“And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them…” ~ Matthew 5:1-2
Our LORD JESUS CHRIST taught his disciples a series of special lessons that we refer to as “The Sermon on the Mount.” The contents of this “sermon” were written for our learning. Therefore we are safe in saying that this “sermon” has to do with the “every day” of every Christian’s conduct in this present life, and we can truly speak of it as the Christian Manifesto.
Let us begin with when the Sermon was preached, where the Sermon was preached, and to whom, the LORD JESUS preached this “Manifesto of the Kingdom of God”.
The gospel tells us that this sermon was preached when the LORD JESUS was “going about all Galilee“ (Matthew 4:23) that “… seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them …”
The great multitude of the common people was in the background, the LORD had just gathered to himself the men he had chosen to be his witnesses. The Gospel of Luke tells us that following this sermon to His disciples, the LORD publicly ordained these men to be His apostles (Luke 9:1-6). Through these men to whom the LORD preached this sermon, the written gospel is to reach to the ends of the earth, that everyone who names the name of CHRIST is to consider that this sermon is written for his or her learning.
Because it is written for our learning, it is imperative that we study it to show ourselves approved unto God; workmen that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). Every student, if he would profit from his study of Scripture, must be a believer in the LORD JESUS CHRIST, and must believe that all Scripture is God’s Word, and must, at all times, depend on the Holy Spirit to illumine the portion of Scripture that is being examined.
Nine times the words “blessed are” are spoken in the introduction to the LORD’S sermon and every “blessed” is a paradox, and contradicts the usual thoughts of men. Our LORD JESUS takes the negatives of this world, the things that are in themselves painful, and sets them up as blessings!
When we think of our trials and tribulations as being against us, we are misreading the beneficent purpose of God with His children.
“The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.” ~ Psalm 103:8
“Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For He knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.” ~ Psalm 103:13-14
Only in the power of the Holy Spirit of God can any one of us live by the instructions that are laid down for us in the gospel.
“And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.” ~ 1 John 3:23
“Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven to earth come down;
Fix in us thy humble dwelling;
All thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus, Thou art all compassion,
Pure unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation;
Enter every trembling heart.
Finish, then, Thy new creation;
Pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see Thy great salvation
Perfectly restored in Thee;
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.”
(v.1 & v.4 from “Love divine, all loves excelling” by Charles Wesley, 1747)
by Dr. R. B. Keyes
Adapted from the transcripts written and read by Dr. R. B. Keyes on a radio program called “Morning Chapel” (http://morningchapel.org/)