The Sermon on the Mount

Matthew 5-7


I.        Divisions of the chapters.

A.     Matthew 5:1-16 – Christ tells the people what kind of people will make up the kingdom of God.

1.       They will not be what the Pharisees have taught the people.

2.       Christ states in verses 13-16 that it is the responsibility of the common people to be like Christ, they shouldn’t follow the example of the religionists of the day.

3.       This is a totally different message than the people have heard before.

B.     Matthew 5:17-7:12 – Christ explains what the law really means, not what the Pharisees have caused it to mean.

1.       5:17-20 – Christ clarifies what He will do with the law, and what the people should do with the law.  Christ didn’t come to do away with the law, but to fulfill the law.  In this explanation, Christ reveals that what the Pharisees have done is actually do away with the law of God because they have added so many of their own precepts and practices to the law, therefore nullifying God’s law.  Christ exposes the people to the real law of God in 5:21-7:12.

2.       5:21-26 – What the law actually says about murder, and how you can’t really worship God if you hold any kind of malice in your hearts to people on this earth.

3.       5:27-30 – Christ explains that adultery is not just physical adultery, but is committed in the heart.  He reveals that the people must get rid of anything that will hinder them from entering the kingdom of God. The cutting off of ones limbs is figurative.

4.       5:31-32 – What the law actually says about divorce.  It should be noted that in the beginning this was not so, but because of the hardness of the heart, God allowed divorced in certain cases.

5.       5:33-37 – Christ explains that swearing is.  The Pharisees had changed this all around, declaring that if you swear by heaven, the earth, or whatever, you must perform your oath.  Christ said it was wrong to swear by that which you had no control over.

6.       5:38-42 – Christ clarifies vengeance.  The Pharisees had taught that it was right to exact an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.  Christ stated that any form of vengeance was wrong.  If a person would be the kind of person who would enter into the kingdom of Heaven, he would turn the other cheek, stop a suit by giving more than expected, go the second mile, and freely and willingly give whatever is asked.

7.       5:43-48 – The Pharisees taught it was right to love your friends and hate your enemies, because that person is also the enemy of God and God would hate that person.  Jesus explained that we should not only love our friends, but also love our enemies¸ pray for them that despitefully uses us, and do good to them that do us evil.  The purpose of this is to show mercy like God shows mercy.  Our purpose in this life is to be a missionary, not a judge.  Our purpose is to show people how God would do things, not how we would do things.

8.       6:1-7:12 – In this section, Christ changes his approach and begins to tell the people how they should be instead of giving them comparisons of how God and the Pharisees interpret the law.

a.      6:1-4 – When you worship (give your alms)  do it before God.  It is not wrong for people to see your worship, but worship is unto God, not unto men.

b.      6:5-15 – When you pray, do it before God.  It is not wrong for people to see and hear you pray, but the purpose of praying is to talk to God, not men.  Example of the man praying at a meal, and when he was finished, somebody said, “I didn’t hear you, you need to speak up.”  The man replied, “I wasn’t talking to you.”  It is not wrong to pray in public, but it is wrong to pray to men.  Praying is talking to God, not talking to men.

c.      6:16-18 – When you fast, do it before God.  It is not wrong for people to see you fasting, but the purpose of fasting is before God, not before men.

d.      6:19-24 – When you lay up treasure, do it before God.  This is a difficult proposition indeed.  It is not “natural” to forsake the things of this world for the things of God, but it is spiritual.  It is “natural” to want to provide for yourself and your family all the luxuries of life, and for the long term care of your family in the event of an emergency.  Jesus did not say wealth was wrong, or having things was wrong.  He does say, however, that our real wealth is in heaven.  Jesus emphatically states that He will provide all the necessities of life if we will only forsake all these things and put Him and the kingdom of heaven first.

e.      7:1-5 – When you judge, do it God’s way.  It is not wrong to judge, or be a “fruit inspector.”  But it is wrong to judge with our judgment.  It is right to judge with the judgment of God.

f.       7:6 – Do holy things unto God and holy people, not before wicked people because they will use the truth to destroy you.

g.      7:7-12 – As God for what you need.  Don’t go asking others.  God will supply all your needs and your wants if you ask.

C.     Matthew 7:13-27 – Christ gives four warnings about building your life.

1.       7:13-14 – The first warning is to make sure you are in the strait, narrow way that is going to the kingdom of heaven, not in the broad, populated way that is going to destruction.

2.       7:15-20 – Watch out for false prophets.  Just because a person declares they are following God and His principles, doesn’t mean they are.  Look at their fruits, and you will see from their fruits what kind of person they are.  A true person will have all good fruits, not half good and half bad.

3.       7:21-23 – Watch out that you are what you do.  Some folks will meet God in judgment, declaring to Him all the things they have done.  Works are good if they come from the heart, but works will not save, and works are not pleasing to God if not done from the heart, from a heart of love.

4.       7:24-27 – Watch how you build your life.  There are only two ways to build a life.  You can build on the rock of ages (Jesus Christ), or on the shifting sand (the various philosophies of men).  All lives are full of trouble (wind, rain, floods), but only the life build on the rock of ages will survive.

II.     The result of the message.

A.     The people were astonished because they heard what God had to say for the first time, instead of the gobbly-gook produced by the Pharisees.  Christ had authority because He properly used the Word of God.

B.     When we preach or live before men, we should so preach and live that we have the authority of God, and people will see that authority and serve and worship God.