This Tuesday we will begin our study of Jesus’ Sermon the Mount. The Sermon is found in Matthew 5-7 and is the first teachings we encounter by Jesus. The Sermon presents the very heart of Jesus’ moral and ethical teachings. And unlike most of Jesus’ other teachings, the Sermon does not contain any parables. Many of the sayings in the Sermon on the Mount have entered into popular discourse: “salt of the earth”, “city on hill”, “forgive your enemies”, “do not judge”, and “lilies of the field.” It is in the Sermon on the Mount that we find the Beatitudes and the Lord’s Prayer. It is also here that Jesus will redefine and reinterpret many of the ten commandments from teaching about external actions, such as do not murder, to teaching about changing the heart, do not be angry. In his introduction to On the Sermon on the Mount, St. Augustine writes that “we will find in it, so far as regards the highest morals, a perfect standard of the Christian life.” I am looking forward to walking through the Sermon on the Mount with you.
Our anticipated discussions (skipping the Beatitudes and the Lord’s Prayer) are:
Oct 15: Matt. 5:13-20 (Salt of the Earth, Fulfillment of the Law)
Oct 22: Matt. 5:21-37 (Murder, Adultery)
Oct 29: Matt.5:38-6:4 (Enemies, Almsgiving)
Nov 5: Matt: 6:14-31 (Don’t Worry)
Nov 12: Matt 7:1-12 (Judging, Asking)
Nov 19: Matt 7:13-29 (Fruit, Self-Deception)
Nov 26: Thanksgiving Celebration (RSVP)
Each week, all I ask is that you read and ruminate on the readings for that week. All you will need is a Bible (and if you don’t have one, one will be provided for you). There are a plethora of commentaries and sermon series on the Sermon on the Mount. Amazon lists 461 books entitled “Sermon on the Mount.” If there is a particular writer or preacher that you enjoy, chances are you will be able to find his thoughts on the Sermon on the Mount. I will be attaching excerpts from Oswald Chambers (1874-1917) Studies on the Sermon on the Mount that I will be reading during the week in preparation.
For this Tuesday we will be reading Matt 5:1-20 (reading but not discussing the Beatitudes in vv.1-12). In the first part of these readings (vv.13-16), Jesus tells us to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. It only takes a little salt to season a meal and a single candle can lighten a room. A single kind word can brighten a day. And so it is that our service, our love, and our witness to the world are to be salt and light. For this week, think about how you are or can be salt and light? How do your good works give glory to God?
This little light of mine – I’m gonna let it shine (x3)
Hide it under a bushel, No! – I’m gonna let it shine (x3)
Don’t let Satan, phhhh it out – I’m gonna let it shine (x3)
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.