Matthew 5: Sermon on the Mount I

For a crowd of a hundred people, we need a microphone to be heard. How could Jesus be heard by a much larger crowd?

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Matthew 5:1 When Jesus saw a crowd gathering, he went up on the hillside, and his disciples came to him.
King James
Matthew 5:1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:

How would you define being “poor in spirit”? What are the benefits and liabilities?

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Matthew 5:2–3 He taught them, saying, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, those who recognize their need for God, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to them.
King James
Matthew 5:2–3 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

How can grieving lead to joy?

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Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are the mourners, those who are grieving, for God will bring comfort, joy, and laughter to their aching hearts.”
King James
Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

The arrogant Pharisees were the most highly respected religious people of Jesus’ day. Why might a lack of humility have been a problem for them?

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Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the humble, those who are content with their identity, for they will inherit the land.”
Luke 18:11 “The Pharisee stood and prayed, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like others who are greedy, dishonest, and unfaithful. I thank you that I am nothing like that tax collector over there.”
Luke 18:14 “I guarantee, the tax collector had peace with God when he went home, not the Pharisee. For those who try to make themselves great will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
King James
Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

What makes righteousness more satisfying than unrighteousness?

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Matthew 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, those who care for others, for they will receive mercy.”
Hebrews 11:24–25 By faith, Moses as an adult refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, preferring affliction with the people of God above the pleasures of sin for a season.
King James
Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Hebrews 11:24–25 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

Why do the merciful receive mercy?

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Matthew 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, those who care for others, for they will receive mercy.”
Mark 11:25–26 “Whenever you are praying, forgive others for their offenses so your heavenly Father will forgive you. If you do not forgive, your heavenly Father will not forgive your sins.”
King James
Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Mark 11:25–26 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

What are the benefits of a “pure heart”?

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Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, those who are inwardly clean, for they will see God.”
1 John 3:21 My friends, as God changes us and we no longer condemn ourselves, then we have greater confidence in him.
King James
Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
1 John 3:21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.

What does it mean to be a “peacemaker”?

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Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, those who respond to an offense with kindness, for they will be called God’s children.”
Romans 12:18 Arguing with people builds strife, which you want to avoid. Do your best to live peaceably with everyone.
King James
Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Romans 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

How can “suffering for righteousness” be blessed?

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Matthew 5:10 “Blessed are the persecuted, those who suffer because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
2 Timothy 2:12 If we suffer for Christ’s sake, we will reign with him, but if we deny him, he will deny us.
1 Peter 2:20 You deserve no recognition when you suffer for doing wrong, but if you patiently endure pain in doing good, God is well pleased.
King James
Matthew 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
2 Timothy 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
1 Peter 2:20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

With a natural desire to be loved and appreciated, how can we handle rejection?

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Matthew 5:11–12 “Blessed are the hated, those who are rejected, insulted, and falsely accused because of me. In their day of abuse, they will rejoice because their reward in Heaven is great. The ancient prophets were treated the same way.”
1 Peter 4:14 If you are ridiculed for being like Christ, doing what pleases him, rejoice in the Holy Spirit who blesses you in the midst of insults.
King James
Matthew 5:11–12 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
1 Peter 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

What must we do to have value?

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Matthew 5:13–14 “You are like the salt of the earth,” Jesus said. “But if salt no longer tastes like salt, where is its seasoning value? It’s worthless, so it’s thrown out and people walk on it. You are here to give light to the whole world. A city built on a hilltop cannot be hidden.”
John 15:2 “He cuts off every branch of mine that does not produce fruit. He prunes the branches that bear fruit so they will produce more.”
King James
Matthew 5:13–14 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
John 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

How do people “let their lights shine”?

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Matthew 5:15–16 “People do not light a lamp and hide it under a bowl. It is placed on a stand to give light to everyone in the house. In the same way, you should let your kindness shine before men so they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.”
King James
Matthew 5:15–16 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

What effect did Jesus have on the Law and the prophets?

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Matthew 5:17–18 “Do not think I am here to abolish the Law or the words of the prophets. I came to fulfill their purpose. The truth is, until the skies above and the earth below disappear, the smallest letter or the least meaningful pen stroke will not go away until its purpose is achieved.”
Romans 3:1 Is there any advantage in our being certified Christians, recognized for our biblical studies?
Romans 8:3 The Law wasn’t enough to change our fleshly desires, so God sent his Son, embodied in human flesh, capable of sin. Living without sin, Jesus exposed the destructive nature of sin and showed how people can walk in the Spirit and not be driven by fleshly needs.
King James
Matthew 5:17–18 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 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.
Romans 3:1 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?
Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

How does “God’s Law” differ from the “Mosaic Law”?

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Matthew 5:19 “Anyone who regards one of the commandments as unimportant and leads others to agree is the lowest of the lowly. But those who obey God’s Law set an example for others and will rank high in the Kingdom of Heaven.”
King James
Matthew 5:19 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.

Why was the righteousness of the highly respected Pharisees and teachers of the Law not enough to enter the Kingdom?

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Matthew 5:20 “I am telling you, unless your righteousness is greater than the righteousness of the Pharisees and teachers of the Law, there is no way you will enter the Kingdom.”
John 3:5 “I assure you, no one will enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.”
Galatians 3:21 Does the Law then work against God’s promise? Definitely not. But the Law was not sufficient. Obeying it could not make us right with God and give us life.
King James
Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Galatians 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

How could anger be as great a problem as murder?

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Matthew 5:21–24 “Since ancient times, you have heard it said, ‘Do not commit murder,’ and, ‘A murderer must be brought to trial.’ But I tell you, anyone who is angry with his brother will stand trial. For slander, someone may be brought to court, but anyone who calls another person stupid is in danger of Hell’s fire. So if you are praying at the altar and remember a grudge against another person, leave your offering and seek reconciliation. Then come and offer your gift.”
King James
Matthew 5:21–24 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

How can debts be settled when we have no ability to pay?

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Matthew 5:25–26 “When you are headed for court, settle your obligations quickly, or your accuser may take you to the judge, who will tell the officer to throw you into prison. If that happens, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny owed.”
King James
Matthew 5:25–26 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

Why is a lustful look as dangerous as committing adultery?

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Matthew 5:27–28 “You have heard it said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I say that people with a lustful look have already committed adultery in their hearts.”
5:2 Verse Text
King James
Matthew 5:27–28 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Why do people often choose short-term pleasures without considering the long-term consequences?

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Matthew 5:29–30 “If your right eye leads you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better to lose one eye than to have your whole body thrown into Hell. If your right hand causes you to sin, it would be better to cut off your hand than to have your whole body go to Hell.”
King James
Matthew 5:29–30 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Why did Jesus’ teaching on divorce differ from what the Law required?

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Matthew 5:31–32 “You have been taught that a man who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce. But I say that anyone who divorces his wife, except for being unfaithful, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
King James
Matthew 5:31–32 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

What motivates people to swear an oath?

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Matthew 5:33–37 “For ages, you have heard it said, ‘Do not swear falsely, but keep the vows you make to God.’ I say you should not swear at all, not by Heaven because it is God’s throne, not by Earth because it is his footstool, and not by Jerusalem because it is the city of the great King. Do not swear by your head, because you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply mean what you say, your ‘yes’ meaning ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ meaning ‘no.’ Anything more is of the devil.”
James 5:12 Above all, my friends, don’t swear by Heaven above or Earth below, as if by swearing you’re telling the truth when you weren’t at other times. You can avoid condemnation by being entirely truthful in all you say, your yes meaning yes, your no meaning no.
King James
Matthew 5:33–37 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
James 5:12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.

The Jewish legal system provided for justice. Why might this culture have made it difficult for Jews to believe they should be merciful?

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Matthew 5:38–39 “You have heard it said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,’ but I say you should not try to get even. If people slap you on the cheek, do not retaliate, but allow them to slap the other cheek.”
King James
Matthew 5:38–39 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Why should we give more than what is expected or demanded?

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Matthew 5:40–42 “If someone wants your shirt, be willing to give up your coat as well. If a soldier demands you carry his pack for one mile, carry it for two. Give to everyone who asks, and do not refuse those who want to borrow something.”
Ephesians 6:5–6 If you are a slave or employee, obey your masters, supervisors, or bosses with great respect for their positions, serving them wholeheartedly as you would serve Christ. 6 Don’t work only to look good in the eyes of people. Know that you are first servants of Christ, needing to please him, so have a heart to do God’s will
Colossians 3:23–24 Whatever you do for people, give your best effort to please the Lord, knowing that the greatest reward comes from serving him.
1 Timothy 6:1 Employees should honor their bosses with their best work effort so their behavior does not discredit the name of God and Christian teaching.
King James
Matthew 5:40–42 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
Ephesians 6:5–6 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
Colossians 3:23–24 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
1 Timothy 6:1 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.

How is it possible to love an enemy?

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Matthew 5:43–48 “People usually say, ‘Love your neighbor, and hate your enemy,’ but I say you should show kindness to your enemies, doing good to those who persecute you. Your Father in Heaven causes the sun to rise on the evil as well as the good. He sends rain on both the righteous and unrighteous. You should show kindness as he does. What is commendable about loving only those who love you? Even greedy tax collectors and other sinners do that. If you warmly greet only your brothers, you accomplish no more than the pagans. Show mercy to others, just as your Father has shown mercy to you.”
King James
Matthew 5:43–48 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

What are the benefits and liabilities in loving an enemy?

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Matthew 5:43–48 “People usually say, ‘Love your neighbor, and hate your enemy,’ but I say you should show kindness to your enemies, doing good to those who persecute you. Your Father in Heaven causes the sun to rise on the evil as well as the good. He sends rain on both the righteous and unrighteous. You should show kindness as he does. What is commendable about loving only those who love you? Even greedy tax collectors and other sinners do that. If you warmly greet only your brothers, you accomplish no more than the pagans. Show mercy to others, just as your Father has shown mercy to you.”
King James
Matthew 5:43–48 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.