The Sermon on the Mount – 1

Matthew 4:17 NKJV (17) From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

The Kingdom of Heaven is referring to the Church Age, salvation by faith. This is the time that the law will be put away and the time that Jesus will be ushering humanity into God’s Kingdom.

Jesus is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Matthew 4:23 NKJV (23) And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.

Jesus went about preaching, teaching, and healing the people.

Matthew 4:24-25 NKJV (24) Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them. (25) Great multitudes followed Him–from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.

Matthew 5:1 NKJV (1) And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him.

Notice that when the multitudes began to gather and Jesus’ fame began to spread all around, even into the heathen nations, Jesus did not take advantage of this to catapult His ministry.

He withdrew from that place and took His disciples and went up to a mountain. He drew back from the crowd.

Jesus realized that even though He was God incarnate, He had set aside His deity and was 100% man. As a man, He knew His limitations and that He could not effectively minister to this great crowd of people over an extended period.

Matthew 4:18-22 NKJV (18) And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. (19) Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (20) They immediately left their nets and followed Him. (21) Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, (22) and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.

In His wisdom, Jesus knew that He was going to have to have some help in ministry and so He recruited His disciples and now He was going to begin their training.

Matthew 5:2-10 NKJV (2) Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: (3) “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (4) Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. (5) Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. (6) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. (7) Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. (8) Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. (9) Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. (10) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

  • Notice in these verses, they begin and end talking about the Kingdom of Heaven.
  • The verses are a progression just like spiritual growth is a progression.
  • Verse 3 Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” He is speaking about the New Birth. To be eligible for the New Birth, you are poor or destitute in spirit. “Poor” in this verse means to be totally bankrupt.
  • Verse 10 speaks about the mature Christian that has endured persecution for righteousness’ sake.
  • In verse 4, Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted” Once you are Born Again, you can come to the realization that you lived a pretty bad life before Jesus and you can mourn that old life. Jesus said that you would be comforted.
  • In verse 5, Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.” The word “meek” means to become teachable. What someone needs once they get Born Again is to be taught or discipled concerning the things of God. (“Meek” does not mean “weak.”)

Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV (28) Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (30) For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Matthew 11:29 KJV (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

John 8:30-32 NKJV (30) As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. (31) Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. (32) And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Jesus said that those who are teachable would inherit the earth (land). This is a reference to prosperity that belongs to the believer and if we will learn of the Lord then we will prosper so that we can spread the Gospel.

  • In verse 6, Jesus said, “Blessed are those that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Once you become teachable (verse 5) you will develop a hunger and a thirst for the Word of God that only God can quench.

Whenever the scripture refers to partaking of the Word of God and God’s presence it makes reference to “hunger” and “thirst” because these things are only satisfied temporarily.

It says that God will continually satisfy those that hunger and thirst.

Eat until you are stuffed until you are ready to “pop.”

  • In verses 3 – 6 we have the intake of the Word of God and then beginning in verse 7 we have the giving out or living out of the Word of God.

You cannot put out until you first take in.

  • In verse 7, Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” You are not going to be able to give out mercy until you have first received mercy.

Jesus goes on to say that when you give out mercy, you obtain mercy. We see here the first teaching that Jesus gives on the law of giving or sowing and reaping.

Luke 6:35-38 NKJV (35) But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. (36) Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. (37) “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. (38) Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

  • In verse 8, Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” This person that keeps themselves pure in heart and free from contaminates will be able to perceive God. Some contaminates could be un-confessed sin, bitterness, un-forgiveness, etc. This is because God is a holy God.

Be quick to judge your own heart and the thoughts of your heart. You will have a clear perception of God.

  • In verse 9, Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

The “peace” that Jesus is referring to here is the ministry of reconciliation. Bringing people to God so they can be reconciled to Him.

Ephesians 6:14-15 NKJV (14) Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, (15) and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

2 Corinthians 5:17-20 NKJV (17) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (18) Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, (19) that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. (20) Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

Luke 2:13-14 NKJV (13) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: (14) “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Someone who is a witness for Jesus is a peacemaker because it is our job to tell people that the war is over. God has made peace with mankind and you can receive that peace. The enemy was defeated.

“Peacemaking” does not MAKE you a child of God but it does let it be known that you ARE a child of God and people will call you that.

Witnessing lets people know that you are Born Again.

Acts 1:8 NKJV (8) But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

  • In verse 10, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Blessings come to believers that endure persecution. Persecution can come to all believers, but it definitely will come to those that begin to witness for the Lord.

We are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, however, there are some that are persecuted for stupidity and bad decisions.

Matthew 5:11-12 NKJV (11) “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. (12) Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

You get rewards for enduring persecution.

Your persecution is for a moment and temporary, but Heaven is eternal and the rewards are eternal.

Matthew 5:5 NKJV (5) Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.

The Greek word for “meek” is “praus” and means to have a teachable attitude.

The work meek does not mean weak just because they rhyme.

Jesus was the meekest individual that ever walked the earth but yet he was strong enough to drive the money changers out of the temple.

Psalms 37:11 NKJV (11) But the meek shall inherit the earth, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

Psalms 25:9 KJV (9) The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.

A meek person will receive guidance and the Word easily.

The word “praus” was taken from a term referring to a horse that can easily be turned or directed and all of that strength can be easily directed.

James 1:21 NKJV (21) Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

One cannot have their soul saved or their minds renewed without receiving the Word with a humble, teachable heart. You can receive the Word with the wrong attitude such as, “I am sure glad so and so is hearing this message because they sure do need it…”

In Matthew 5:5 Jesus said that the meek would inherit the earth. The Greek word for “earth” is “ge” which means the literal ground or terra firma. It is the root word for geology or geography.

Matthew 5:13-16 NKJV (13) “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. (14) “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. (15) Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. (16) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

A mature Christian is not supposed to just wreak havoc in Satan’s kingdom but he is also supposed to be a stabilizer in the earth.

Salt does three things:

    1. It hinders the spread of corruption or preserves
    2. It brings out flavor
    3. It creates thirst

“You are the salt of the earth” suggests at least three things: purity, preservation, and flavor. Salt in the Roman world symbolized purity—no doubt from the process of using sea water and the sun to acquire the salt. Roman soldiers were often paid in salt, the basis for the word “salary.”

But salt was also a preservative in a day without refrigeration. This meaning is expressed in Jesus’ warning about salt that has lost its savor (Luk_14:34-35). Meat spoiled unless it was salted. Similarly, the kingdom member is a preserving element in society.

  1. We are the ones that are preserving the earth so that Satan cannot destroy it.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-8 NKJV (1) Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, (2) not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. (3) Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, (4) who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. (5) Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? (6) And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. (7) For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. (8) And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.

  1. Salt brings out flavor

Salt loses itself in service to the object that is being salted or preserved, which is the third aspect of the meaning of this symbol—flavor. When salt is applied to food properly, it is not so that one can taste the salt, but so that the food itself tastes more authentically as it should. As salt makes the food more “foodier,” the disciple as the salt of the earth makes the earth more authentically as it should be. Our role in society is not to be over against it so much as it is to enrich or purify the social order, making it more truly a realm of blessing for humanity. Such enriching persons are the salt of the earth.

  1. Salt also creates thirst.

When we are living our lives according to the Word of God, we should be making those that we come into contact with thirsty for the things of God.

John 4:13-14 NKJV (13) Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, (14) but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

What is interesting about this is that lost people are hungry and thirsty; they just don’t know what they are hungry and thirsty for.

We should make them thirsty for the Lord by our lives being lived according to the Word of God.

Once they drink of the Lord, are Born Again, there is in them a well that springs up to everlasting life and that is their relationship with Jesus and He is the One that can satisfy that thirst.

One thing that we need to understand is that the salt we have today was a chemical compound is much more pure than the salt of Jesus’ day. If the saltiness were lost, or it were to lose its savor, there would be nothing remaining.

In eastern countries, however, the salt used was impure, mingled with vegetable and earthly substances; so that it might lose the whole of its saltiness, and a considerable quantity [of salt without flavor] remain. This was good for nothing except that it was used, as it is said, to place in paths, or walks, as we use gravel.

This is why it is so important that we do not let impurities get mingled in with our saltiness because it will diminish our effectiveness in the earth.

Matthew 5:14 NKJV (14) “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.

Notice Jesus said we are the light of the entire world.

The word “world” is not the same as the word “earth” in verse 5. The Greek word here is “kosmos” and means the world’s system.

The world’s system is in darkness because it is controlled by satanic powers. The word “light” is not talking about physical light, it is referring to the light of the Gospel or God’s Word in a dark and non-revelation filled world.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 KJV (3) But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: (4) In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

The light of the Gospel is spread in two ways:

    1. By the words that you speak.
    2. By your lifestyle.

There is coming a day when the “kosmos” will be gone but the “ge” will still be here.

The “ge” is what God owns but He is not the God of the “kosmos.” Satan is the god of the “kosmos.” His lease is almost up and when it is, God will kick him out once and for all.

Matthew 5:15-16 NKJV (15) Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. (16) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:15-16 MSG (15) If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. (16) Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand–shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

The Jesus goes on to say that in our house we are to be light as well. In other words, we are the same light to the world that we are at home.

In verse 16 Jesus said “let your light shine…” not “make your light shine…”

When the Word of God is in you and is bearing fruit, the works will follow. In other words you do not have to strain and struggle for those things to come forth. The strain comes when we try and be something that is not yet bearing fruit in us.

John 15:7-8 NKJV (7) If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. (8) By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV (22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23) gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.