The Sermon on the Mount: The King's Mandate Revealed
Sermon Series: The Life of Jesus: From Creation to the Cradle to the Cross to the Crown
Sermon Title: Sermon Series: The Life of Jesus: From Creation to the Cradle to the Cross to the Crown
The Sermon on the Mount: The King's Mandate Revealed
Sermon 1: An Overview
Date: July 3, 2016
Charles Spurgeon, a well-known evangelical preacher in London, used the phrase "what would Jesus do" in quotation marks several times in a sermon he gave on June 28, 1891. In his sermon he cites the source of the phrase as a book written in Latin by Thomas à Kempis between 1418 and 1427, Imitatio Christi (The Imitation of Christ. Then in 1896 Topeka, KS pastor Charles Sheldon wrote In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do.
A youth group leader in Holland, Michigan, named Janie Tinklenberg, began a grassroots movement to help the teenagers in her group remember the phrase; it spread nationwide in the 1990s among Christian youth, who wore bracelets bearing the initials W.W. J. D
CONTEXT: Many important events had already occurred before the Sermon on the Mount was given. It is important to note these so that you will see the undercurrents within the sermon.
After His baptism and testing in the wilderness in Judea (Matthew 3 & 4), Jesus performed His first miracle which was turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana (John 2:1-11).
Jesus had already cleansed the Temple during Passover (John 2-13-22) which greatly irritated the Scribes and Pharisees.
He had also already had His conversation with Nicodemus (John 3).
John the Baptist had been put into prison and Jesus had gone back up to Galilee (Matthew 4:12).
While on the way to Galilee, Jesus had his conversation with the woman at the well in Sychar (John 4:5-26).
He then went up to Nazareth where He was rejected (Luke 4:16-31, Matthew 4:13) and
then settled in Capernum (Matthew 4:13).
With Capernum as a home base He went about preaching His message of repentance (Matthew 4:17).
During this time He chose His disciples and performed many miracles. Peter, Andrew, James and John were the first disciples called (Matthew 4:18-22).
Jesus had authenticated His teaching in Capernum by healing a demoniac (Mark 1:21-28, Luke 4:31-37).
He had healed Peter’s mother-in-law (Mark 1:29-34; Luke 4:38-41; Matthew 8:14-17).
He had cleaned a leper which was followed by much publicity (Mark 1:40-45; Luke 5:12-16; Matthew 8:2-4).
He had demonstrated that He had the power to forgive when He healed the paralytic (Mark 2:1-12, Luke 5:17-26; Matthew 9:1-8).
He had called Matthew followed by Matthew’s banquet, at which the Pharisees began to question Him (Mark 2:13-22; Luke 5:27-39; Matthew 9:9-17).
Jesus had gone back up to Jerusalem where He healed a lame man on the Sabbath, after which the Jews sought to kill Him.
Jesus gave His discourse about being equal with God the Father (John 5:1-47), and had further raised the anger of the Pharisees when His disciples were picking and eating grain on a Sabbath (Mark 2:23-48, Luke 6:1-5; Matthew 12:1-8), and by healing the man with the withered hand on a Sabbath (Mark 3:1-6; Luke 6:6-11; Matthew 12:9-14).
Jesus then retreated to the Sea of Galilee and was followed by a great multitude. It was then that He appointed the twelve, and it was after all of this that Jesus gave the sermon on the mount.
Outline of The Sermon on the Mount (5-7)
I. The Beatitudes: The Character of a Kingdom Citizen 5:3-20
II. Jesus Corrects Six Moral Teachings,
Murder, Adultery, Divorce, Oaths, Revenge, Enemies 5:21 – 48
III. Jesus Corrects Three Religious Practices:
Alms, Prayer, Fasting 6:1-18
IV. Jesus Gives Three Prohibitions Concerning:
Riches, Judging, Holy things 6:19-7:6
V. Prayer for strength 7:7-11
VI. Entering the Kingdom 7:12-27
John Phillips said, “By the time Christ formulated this great sermon, the Greek philosophers had come and gone, Leaving the world as morally bankrupt as they had found it. The religions of the East had likewise had their day. They left men groping in utter darkness, hoping for their ultimate bliss of total nothingness or a better deal in some fancied future incarnation.”
Then Jesus, the Lord Creator of heaven and earth, by which we live and breath and have our being, tell man the best way to live. The only problem was man was totally unable to fulfill this task as it is only possible with a total life-changing, Holy Spirit-induced transformation of salvation by faith alone, through grace alone through Christ alone.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains well the application of the Sermon to us. It “is a description of character and not a code of ethics or of morals.” It is “something meant for all Christian people. It is a perfect picture of the life of the kingdom of God.” “. . . we are not told in the Sermon on the Mount, ‘Live like this and you will become Christian’; rather we are told, ‘Because you are a Christian live like this.’ This is how Christians ought to live; this is how Christians are meant to live.”
To grasp the Sermon on the Mount you must understand the Beatitude which then sets everything else up.
After the Beatitude there are three key verses:
The first is Matthew 5: 17-20:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
The second is Matthew 6:33
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
The third is Matthew 7: 21-23
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
John MacArthur sums up well the importance of this Sermon and why we need to study it:
1. It shows the absolute necessity of the new birth. It’s high standards go far beyond the Mosaic law. Man must not only do right, he must be right. No other scripture more clearly shows man’s desperate situation without God.
2. It intends to drive the listener to Jesus Christ as man’s only hope of meeting God’s standards. Man needs a supernatural power to enable him to live up to the divine standards, and that is only possible through Christ.
3. The sermon gives God’s pattern for happiness and for true success. It reveals what God has designed man to be. In it we find the way of joy, peace, and contentment.
4. A life obedient to the principles of the Sermon on the Mount is the church’s greatest tool for evangelism.
5. The life obedient to the maxims of this proclamation is the only life that is pleasing to God.
Those who enter the Kingdom of Heaven must have a righteousness that surpasses that of the Scribes and Pharisees for they only had the self-righteousness of legalism which says, “I am good because I do (or do not do) these things.” True righteousness is unconcerned with self proclaimed goodness for true righteousness comes from the heart and says, “I love you Lord, help me to do whatever pleases You.”