MODEL PRAYER
11. FASTING TO BE SEEN ONLY BY GOD
12. LAY UP TREASURES IN HEAVEN
13. THE LAMP OF THE BODY
14. YOU CANNOT SERVE GOD AND RICHES
15. DO NOT WORRY
16. DO NOT JUDGE
17. KEEP ASKING, SEEKING, KNOCKING
18. THE NARROW WAY
19. YOU WILL KNOW THEM BY THEIR FRUITS
20. I NEVER KNEW YOU
21. BUILD ON THE ROCK
The scriptures tell us in Matthew 7:28-29 - And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Twenty-one points of reference in scripture that at any time any of us can open the gospels and read God’s Will for our lives. As an earthly father, you want to teach your children moral values, correct? Why wouldn’t our Heavenly Father want to do the same for His children? Each section of “Sermon on the Mount” are teaching points, a message to all of us how Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior brought to us throughout the generations so that each of us would carry the same message to our own children, and then their children, and every generation to come. The “Sermon on the Mount” was not a sermon for the times, in fact the complete opposite. God knew when He sent Jesus up the mountain, and breathed this holy message into Jesus, that Jesus was to speak on His behalf to all nations, tribes and peoples, not just the people throughout Galilee and Syria.
Regarding the 21 messages in the “Sermon on the Mount,” some messages may be straight forward, as most of us would understand exactly what Jesus meant when the spoke of these things, but I do know there are also some of these teachings that were not clear to me at first either. This is why is takes several times to reread for simplicity. I encourage each of you who have gotten to this point in my blog don’t wait any longer to open your bibles and go deeper into Jesus’ messages found throughout the Bible. Jesus’ teaching number twenty (20. I NEVER KNEW YOU) just happens to be one of my favorite and most impactful message I’ve ever studied. Exactly why I wish I had been a part of the multitudes, a part of the crowd, in the front row, entranced and in awe of Jesus’ teaching.
Of course, each of us have our own interpretation of Jesus’ teachings, that’s why I do not expect you to put your trust in my interpretation, but devise your own meaning of scripture, and the messages Jesus is expressing to you personally. What pierces your heart the most? What resonates with you the most? And then if you continue to have questions or are unsure of certain passages, fellowship with others who also hunger and thirst for righteousness, and to learn God’s Word. Fellowshipping with others helps us to comprehend a very complex message from God, but can be overwhelming, but also a very rewarding and enlightening experience. I encourage everyone to get engaged, and absorb as much as you can of the captivating gospels, because there is so much for all of us to learn, and so little time left for us to digest God’s messages, teachings, instructions and commands for our lives; before the Day of the Lord is upon us.
And that leads me to what is my absolute favorite message out of the 21 teachings of the “Sermon on the Mount.” My favorite teaching that day, which was documented by Matthew is when
Jesus says, “I NEVER KNEW YOU!” – Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV)
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and, in your name, perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Just imagine with me for a moment the day the Lord returns to take His children home. Jesus’ return is prophesized throughout the Old Testament. All prophecy in scripture has already, and will continue to be fulfilled. Prophecy tells us there will be a day when Jesus returns, the 2nd Coming or Day of the Lord.
Imagine if you and I are not prepared for that day? What should we expect? Will we be caught off guard because we chose a life of selfishness, we only thought of ourselves, and our own worldly riches, and storing up our treasures here on earth, as opposed to living according to God’s instructions?
The message for all of us is to store up your treasures in heaven where He is, where we will then have an eternal life with Him. But storing up our treasures in heaven comes with a surrender of this life, a faithful heart, and a commitment to our Lord and Savior so, when He returns to take us home, we may have an eternal life with Him.
Jesus tells us in scripture “Lay up treasures in heaven” and that’s where your heart will be. And, the beauty of this teaching is Jesus shows us how we can lay up our treasures in heaven. All we have to do is open our bibles, be enthusiastic students to His word, have a faithful heart, and be prayful along the way.
Here’s God’s message regarding storing up our treasures here on earth, also a part of the “Sermon on the Mount.”
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV).
Let me go back to my original question. What will you do when Jesus returns and you stand before Him and He judges your life; were you fruitful, did you love Him with all of your heart, soul and strength? Were you the steward of His gifts and blessings in your life? Did you worship Him, and no other gods, no other idols? Did you love Him above all worldly things? Did you shadow and obey His ten commandments? Did you surrender your earthly life to follow Jesus when He asked you to “Follow Me,” just as Matthew the tax collector did? Scripture tells us not all of us will make it into the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, this leads me to Jesus’ next message.
What if in the moment you are standing before Jesus and Jesus says to you “I NEVER KNEW YOU!” – Matthew 7:23 (NIV)? How devastated would you feel that you are not accepted into the kingdom of Heaven, as God has watched you live out your life, and your life wasn’t for Him, but only for yourself? It absolutely horrifies me to think that He would say those exact words to me. I never want to hear these words on the day of judgment. But He promises in scripture that yes, each of us will be judged on that day, the day He returns to take some of us, but not all of us home.
I don’t know about you, but if this message in “Sermon on the Mount,” isn’t a “wake up call” and doesn’t change who you are in this earthly life, I don’t know what will. For me, I would never, ever want Jesus to say these words to me on judgement day. And for me, it’s not worth the selfish risk and/or to call His bluff in this life, but many will. I have and will continue to follow His messages, teachings, instructions and commandments He has provided in the gospels. His Word is the source of truth for how I should be living out the remainder of my life, as a good and faithful servant. “I will continue to do the Will of my Father who is in Heaven. I will rejoice and be glad, because great will be my reward in heaven.”
And on judgement day, I want Jesus to say to me - His lord said until him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of the lord. - Matthew 25:21 (KJV).
Blessings until next week,
Debra Pauli Unstoppable Believer
Scripture Quotes: Holy Bible: New International Version (NIV) / New King James (NKJ) / English Standard Version (ESV)
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