The Sermon on the Mount is one of the more famous sermons Jesus preached. In Matthew chapter 5, we get a clearer image of this sermon and a clearer representation of what Jesus was preaching about. Let’s dive in:
In Matthew 5:2-12, we see Jesus’s sermon preached. In the passages preceding Matthew chapter 5, Jesus had selected his disciples and started his ministry. Right before Jesus headed up the mountain to preach, he was out healing people, and his name had spread throughout the region.
Seeing the crowds that had gathered to see him, the disciples come to him and he starts preaching,
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:3, ESV
What Jesus is saying here is that those who are lowly in spirit are blessed; those who humble themselves before God shall receive his presence, his grace and his power. God tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Meaning that when we humble ourselves before God, his Spirit is able to do its full work in us, and the kingdom of heaven is experienced because we are close to God.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” – Matthew 5:4, ESV
Those who are mourning the loss of a loved one shall experience God’s closeness as well. God sends down his Spirit to comfort us in our times of tragedy and distress.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” – Matthew 5:5, ESV
Jesus declares that the meek shall inherit the whole earth. What this means is that those who submit themselves fully to God’s will shall receive their inheritance. Jesus says in John 16:15, ” All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” Those who receive God’s words and his truth shall receive their inheritance. Since we share in the inheritance with Jesus Christ, the whole earth that was given to him, is given to us.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” – Matthew 5:6, ESV
God is the God of righteousness. It says in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” God is full of righteousness; so for you who seek righteousness and are looking to be satisfied, you must first seek him. In God you will find satisfaction, for he is the only one who can give you what you need. In him is where righteousness is found; in him is where life is found. Therefore, you are blessed when you thirst for righteousness because you will find it in him. In him, your thirst will be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” – Matthew 5:7, ESV
Jesus has said these words more than once. In Matthew 6:15 he says, “but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Forgiveness is huge in the kingdom of God. Forgiveness is so important to him that he uses our forgiveness as a lesson to teach us about his forgiveness. Mercy is choosing to forgive when you have the right to punish. God has every right to punish mankind for all of our evil ways and wickedness, but he chose to forgive us through his son Jesus Christ. Now that’s mercy! If God can forgive us every day for our sins, how can we not forgive others with the same morale?
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” – Matthew 5:8, ESV
This scripture is so beautiful to me. God honors and loves a pure heart. When you love and honor God with a pure heart, he can receive you. What do I mean by that? What I mean is that God can use you. God can only use those whose hearts are pure towards him. In 1 Samuel 13:14 it says, “The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart…” referencing to King David. When the scripture quotes, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God,” what this means is that for those who are pure in heart, they shall get to know God on a more personal and intimate level.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” – Matthew 5:9, ESV
Peacemakers are those who seek peace. In Psalm 34:14 it tells us to, “seek peace and pursue it.” Jesus tells us in John 13:35, ” By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” We must love one another and always seek peace. When we do this, we shall be blessed.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:10, ESV
This line of scripture is particularly interesting because Jesus is foreshadowing what is to come for his disciples. After Jesus ascends into heaven and sends down the Holy Spirit, his disciples experience much persecution. The church experienced much persecution all throughout the book of Acts, and even to this day. The hope we have as believers is that because we are on Jesus’s side, we are on the winning side. The persecution we experience here on earth proves us worthy to receive all that God has for us in the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” – Matthew 5:11-12, ESV
This line of scripture is very important. In the preceding text, Jesus is referencing to “those,” while in this passage he mentions “you.” Jesus is personally talking to his disciples, those that were going to experience many trials due to their allegiance to Jesus. In Acts chapter 5, when Jesus’s apostles were beaten and charged for preaching in the name of Jesus, they went away “rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.” What a testament to God’s grace. To know that you are blessed because you are being persecuted for believing and preaching the name of Jesus is comforting. What this scripture does is affirm our rightful standing in the eyes of God.
Jesus wanted his disciples and everyone who believed in him to know what to expect. He was teaching us that no matter what we go through in this life, we have already received the victory because of what he did on Calvary.
God bless you.