Sunday, February 11, 2018

[Matt's Message] "Jesus' Sermon on the Mount"

“Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount”
Following Jesus - The Gospel of Matthew
February 11, 2018 :: Matthew 5-7 

I finally came up with a title for our sermon series on the Gospel of Matthew. It’s not especially clever, but I think it’s good and captures the essence of the book and what I’m hoping this series accomplishes in our lives this year.

I’m going to call this series, “Following Jesus.”

The Gospel of Matthew is a theological biography of the Lord Jesus Christ which invites us to follow Him by faith in all of our lives and to invite others to follow Him, too.

“Following Jesus” was the title of our last message in this series. When we studied the end of chapter 4 there.

The Lord Jesus began His public ministry preaching, “Repent [turn-around, do a U-turn!], for the kingdom of heaven is near.” And He began calling disciples to follow Him.

What’s our Hide-the-Word verse right now?  “‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’” Chapter 4, verse 19.

Jesus is calling us to follow Him with our lives.

And He is calling us to invite others to follow Him, too. That’s our mission.

Matthew’s gospel ends with the Great Commission. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make [what? FOLLOWERS] disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to very end of the age.”

That’s the point of Matthew. Introducing us to Who Jesus is, the most compelling person ever to live, and calling us to follow Jesus and invite other to follow Him, too.

But what does it mean to follow Him?

What does Jesus want from His followers?

How should we live if we belong to Jesus?

That brings us right up to chapter 5 and what has often been called, “Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.”

Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7 are the first and foremost of the five major blocks of Jesus’ teaching in the Gospel of Matthew.

Marilynn has the first two verses printed on the front of your bulletin.

“Now when [Jesus] saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them, saying...”

And there are 3 full chapters of Jesus’ teaching them.

Jesus was a master teacher. There was never a greater teacher than our Lord Jesus.

And this was, perhaps, His greatest single teaching.

We’re going to take several weeks, a couple months at least, to unpack it.

It’s rich and powerful and radical and challenging.

You know this stuff. Maybe not every verse, but this is some of the most familiar and favorite passages of holy Scripture.

And we’re going to study them all in depth.

And it’s going to really challenge us.

Some of this stuff is really hard to live out.

I mean, “Love your enemies?”

That might be the hardest one of all of them!

This morning, I’m going to read it to you.

The whole thing.

It won’t take that long. I’m not going to stop and explain any of it.

We’ve do that over the next several weeks.

Today, I’m just going to read it to you.

It struck me this week that Jesus delivered the whole thing at one time, and it’s really not that long in Matthew’s version.

It’s about the same number of words as one of my sermons on a Sunday morning.

And Who better to preach the sermon this morning, that Jesus Himself?

I want to emphasize that this is JESUS’ Sermon the Mount.

These are His words. If we have a problem with them, then we have a problem with Jesus. These words all come with His authority.

Think about this. When Jesus gave the great commission and He said, “teach them to obey everything that I have commanded you,” He’s talking about the Sermon on the Mount! Among other things, of course. But this is what He commanded His disciples.

And to be disciples, we need to receive this teaching.

At this point in His ministry, Jesus was a rock star. There were big crowds following Him wherever He went. And verse 1 says that when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside.

Does that remind you of anybody? The exact same words were used of Moses in Exodus 19, 24 and 34. I think that’s on purpose.

Jesus is like a New Moses. Not just giving a new law, a new Torah, a new teaching. But being a Rescuer and Redeemer. A new and greater Moses.

And He sits down. That’s the position of authority in this culture. I stand to preach. But in that culture when you had authority you sat down and taught with that authority.

And notice that out of the crowd, Jesus calls His disciples closer and delivers the teaching straight to them. Others are listening, but He’s talking to them about being His disciples.

He’s going to talk about discipleship, and the Kingdom of Heaven (which has come near), and about righteousness, and about eternity, and fulfillment of the promises, and about how to live and how to pray.

And he’s going to disagree with the religious leaders of the day. And He’s going to speak with authority.

You’re going to hear a lot of things as I read this to you, but I want you to at least hear this. Listen to Who Jesus say He is and how He says it.

Because the Sermon on the Mount is about how we should live as His disciples, but also why. And that’s because of Who Jesus is.

These words, this sermon, is Jesus’ Sermon.

And He is the Lord.

So, it’s important that we listen.

[Read every word of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7]

Jesus is Lord. And this is His Word for us today.


Previous Messages in This Series:
01. The Genealogy of Jesus
02. The Birth of Jesus Christ
03. The Search for Jesus Christ
04. The Baptism of Jesus
05. The Temptation of Jesus
06. Following Jesus