Morning: Matthew 5:1-16; Noon: Exodus 15:20-20:17; Evening: Psalm 22:14-31
Two-thousand three-hundred and eighty-five words. That’s the approximate word count of Jesus’ famous “Sermon on the Mount” as it were. If Jesus spoke around a hundred words per minute, He probably would’ve preached in this instance for about 20-25 minutes. That is of course if we were not to consider the very strong possibility of Matthew’s various omissions, as this witness provides for a us only a glimpse into the life and teachings of the new-found King. Regardless of the many specifics unknown to us today we can all surely agree that to be a “fly on the wall” that day would be something quite surreal!
After a closer examination into Jesus’ message on this occasion, what do you think you would title the “Sermon on the Mount”? If Jesus were to come and speak to you in the assembly on Sunday, how might your bulletin read? I believe something like, “Entrance into the Kingdom,” “Exceeding the Righteousness of the Pharisees,” “Building Your Faith on a Rock,” “A City Set on a Hill,” or “The Narrow Way to Heaven,” might all be fitting sermon titles. Whatever you might call it, the ongoing theme no doubt is the “kingdom of heaven,” and the righteousness needed to obtain it. Jesus famous Sermon on the Mount is an extension of what Matthew declared about Jesus preaching just a few passages ago, “Jesus began to preach and to say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (4:17).
Like those Pharisees, religious leaders today have made the Christian world such a confusing place. It is time to hear the words of Jesus on the mountaintop once again. It is time to hear what Jesus has to say about one’s entrance into the kingdom of heaven. It is time to hear what Jesus has to say about the kind of righteousness that man needs to enter it. Be assured that your social status in life is of no factor in this matter, the “beatitudes” prove that. Be assured that persecution is in your future, Jesus warning alludes to its certainty. Be assured that your entrance into the kingdom will be a determining factor in the hope and entrance of others. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Are you ready to climb the mountain and take heed to the words of Jesus?