When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.
– Matthew 7:28-29 (our 27th and final segment of the Sermon on the Mount)
This is how the apostle Matthew concludes his account of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
It is easy to see how “the crowds were amazed.” If you’re anything like me, it’s left you amazed, too. It’s like listening to a lecture on algebra by the person who invented algebra.
As Jesus Himself said:
“You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am.”
– John 13:13
Jesus is not just a teacher – He is Lord, too! And He’s not just a commander (Lord) – He’s an explainer (Teacher), too! The two roles are intertwined.
Much of Jesus’ teaching comes to us in bits and pieces gathered into the four gospels, and then paraphrased in the instructional sections of the epistles. The Sermon on the Mount stands out as an extensive and meaty – and uninterrupted – discourse by Jesus Himself. And it’s a discourse on the most important subject about which He taught: the kingdom of God.
Here is an outline summarization:
- Matthew sets the scene (Matt 5:1-2)
- Nine beatitudes (Matt 5:3-12)
- An exhortation that disciples are “salt” and “light” in the world (Matt 5:13-16)
- An assurance that all of the Old Testament will be fulfilled (Matt 5:17-18)
- A warning that Jesus’ commandments are going to be demanding (Matt 5:19-20)
- Six “You have heard…but I say” examples of Jesus’ teaching (Matt 5:21-47)
- A summary exhortation that disciples are being trained for godliness (Matt 5:48)
- An extended exhortation to live for God and not the visible world (Matt 6:1-34)
- Warnings not to judge, not to be hypocritical, and not to share the teaching indiscriminately (Matt 7:1-6)
- An assurance about the generosity of God (Matt 7:7-11)
- The Law and Prophets summarized as the Golden Rule (Matt 7:12)
- A warning that only a minority of people find the kingdom in this life (Matt 7:13-14)
- A warning about false teachers (Matt 7:15-23)
- An exhortation to act on the teaching (Matt 7:24-27)
- Matthew describes the authority with which Jesus spoke (Matt 7:28-29)
The best explanation of the Sermon on the Mount is what Jesus shows you by His Spirit. My words in these posts should serve only to point you in that direction.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, thank You for what I do understand of Your teaching; help me understand more today…(this is where you remain quiet to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)