Sermon on the Mount Sequence
The Sermon on the Mount, as recorded, would have only taken a few minutes for Jesus to teach. It is not long. Yet it is some of the most densely packed teaching in existence, and has prompted countless pages of analysis and reflection. How can we let Jesus' very familiar yet provocative words speak to us today? "Be perfect!" "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." These and many other imperatives in this short passage call us to strive for the kingdom, though in these words he also tells us, "Do not worry about tomorrow." Are these commands practical to disciples facing today's challenges? Of course they are! Download the entire series.
- Sketch 119. The Happy Disciples. Matthew 5:1-16. How can people so needy be described as happy? And actually, be told they should rejoice and be glad as they suffer persecution? Jesus’ poetic and enigmatic Sermon opens with the command to “let your light shine!”
- Sketch 120. Be Perfect. Matthew 5:17-48. How did Jesus relate to the Old Testament Law? Jesus said he came to fulfil it, not to abolish it. Is he laying down an even stricter legalism than that of the Pharisees? That is what is sounds like, but of course with Jesus things are not usually what they seem.
- Sketch 121. Virtue Signaling and Prayer Closets. Matthew 6:1-18. Can you believe people in Jesus’ day performed spiritual rituals and acts just to be seen by others? I know, it is hard to imagine. Actually, the hypocrisy with which we are familiar in our day was commonplace in Jesus’ time also.
- Sketch 122. God’s Job and Our Job. Matthew 6:19-34. Don’t worry, don’t be anxious. Can this seemingly superficial advice point us to a deeper trust in God to provide for our daily needs?
- Sketch 123. Do Unto Others. Matthew 7:1-29. Fulfilling the Golden Rule is a steep hill to climb, unless you are praying for God to work in the lives of your friends. And a reminder of just how hard it is to follow Jesus’ words, but how very important it is to do so.