Sermon on the Mount
A Comparison of the Two Gospels. Sermon on the Plains and Sermon on the Mountains
Sermon on the Mount vs. Sermon on the Plain
If you didn’t like the Sermon on the Mount presented in the gospel of Matthew, maybe you’ll like volume two, the Sermon on the Plain. The Sermon on the Mount is one of the best-known stories of Matthews’s gospel, and essentially contains the meat of Jesus’ earthly ministry and then some. Flipping ahead to Luke we find what seems to be a parallel story to the Sermon on the Mount, but this time taking place on a plain rather than a mountain.. The Sermon on the Plain contains many of the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount, however also includes many key disparities. These disparities include a different setting and an extremely tapered version of the Sermon on the Mount that excludes key aspects of Matthew’s version such as prophecy and Jewish Law. These differences lend great evidence to ideas such as the timeline in which the gospels are believed to have been written as well as redaction and source criticism. We can attribute these differences largely to the different audiences the respective authors were writing their gospels for.
Before addressing the distinctions between Matthew and Luke’s version of this story, it’s important to take a look at the similarities as well. First, the crowd is very much the same in both versions. Jesus has just healed many people of unclean spirits, disease, etc. And now these people who have just seen his supernatural power are about to be taught by Jesus. Furthermore, though they are much different in length, almost everything found in Luke’s Sermon on the Plain is also presented in Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount, but not the other way around. Luke’s includes the beatitudes, loving your enemies, judging others, a tree and it’s fruit, and building your house on the rock. I find these similarities important as it pertains to source criticism. It seems that Matthew and Luke agree completely, in terms of language and content, on the things that Luke presents in his version of this story, which lends validity to the idea that they shared some source other than Mark. However, it’s in the differences between the sermons that we can get at even greater evidence for such New Testament ideas such as source and redaction criticism.
The first distinction that jumps right out is the difference in settings. In Matthew, Jesus removes himself from the crowd and climbs up a mountain before teaching them. However, in Luke it says that Jesus was on a flat surface in front of the crowd and then began to teach. What seems like a minute detail is in fact a significant distinction. In Matthew’s gospel we see a Jesus figure that is a lot more like a King than a servant. This a common theme throughout the entire gospel, as opposed to Luke’s representation of Jesus which is a bit more modest and appealing to a wider audience. This difference in setting is a prime example of this distinction between Jesus in Matthew vs. Jesus in Luke. In Matthew Jesus goes on a mountain, signifying his Lordship and authorities, while in Luke Jesus stays on the same level of the people as he teaches them. This also can be attributed to the audiences for which these gospels are written. Matthew, being a predominately Jewish text, is more appealing to Jews by putting Jesus on a mountain to show his authority. Luke on the other hand was written for Gentiles, who would be more likely to appreciate a savior figure that stays on the same level as them.
The start difference in content between these two versions of the sermon can be extremely telling. As mentioned before, almost all of Luke’s version can be found in Matthew’s as well. However, Luke greatly shortens the sermon to include what seems to be the more important material presented by Jesus, at least in Luke’s eyes. The main things excluded in Luke’s version of the sermon are prophecy and analysis of the Law. Where in Matthew, Jesus dives deep into obeying the Law and exactly how to obey it, this is nowhere to be found in Luke. We can look even deeper into the parts of the Law that Luke leaves out such as fasting, oaths, divorce, etc. Why would he exclude such key aspects? This leads us back to the argument of audience. It’s clear that Luke’s Gentile audience wouldn’t benefit from such sayings of Jesus in comparison to Matthew’s Jewish audience. Also, in light of redaction criticism, we can say that Luke made necessary cuts to Matthew’s story in order to make it flow better and be more appealing. Furthermore, in Matthew Jesus has more prophetic speech as he details that “Christ came to fulfill the Law.” This is another example of Matthew aiming to please his Jewish audience, while Luke didn’t see it necessary for his particular audience.
Whether analyzing the Birth Narrative, the Transfiguration, or the Resurrection, there are both similarities and differences in the presentation of these stories by Matthew and Luke. This fact is no different for the Sermon on the Mount. Both authors present eerily similar material on these particular teachings of Jesus that are not without key differences. Disparities such as setting and content between the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew and the Sermon on the Plain in Luke can lead us to evidence of the historical facts we know about these two gospels. Facts such as when each gospel was written and who they were written for, namely Jews for Matthew and Gentiles for Luke, can help us explain disparities such as why does Luke not include prophetic speech or much talk about the Law?
A Study Of Jesus’ Teaching On How People Can Get To Heaven As Illustrated In The Sermon On The Mountain
The Sermon on the Mount discusses various ways in which people can follow Jesus to get to heaven. In the first part, The Beatitudes are discussed. In society today, these teachings mean almost nothing. Nevertheless, they are believable. For example, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” No one has to interpret that in the literal sense, I mean obviously if you follow through a situation with a humble act of kindness, you will not immediately gain a part of the earth to call your own. However, one can assume that Jesus’ figurative interpretation meant the simple, universal knowledge that can be applied to many different situations today, and that is that for every good deed, one is rewarded or what goes around comes around. For most of the Beatitudes, one can go by those adages. As for the rest of the teachings such as “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted,” one can use common sense to interpret the apparent message in that particular Beatitude. Thus, these teachings can be lived by if taken day by day, in our present society. No one can deny that it would not be easy for an individual living in our present day to go by all the Beatitudes. Although we’re expected to, because we as humans are oh so imperfect, it is not a piece of cake. Take for instance a man working at a very prestigious law firm in New York City, everyone that works at that law firm is below him and he is practically making money by the second. If he has to fire someone, he will not hesitate by thinking about the Beatitude that says, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” All he wants to obtain is a successful law firm, with less men that make mistakes like the one he wants to fire, and more men that can bring in plenty more money for him and his law firm. Instead of thinking about how perhaps these mistakes were petty and can be corrected with further training or being kind and forgiving toward this employee as a real man and boss should be, he will be thinking about how he wants him OUT so he can bring a new and flawless man IN. Anything to further the reputation of his firm, but again he is driven by wealth, which is not the right way to lead your life at all. Maybe he should be thinking about that Beatitude, but in today’s world there is a 100% guarantee that a man in that type of position will not be.
Further into the passage, it is said that Jesus expects everyone to love his or her enemies. That is a concept that everyone is familiar with, but again, hardly anyone will actually live his or her life according to that teaching. There are so many cruel and harsh people in the world today. When someone gets treated like dirt, the last thing that is on their mind is forgiveness and neglect. Instead, in the place of those moral requests of Jesus, is vindictiveness, anger and deviance. Of course with time, an argument or just a situation in general which caused people to become enemies in the end can lead to a possible reconciliation, but that is never a definite thing, unfortunately. I can love my enemies, of course I can. But the question is not can I or can I not love my enemies, it is how do I love my enemies? No one knows how, most people see it as impossibility. By nature we were raised with the mindset, if someone deceives you, you deceive him or her. It is sad but true, and in some families one may even actually be taught to physically fight back if someone wrongs them. It’s funny because the proverb, “two wrongs don’t make a right” is known worldwide, yet people seem to completely ignore it. The way most of us handle our problems today is not moral at all, but it is the way our society has come to be. There is hope to correct the problem, but very little hope at that.
In Jesus’ gospel, the meaning of hypocrisy is termed in two different scenarios. First, it is said that if you “doest alms,” in other words give to the poor, do not “sound a trumpet before thee as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they have glory from men.” Jesus is trying to explain to us that when we do something good, we should not go around boasting and bragging about having done it. He says that we will be rewarded by God because he is watching over us and sees all the good things we do, there is no need to go around in an attempt to gain attention because of something good you have done. If you do that, it is almost like you never did the good deed in the first place or it makes it seem as though you put no thought into what you did, you merely did it for the gratitude you knew you would receive thereafter.
The second example Jesus uses in referring to hypocrisy concerns fasting. He points out that during the time that we are fasting, we should never remain with that look on our face. The look of “dismal countenance,” that plainly gives the impression that we do not want to do it and that we are only doing it because we have to, as if to expect pity from everyone around us while we are fasting. We cannot sit and complain to everyone while we are fasting because that absolutely defeats the purpose of the whole sacrifice we are attempting to make.
I believe hypocrisy such as the examples above is ridiculous. I mean why preach one thing, and do another. Why sit there and brag about how you believe in one thing, and when the time comes to express your faith, sit back and purposely deny your faith, just as Judas did in that story when he denies Jesus three times. I think Jesus teaches us that whatever you may do on earth that is good should be done out of love and from your heart. Certainly not to gain attention, not to receive rewards or recognition, not to ascend to a higher position or anything like that because the only rewards we need and will get in due time, are the ones from God himself. These examples of doing self-less things for others, such as alms and making sacrifices for God such as fasting during the Lenten season can be hypocritical expressions or they can be done with truth and sincere intention from our hearts.
In life, it’s hard to say what I value the most. I value a lot of things for different reasons. I value my mother for bringing me into this world and supporting me through everything I do and just being there in general with unconditional love whenever I need it. I value my best friend, for loving me no matter how hard it is, for supporting me when I encounter rough times in my life. I value God; I’ve always turned to him whether it is at church or at home praying in my bed. And you know what, more often than not has he honestly answered my prayers or helped me when I asked him to help me. I know that if I am confused and cannot find my way he will be there, but I also know that sometimes he is unable to answer prayers because it may just not be the right time for things to go my way. It’s all about fate and destiny I guess. At least that’s how I’ve always viewed it. I suppose it’s only those three things I value the most, because they have helped me to get where I am today. If it were not for them I’d be totally lost. What do I treasure? I treasure love, and the people that bring it into your life. I guess because it’s so mesmerizing, it finds its way in your life one day and several days, months or even years later it finds its way out, sometimes unexpectedly. But with that comes the benefits of lessons and changes and if it were not for those, life would not go on. We would never learn from our mistakes, we’d just keep making them over and over and have no progression, no advances. Not only do I treasure that type of love, but also of course, I treasure the unconditional love I am surrounded with from my family and loved ones. If I learned anything from so many years of religious education, it’s that love is essential to life – you must give and receive it wholeheartedly.
A Study Of The Moral Insinuation Of The Bible Passage, Sermon On The Mountain
“Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.”
The Sermon on the Mount is perhaps one of the most well known passages in the Bible, among other famous passages like the apocalyptic visions in Revelation or the law-giving entries in the Decalogue. However, the Sermon on the Mount is more than just a cliché; it can be considered one of the major foundations of Christianity, along with the Gospel message preached in other parts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The passage makes for a fascinating and insightful look at early Christianity, and more specifically gives insight into the ethics that Christ was speaking to at the time. In short, the Sermon on the Mount held profound ethical implications for the people Christ was preaching to and, subsequently, the formation of the early church. While the Sermon on the Mount certainly holds real-life principles and ethical implications for modern day Christianity, this discussion is more concerned with the historical impact of this part of Scripture. In short, this discussion shows that the Sermon on the Mount both challenges the ethical presuppositions of the Old Testament and provides a form of pedagogical and transformational instruction for early Christians who did not yet have the foundation of the epistles. Both of these insights from the Sermon on the Mount are tied together by Christ’s treatment of the concept of goodness; the passage essentially gives a new meaning to the word. While this is not an exhaustive discussion of the Sermon on the Mount and its ethical implications, these two conclusions provide a new, instructional way of viewing this passage in Scripture.
First and foremost, it is worthwhile to discuss how the Sermon on the Mount relates to the Old Testament, since this is where the passage finds most of its ethical import, particularly for those who listened to the sermon when Christ first preached it. As one source states, “Even a cursory reading will reveal that there is a relationship between the Sermon on the Mount and the Law in the Old Testament” (Kearney n.p.). Another source clarifies this standpoint, stating that “Some even maintain that the Sermon represents the most concentrated teaching Christ gave in clarifying the meaning of the law…Jesus’ discourse is said to occupy in the New Testament the same place that the Decalogue occupied in the Old Testament” (Lioy 85). This discussion takes a middle ground on this perspective. More specifically, there are several ways to read the Sermon on the Mount from an ethical perspective. The passage either “presents a new Law, refines the Old Testament Law, or is something other than Law” (Kearney n.p.). Because Christ made it clear in His teachings that he did not come to abolish the Old Testament Law, but to fulfill it, one can safely rule out the first two options.
The passage certainly contains ethical teachings that supersede Old Testament law; for instance, Christ states that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister has committed murder, and anyone who lusts has already committed adultery (Matthew 5:22, 28). However, from an ethical and historical perspective is this truly meant to replace the Old Testament from which Christ was preaching? As one scholar asks, “Was it the purpose of Jesus merely to point out the correct meaning of the Law of Moses, or was He setting forth new principles, opposed to or higher than the principles of the Law, which were to become the constitution of the Kingdom?” (Kearney n.p.). While this question is certainly a good place to start, it arguably presents an unfair dichotomy that cannot be justified from an ethical perspective. Instead of presenting a completely new Law, or contradicting the Law of the Old Testament, it seems that Christ is simply presenting a new ethical perspective on what constitutes goodness. It is not perfection, since that cannot be achieved anyway (Matthew 5:20); instead, it is a new perspective of the heart, acting toward being the salt and the light on the earth.
This perspective on the passage is confirmed by the ethical perception of the Sermon on the Mount as both pedagogical instruction and transformational ethics. On the first front, many theologians have argued “that Jesus spoke to all people despite the fact that no human being can actually meet his demands…[and] highlights human sinfulness and weakness, continually calling Christians toward greater perfection in Christ and emphasizing the need for God’s mercy” (Prahlow n.p.). This is the new conception of what is meant by goodness discussed above. Similarly, the Sermon on the Mount as a form of transformational ethics simply expands the Law to include goodness as a whole, rather than a legalistic following of precepts. As the source quoted above goes on to state, “Jesus turns ethical conventions and interpretation on their heads, intensifies the heart of Torah (love of God and neighbor), and calls his followers to radical selflessness and sacrifice” (Prahlow n.p.). The clearest examples of this is the way Christ speaks to concepts like “an eye for an eye”, the “law and the prophets” and even the way He speaks to interpretation (“you have heard it said”). These teachings do not nullify the Old Testament, nor are they meant only for some people in a specific place. Instead, a combined transformational and pedagogical perspective on the Sermon on the Mount means that the passage gave a new ethical imperative to those listening; as a consequence, the sermon provided not only ethical guidelines for the early Church, but an entirely new ethical paradigm. Namely, the discussion above makes it clear that main ethical implication of the Sermon on the Mount at the time was a completely new ideation of goodness that spoke not only to how followers of God were to act, but on how God interacts with followers. It brought in the Kingdom perspective, rather than a holistically legalistic or else philosophically moralistic one. Of course, the passage is not limited to this perspective, but this is the clearest ethical implication for both the hearers of the sermon and the early church.
The Role of the Sermon on the Mount in Christianity
The text described in the bible in Matthew 5:1-2 – Matthew 8:1 titled “The Sermon on the Mount” was written in 1-300 century BCE. It describes a series of Jesus’s teachings, which he delivered from a mountain, called after the blessings given there, The Mount of Beatitudes. The teachings are given to a large group of his followers gathered around him, but can still be applied today by modern people. Many believe these teachings to be a revolutionary monotheistic text, as it redefines the previous, jewish teachings and expands them, creating the most important pillars of christianity by building on the old canon. I will further evaluate upon this theory by comparing “The Sermon on the Mount” to the ten commandments, coming from the old testament, which till this day are to one the most significant sets of monotheistic beliefs. I will argue, that “The Sermon on the Mount” does not change the main ideas of commandments, but expands them in order to fit into the more spiritual and personal approach to religion, that focuses on the mind and thoughts, not only body and actions. It could also be argued, these sources can be considered as an adequate metaphorical representation of the relation between christianity and judaism.
“The Sermon on the Mount”, coming from the new testament, instead of creating anew set of beliefs, it expands and deepens the meaning of the concepts reflected before, in the decalogue. The third commandment states “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” instructing the believers to respect God’s name by not using it in strong emotions, for example anger. In jesus’s teachings this idea is also reflected in two cases. In line 33 in “The Sermon on the Mount” the mesajah speaks about swearing oaths, which used to be a popular form of making an official promise. One would have most commonly sworn the vow upon the name of God, to reassure others about his truthfulness. However in the teachings Jesus says ” But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all:either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.”. Jesus implies that God’s name does not need to be used in human promises. he also expresses,that a word of a godly man should always be truth, so it does not need to be backed up by the name of Lord. This teaching expands the understanding of the concept of the disrespect in overusing the name of God, presented in the ten commandments and explores them further,rather than changing them.
Another part of the teachings from “The Sermon on the Mount”, which addresses the idea reflected in the third commandment “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” is located in line 2, where Christ speaks about True and False Disciples – “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Here, Jesus not only mentions the same idea and finds another application for it, but also explores the consequences of saying it. this factor could be crucial to the religious people, as it provides them with far less abstract motivations and requirements of their religion, as it states a clear result of their actions. By foreshadowing the outcome of sins, Jesus makes his listeners much more likely to follow christianity, because he supplements a widely recognized, significant rule with new meaning, rather than introducing a new one.
Another idea reflected in both texts, which shows, how “The Sermon on the Mount” applies the key moral concepts known from the previous religious texts, is the issue of murder. Assassination in the decalogue is being reflected upon in the sixth commandment – “You shall not murder.”. This is an clear instruction expressed to the people in a simple,short sentence reminding the reader an order or a decree. It is very plain and is not followed by any further explanations or consequences of this action,leaving the reader with no arguments nor reasons to support and apply this rule in their life. In the “The Sermon on the Mount” Jesus repeats this rule, however adds, that anger is almost as hateful as murder saying – ” But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.” He adds that the consequence of breaking these instructions is hell, which makes the result of this action an obvious threat. This gives people a clear motive to be religious, and paints a sorry vision of tragic consequences,which attracts them more than an order, – “You shall not murder.”. Again Jesus expands the idea and here also provides the reader with a strong reason behind following christian belifs, but still uses a well-known concept from torah.
</p><p>Later on in the paragraph on murder jesus explores further the newly introduced idea about anger and conflict being as evil as murder. He says – “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” In this quotation Jesus recognizes an internal conflict in a person, that wants to be religious, however has enemies at the same time. He links back to the threat of hell and warns people to stay true to themselves,as to be a faithful believer one has to be free of sin. Triggered by the vision of tragic consequences people start to think about religion as a lifestyle rather than a habit or series of actions, taking it to a more spiritual, mindful level. This is very revolutionary as the concept of God as a spiritual guide, which is present in the ideal of monotheism is being fulfilled due to expanding and adding new layers of meaning to the old beliefs, making the new ones more fulfilling.
The sin of adultery is also mentioned in “The Sermon on the Mount” as an expanded version of the seventh commandment. In the decalogue it states – “You shall not commit adultery.”. Similarly to the case of murder, the restriction is stated in a form of an order or a rule, rather than a specific instruction, which makes it more open to different interpretations, which makes it also very vague and almost impossible to be commonly understood in a universal way. Adultery is not defined, what might result with a lot of misconceptions concerning this sensitive topic. On the other hand in “The Sermon on the Mount” in his teachings Jesus is more specific in his instructions according adultery as he adds, yet another dimension to it by saying – “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”. Jesus’s teachings consequently revolve around the spirit and mentality, so here as well he expands the sin of adultery, that hitherto was treated only as physical, also to the level of thoughts. By the implementation of his teachings to believers’ internal thinking processes, they are more conscious about their religion and it becomes far more personal. Here Jesus made the smallest change out of all examples presented till now, but moving the obligation to follow this rule to the minds of the believers he made a huge difference.
Moreover, Jesus clarifies the sin of adultery even further in the context of divorce. In his teachings he recognizes that divorce itself is not a crime and that a godly man is obliged to allow his wife to divorce him and have an official document, which confirms it, nonetheless Jesus claims,that if one’s marriage stops existing, it never was true in the eyes of God and one has committed adultery, while sleeping with their wife during marriage. the text says – “But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”. The teaching also points out, that the next person, who marries a divorced woman and lays with her makes her a victim of adultery and he himself is guilty of it. Again Christ uses the old commandment – “You shall not commit adultery.” and adds another meaning to it making it more specific, therefore more applicable. Also in a smooth way he avoids directly banning divorce, which would have probably been quite controversial.
In conclusion the series of Jesus’s teachings delivered by him from a mountain known as “The Sermon on the Mount” may be considered extremely influential and revolutionary, as it has formed christianity as we know it today, by exploring and deepening the concept of spirituality and soul in the context of simpler moral rules. It uses the well-known ideas from the old monotheistic, jewish canon and instead of abolishing or changing them he builds and explores those further, which allowed christianity to gain a so many supporters and followers over the ages. The relation of “The Sermon on the Mount” and the decalogue may also be translated into christianity and judaism and be a metaphorical representation of massive global christianisation, that happened over the course of human history. Christ’s religion very quickly grew in popularity building on the ideas from the old, jewish testament also known as torah.
The Contents of Jesus’ Teaching on the Sermon on the Mount and Its Application Today
The Sermon on the Mount is one of three major discourses spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ in the discharge of His prophetic office while engaged in His ministry on earth. Concerning the Upper Room Discourse and the Olivet Discourse there is little divergence among Bible-believing interpreters as to the period of applicability, the persons addressed, or the principles of action contained in them. There is no such unanimity in the interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount, even among interpreters who approach Scripture from the same literal and dispensational viewpoint. Differences with other Gospels. In both Gospels the sermon begins with what are commonly called the Beatitudes (Mt 5:3-12; Lk 6:20-23), short sayings that begin. ‘Blessed are …’ The Greek adjective translated ‘blessed’ represents a Hebrew word used often in the Old Testament, especially in Psalms and Proverbs. It means fortunate, well off, to be congratulated, or the like. The person pronounced blessed may not feel at all happy; in fact, those whom Jesus called blessed would appear to most people to be decidedly unhappy. <p></p><p>There are four differences between the Beatitudes given by Matthew and those given by Luke. First, Matthew has nine Beatitudes, Luke only four. The sayings concerning the meek, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those persecuted for righteousness are lacking in Luke. Second, whereas Matthew’s Beatitudes are stated more generally in the third person (‘the poor in spirit,’ ‘those who mourn,’ and so on), shifting to the second person only in the last Beatitude, Luke’s are all addressed directly to the hearers in the second person (‘you poor,’ ‘you that hunger now’). A third and very important difference is that Luke understands and phrases the Beatitudes in a more literal and material sense than Matthew does. It is not ‘the poor in spirit’ who are called blessed in Luke but ‘you poor,’ not ‘those who hunger and thirst for righteousness’ but ‘you that hunger now.’ Instead of ‘those who mourn’ Luke has ‘you that weep now’, and instead of ‘they shall be comforted’ he has ‘you shall laugh.’ The fourth difference is even more emphatic. Luke’s four Beatitudes are followed by four corresponding Woes (6:24-26): ‘But woe to you that are rich, woe to you that are full now, woe to you that laugh now, woe to you, when all men speak well of you.
The Lord’s Prayer
Sincerity in prayer requires that it be direct and simple. God is not impressed by verbosity (vv 7-8). Nor is the purpose of prayer to give him information. Prayer is a child’s expression of his hopes, fears, and aspirations to his Father, who already knows what the child needs, but wants the communion of spirit with spirit.
Matthew gives here (6:9-15; cf. Lk 11:2-4) what we call the Lord’s Prayer, introduced with the simple direction, ‘Pray then like this.’ Luke puts it after the story of Mary and Martha. Both settings may be artificial; it is the prayer itself that matters. Mark does not report it at all.
It begins with ‘Our Father who art in heaven.’ Luke has simply, ‘Father.” Matthew (or his special source) favors the expression ‘Father who is heaven’ or its equivalent ‘heavenly Father,’ both in prayer and in speaking of God (e.g., Mt 16:17; 18:10, 19). It is a Jewish form of address that Jesus himself may very well have used. In one form or another, Jesus’ most characteristic word for God was ‘Father.’ With the possessive pronoun ‘my’ or ‘his’ or only the definite article (Mk 8:38 and parallels; 13:32 and parallels) it refers to God as the Father of Jesus himself or of the coming Son of Man or Messiah. According to Luke. Jesus even as a boy spoke of God as ‘my Father’ (2:49). It is Luke also who reports that Jesus twice called upon God as Father from the cross (23:34, 46), and after his resurrection spoke to the troubled disciples of ‘the promise of my Father’ (24:49). But Jesus spoke not only of God as his own Father; he spoke also of ‘your Father’ (Mt 6:15 and often) and taught the disciples to address God as ‘our Father’ or simply ‘Father.’
In Judaism it was by no means unusual to speak of God and to him as Father, both of individuals and of the whole people of Israel. Some prayers in the Jewish Prayer Book begin, ‘Our Father, our King.’ A famous rabbinic saying is, ‘Who is there for us to lean on? On our Father who is in heaven.’ A prayer in the apocryphal book of Sirach begins, ‘O Lord. Father and Ruler of my life’ (Sir 23:1); and in another place (51:10) the reading of the Greek text. ‘‘the Father of my lord,’ represents a Hebrew text that was probably intended to be read, ‘my Father, my Lord.’
For Jesus the term ‘Father’ meant not only Creator, though that was a part of the meaning. It meant not only the supreme authority whom we must obey, though it did mean that. It meant also Provider, Protector, loving Parent, with all that human parenthood at its best implies. It meant far more, indeed, than the most perfect human parenthood could mean. ‘If you then, who are evil,’ Jesus said (Mt 7:11; cf. Lk 11:13), ‘know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him.’
In Matthew the Lord’s Prayer consists of seven petitions, of which Luke has five. The first three are requests not for anything for ourselves but for God’s glory and his purposes on earth. The first petition is typically Jewish: ‘Hallowed be thy name.’ The idea of the hallowing of the name has a long history behind it. Among the early Semites the name represented fame or reputation; indeed it expressed and embodied the very existence and identity of a person. So God’s gracious acts were said to be done for his name’s sake (e.g. Ps 23:3); blasphemy or any speech or conduct reflecting discredit upon him was said to profane his name (e.g., Lev 22:32); while reverence for him as holy. praising him as holy, and so acting as to reflect credit upon him were called (e.g. Is 29:23) hallowing or sanctifying his name (literally, making it holy). This must be the first concern of Jesus’ disciples.
The second petition in both Matthew and Luke is ‘Thy kingdom come'(Mt 6:10; Lk 11:2). Jesus had proclaimed when he first came back into Galilee after his baptism (Mk 1:15 and parallels): ‘The kingdom of God is at hand. “Near as it was, it had obviously not yet arrived when he gave the disciples this prayer. It still has not come. It’s coming depends upon God.
‘Thy will be done,’ whether or not it corresponds to our own desires, is the ultimate wish of every dedicated heart. It was the prayer of Jesus himself in Gethsemane. What God’s will requires must be accepted with sincere submission. This is the passive aspect of the petition. Actively it means that he who prays wishes to do God’s will himself, and wants every group of which he is a member to do God’s will.
The phrase ‘on earth as it is in heaven’ applies not only to the third petition but to all three. Critical editions of the Greek text make this clear by their arrangement of the lines, but our English translations obscure or ignore it. Literally the phrase reads, ‘as in heaven, also on earth.’ In heaven, this implies, God’s name is hallowed, his kingdom is present and manifest, his will is done. What does ‘in heaven’ mean? Jesus, as a child of his time, may have thought of heaven in simple terms of time and space. Rabbinic Judaism believed in several heavens, sometimes three, sometimes as many as seven. How much meaning such ideas had for Jesus we cannot tell. His statement that those who participated in the resurrection of the dead would be like angels, not marrying or giving in marriage (Mk 12:25 and parallels), implies a kind of incorporeal existence. All we can be sure of is that he believed in a real world in which was already realized what could only be hoped and prayed for here. However, that may be, there can be no getting away from the plain meaning of ‘also on earth.’
Luke’s shorter form of the Lord’s Prayer omits both ‘Thy will be done’ and ‘as in heaven, also on earth.’ Possibly’ this omission merely reflects the liturgical practice of a different group of churches. Possibly Luke has preserved the original prayer. and Matthew presents a liturgical expansion. The same question applies to the form of address at the beginning of the prayer. There is no way to determine the right answer to it. What the disciples are to pray for is not vitally affected. Matthew’s form has a clear structure, but this may be a result of the use of the prayer in public worship.
The four remaining petitions are for our own benefit, but only the first has to do with bodily needs. ‘Give us this day our daily bread” (Mt 6:11; Lk 11:3) is a request for physical sustenance, perhaps intended to cover not only food but all the necessities of everyday life. Instead of ‘this day’ Luke has ‘each day’; in either case provision is asked only for one day at a time. Whether ‘daily bread’ is the right translation is a question on which scholars disagree. The Greek adjective occurs nowhere else. To me ‘our bread for the coming day’ seems the best translation. In the morning this would refer to the day just beginning; in the evening it would mean the following day. That the petition has anything to do with the Messianic banquet of the coming age seems to me improbable.
In the next petition the words ‘debts’ and ‘debtors’ bother some people, who prefer ‘trespasses” and ‘those who trespass against us.’ The latter reading goes back all the way to the pioneer work of Tyndale (1535). The English Prayer Book perpetuated this rendering, which is still used in many churches. All the standard English versions after Tyndale. however, have ‘debts’ and ‘debtors’; and this is what the Greek actually says. In Aramaic, sins are regularly called debts and sinners are called debtors. Luke reads ‘sins’ instead of ‘debts’ (11:4). Probably this is simply a different translation of the same Aramaic word. The idea of debt is preserved in Luke’s ‘every one who is indebted to us’ where Matthew has ‘our debtors.’ Several recent translations read ‘the wrong we have done’ and ‘those who have wronged us’ or the like.
The petition (Mt 6:13; Lk 11:4), ‘And lead us not into temptation,’ has troubled sincere Christians perhaps more than anything else in the Lord’s Prayer. It seems unworthy and cowardly to ask to be spared temptation, and the idea that God would ever tempt anyone to sin seems incongruous (cf. James 1:13). The word ‘temptation.’ however, was not always so limited in meaning as it is for us now. The Bible refers often to tempting God (cf. Mt 4:7) in the sense of putting him to the test. The Greek word translated ‘temptation’ means testing or trial of any kind, including persecution.
‘But deliver us from evil.’ The Greek is ambiguous (cf. Mt 5:39). The connection with the preceding clause suggests a special reference to the temptation or trial from which the disciples ask to be spared. Thus, the double petition may mean. ‘Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the Tempter’; or, since ‘evil’ in the Bible has a wide range of meanings, ‘Do not cause us to be tried too severely, but deliver us from harm.’ Since we cannot tell precisely what Jesus had in mind, it would seem justifiable to use the prayer in any of these senses.
The whole prayer is couched in the plural. Even if Luke’s simple ‘Father’ is more authentic than Matthew’s ‘Our Father,’ both Luke and Matthew read ‘give us our daily bread, ‘forgive us our debts,’ and ‘our debtors,’ ‘Lead us not … but deliver us.’ Even in the privacy of his own room with the door shut, a Christian cannot leave his brother out of his prayers.
Obviously, this model prayer was not meant to exhaust all the things for which the disciples might pray. Everything in the Gospels bearing on the subject warrants the assumption that anything worth asking for or desiring would be a worthy object of prayer, subject always to Jesus’ ‘Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt’ (Mt 26:39).
At the end of the prayer in Matthew (6:13) some manuscripts have, ‘For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, for ever. Amen.’ The parallel in Luke (11:4) and some manuscripts of Matthew omit this. It seems clearly to have been added in the liturgical use of the prayer in some churches. There is a tendency in liturgy to multiply words (cf. Mt 6:7-8), though in this instance the language is by no means redundant or inappropriate. It is less prolix than the prayer of David (I Chron 29:10-111), which probably afforded a pattern for it.
After the prayer, Jesus adds in Matthew (6:14). ‘For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ This is one of only three sayings in the Sermon on the Mount (5:29-30. 312-33) that have parallels in Mark (9:43-48; 10:11-12; 11:25-26). In all three instances Matthew has a doublet later.
Firstly, the standard of character in the Kingdom is God· like perfection. v. 3-48. This is described in its progress and experiences, in the beatitudes, v. 3-12. Hatch, in his “Essays in Biblical Greek,” tells us that the terms here employed (πτωχ!!), -ραεις) were commonly used to describe the fellahin of the East, the poor suffering multitudes out of whom all spirit had been crushed by the relentless oppression of the rich and ruling classes. In this natural condition of the lowest classes of the population Jesus sees an illustration of the conscious spiritual condition of all who have just entered the Kingdom. Personally, they feel themselves to be spiritually bankrupt.
Secondly, its’ worth to the world, w. 13-16. The members of the Kingdom are like salt, which saves the world from corruption, v. 13 and light, to give light to men and bring glory to the Father, w. 14-16.
Third, its relation to that demanded under the law — it completes the latter, w. 17-47. This is stated expressly in w. 17-20. The opening words (“think not”) indicate that Jesus has in mind the suspicion, and possibly charge, already afloat that He was loosening the bonds of morality. That He utterly disclaims. The law’s demands are not to be abolished but fulfilled, actualized; not lowered, but carried higher, even to perfection. The righteousness of the Kingdom must far exceed the prevalent standard of the Scribes and Pharisees. The body of truth revealed in the law and the prophets is likened to a temple slowly rising through the centuries under the hand of God.
To summarize, the character demanded in the Kingdom is one of Godlike perfection, v. 48. The children of the Kingdom are to be perfect as their Heavenly Father. That this verse is intended to summarize the teaching of the whole chapter is not only suggested by the nature of the thought, but expressly indicated by the particle.
The Principles of the Sermon on the Mount
The first part of the Sermon deals with the Law (5:17-48) the second with the nature of true worship: almsgiving, prayer, fasting (6:1-18); and the third with deeds of loving kindness (6:19-7:12).” For Kurzinger, Matt 5:17 and 5:20 are leading ideas of the Sermon (Leitgedanke), and he attempts his triadic reconstruction of the Sermon on this basis. But he does not include under the “better righteousness” all of the material from the latter part of the Sermon which really belongs there.
The Role of the Sermon on the Moun
These results of modern biblical scholarship provide a remarkably rich theological context in which we can understand and appreciate the role and the teaching contents of the Sermon on the Mount. As Pope Benedict observed in his recent study of Jesus (p. 68), ‘The Sermon on the Mount is the new Torah brought by Jesus as the new Moses whose words constitute the definitive Torah.’
In addition, the sermon can also be understood within the new covenant which God was setting up with the new Israel as the opening address of Jesus inaugurating the kingdom of God. As the leader of God’s new people, he was spelling out the message of the dramatic miracles and healings which he had been performing earlier in Matthew’s gospel, that the kingly power of God was now beginning to be made manifest in the activities and teaching of Jesus. As Matthew summarised it, ‘Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people’ (Mt 4:23). The sermon which closed this opening section of Jesus’ gospel ministry in Matthew shows us Jesus now describing and explaining what life would be like for his followers in the kingdom, as it would describe and confirm to subsequent generations of new Christians, beginning with the Matthaean community, what being a disciple of Jesus would now regularly involve for them.
The roles of the Sermon on the Mount in the time of Jesus and later in the life of the Church was well brought out by Pope Benedict (p. 101) when he described how, “In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus speaks to his people, to Israel, as to the first bearer of the promise. But in giving them the new Torah, he opens them up, in order to bring to birth a great new family of God drawn from Israel and the Gentiles. Matthew wrote his Gospel for Jewish Christians and, more widely, for the Jewish world, in order to renew this great impulse that Jesus had initiated.”
Viewing the Sermon on the Mount thus as a preview of Christian living within the kingdom of God helps us to uncover its inner structure and thus to recognise the whole discourse as being carefully fashioned from previous sayings of Jesus to provide a detailed exposition of his key statement which forms, as it were, the text of the sermon: ‘I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven (Mt 5:20). The sermon is an unpacking of what the true relationship of Christians to God must entail, as contrasted with the ways in which their opponents, the scribes and Pharisees, are (polemically) portrayed as behaving. As with Paul in his letter to the Romans, the famous but elusive biblical term ‘righteousness’, or dikaiosune (based on the Greek term dike, or justice), attempts in the Sermon on the Mount to capture how a forgiving God takes the initiative in relating to us and how we in turn should correspondingly respond from our hearts to this generous heavenly father.
Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount is aimed at presenting an authoritative portrait of Christian discipleship. After a description of Jesus’ introductory healing ministry, the scene is set in his ascending the hill and solemnly sitting down to address his disciples and the crowd of interested bystanders. In the opening section of his address he sketches in the Beatitudes a portrait of his followers and then commissions them, exhorting them to show ‘greater rightness’ than that of the scribes and the Pharisees. The main body of the sermon can then be identified as containing three sections to do with this relationship with God: one contrasting traditional Jewish moral teaching with new moral principles enunciated by Jesus; a second on the practice of ‘righteousness,’ (Mt 6), religious and devotional practices as performed by the Pharisees, to be rejected now in favour of Christian practices; and a third section, less clearly composed than the previous two, which can be read as describing the true righteousness which is henceforth to be found and practised in the kingdom of God, and the complete trust and single-minded devotion which God’s sons and daughters are invited to manifest to their loving and protecting Father. The first thing that needs to be done, Jesus concludes here (6:33), is to seek the kingdom of God and its (or his) righteousness, and everything else will come later. There follow then some closing warnings on the seriousness of the situation and a parable aimed at emphasising the need not just to listen to the words of Jesus but also to obey them. In conclusion we are told, “the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes” (7:28-29).
- Carson, D. A., Douglas J. Moo, and Leon Morris. An Introduction to the New Testament. Leicester: APOLLOS, 1992.
- Drane, John William. Introducing the New Testament. Oxford: Lion, 2010.
- Farmer, J H. “An Analysis of the Sermon on the Mount.” Review & Expositor 1, no. 1 (April 1904): 71–96.
- Jack Mahoney SJ. “The Meaning of the Sermon on the Mount.” Thinking Faith: The Online Journal of the Jesuits in Britain. Last modified May 29, 2008. Accessed December 9, 2018. https://www.thinkingfaith.org/articles/20080529_1.htm.
- McEleney, Neil J. “The Principles of the Sermon on the Mount.” The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 41, no. 4 (October 1979): 552–570.
- Millar Burrows. “The Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain,” n.d. Accessed December 9, 2018. https://www.religion-online.org/book-chapter/chapter-4-the-sermon-on-the-mount-and-the-sermon-on-the-plain/.
- Sturz, Harry A. “The Sermon On The Mount And Its Application To The Present Age” (n.d.): 13.
The Influence of Plato’s Teachings, Sermon on the Mount and Forgiveness on Me
“Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven” (William Shakespeare). In this quote, William Shakespeare outlines the correlation between knowledge and religion. Knowledge brings people closer to God, it steers individuals towards a life filled with contentment. I feel very fortunate that I got the opportunity to receive a Catholic school education. Binding academics with religious instructions pave a way to happiness and success. This course has helped me fulfill the expectations of an Ontario Catholic school graduate. The knowledge I have attained from this course has made me a better person. I began to evaluate each decision I make with regards to what God would want me to do. The teachings of Plato, Sermon on the Mount and forgiveness helped me become a reflective, creative and holistic thinker who makes responsible decisions with an informed conscience for the common good.
To begin with, the teachings of Plato helped me reach the Catholic school graduate expectation of becoming a reflective thinker who makes responsible decisions with an informed conscience for the common good. Decisions we make on a daily basis affect the people around us. We should ensure that our decisions are made based upon our moral sense of making the world a better place. Plato is a Greek philosopher who wrote many philosophical dramas to convey his concerns on matters such as existence, knowledge, and value. Plato urges us to progress beyond all opinions and move towards an ethical reality. He conveys this message through his philosophical drama about a character named Socrates. Socrates said,”…let no day pass without discussing goodness and all the other subjects about which you hear me talking…examining both myself and others is really the very best thing a man can do…life without this sort of examination is not worth living…”. Plato, through Socrates, stresses the importance of engaging in ethics in our day to day lives. This teaching of Plato has helped me achieve the Catholic school graduate expectation because it has made me rethink the meaning of “good”. Our immediate desires are not the good. From Socrates story, I came to a conclusion that keeping in mind the struggles and happiness of others is a part of the idea of good. Socrates story helps me make responsible decisions with an informed conscience for the common good. I can apply Plato’s teachings and the Catholic school graduate expectation into my life through the little decisions I make every day. For example, using a reusable water bottle instead of a plastic water bottle can better our society. Plastic water bottles are made from polyethylene terephthalate which uses high levels of fossil fuels to produce. Fossil fuels have an atrocious effect on the environment. They release excess carbon dioxide emissions which impart to climate change and global warming. Plato’s urge to engage in ethics shown through his philosophical drama on Socrates, inspires us to do good for ourselves and others. Making a simple decision, such as investing in reusable water bottles instead of plastic ones, can make this world safer for humanity. Ongoing generations will be able to live in a world that is clean and secure. Thus, the teachings of Plato helped me reach the catholic school graduate expectation. I have begun to reflect on decisions that I make every day so the outcome of my actions will be at an advantage for us all.
Secondly, the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount have helped me reach the Catholic school graduate expectation of becoming a creative thinker who makes responsible decisions with an informed conscience for the common good. Sermon on the Mount is an important story a part of the Catholic faith. Some of the main teachings of Jesus Christ were conveyed during the Sermon on the Mount. The beatitudes are teachings and blessings recounted by Jesus during the Sermon on the Mount. The beatitudes reflect all things that are to be held in order to be good. The beatitudes gave me an insight on the Catholic school graduate expectation. Despite being a part of the Sikh faith, I found that the Sermon on the Mount gave me a creative insight to the way I should be making my decisions. Creativity is to embrace originality and to make unique links between dissimilar ideas. Although Christianity and Sikhism can be different in many ways, similarities are vividly evident depending on how you look at the religions. During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied”. In Sikhism, a similar idea is brought upon by Guru Nanak Dev Ji. He outlines the importance of seeking justice for all those prosecuted. In this beatitude and Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s teachings, the importance of righteousness and justice for all is expressed. This idea of endearment will bring you closer to God. To be righteous, in a biblical sense, is to respect the creation of God, and to build a better world for everyone. Doing this would mean to give justice to all those who are mistreated despite being children of God. I can apply this teaching into my life and use the idea of creative thinking to make decisions with respects to the common good. For example, the mistreatment of the LGBTQ community. I have made a decision to be righteous and bring justice to all those who are mistreated because of their homosexuality. This issue can only be solved if we think outside the box. I have made a connection between humor and this issue. A creative solution to abolish the hate towards the LGBTQ community is to use humor to educate others on the importance of respecting one another despite differences. Humor stimulates active learning and is something all people can understand. Standing up for the greater community is an act of God. Thus, the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount helped me reach the Catholic school graduate expectation. I have begun to use a creative thinking process to make decisions, while keeping a conscience for the common good.
Lastly, learning about forgiveness has helped me reach the Catholic school graduate expectation of becoming a holistic thinker who makes responsible decisions with an informed conscience for the common good. To be a holistic thinker is to take in all aspects of a situation. I learnt that forgiveness has many different aspects to itself. Forgiving means to abolish negative energy from yourself, recompense the wrongdoer, and overall brings you closer to God. This teaching of forgiveness has helped me become a holistic thinker and make decisions that benefit the greater community. An extraordinary depiction of this is Justin Trudeau. First Nations dealt with years of abuse from the government. They were stripped of their identities and westernized by residential schools which were put in place by the Canadian government. However, the First Nations received a well-deserved apology by Justin Trudeau. He took a stand and apologized on behalf of all Canadians and previous leaders of the Canadian government. To add on, many decisions were made by the government to put in place benefits for the First Nations. Many people were impacted by this apology. It left Canadians guilty, the government baffled and the First Nations surprised. Justin Trudeau shined a light upon the mistreatment of First Nations, an issue many seem to ignore. He outlined the importance of forgiveness and its impacts through his speech. Thus, learning about forgiveness has helped me reach the Catholic school graduate expectation. I have begun to use holistic thinking to make responsible decisions with an informed morality for the common good.
To conclude, the teachings of Plato, Sermon on the Mount and forgiveness helped me become a reflective, creative and holistic thinker who makes responsible decisions with an informed conscience for the common good. From this course I have assimilated more than imaginable. While fulfilling the expectations of an Ontario Catholic school graduate, I have also learnt the importance of binding religion with education. Not only did I learn more about the Catholic faith, but I learnt how to make educated decisions by developing different beliefs and ideologies with respects to everyone in this world.
The Messages in Sermon on the Mount
The book of Mathew is known as one of the four canonical gospels in the Bible. Canon refers to the historical writings chosen by the church to serve as sacred scripture. Mathew is one of the books known as the “Synoptic Gospels,” because it tells the story of Jesus’s life. These gospels are written to essentially bring forth the telling of good news. These writings aren’t meant to be objective, rather to persuade and inspire. Mathew 5-7 tells the narrative of Jesus leading his disciples to the mountain top where he proceeded to teach them the word of God. This word was essentially the way one should live in order to get into the gates of heaven.
The first lesson he gives his followers in known as The Beatitudes. This translates into the eight blessings recounted by Jesus atop the mountain (Bible Dictionary, 2018).
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
1Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mathew 5, 3-10)
These teaches ensure that if you live accordingly, you will live a delightful life. These teaches say that if you live accordingly you will be rewarded. If you mourn you will be comforted, if you are merciful you will be shown mercy, and if you are persecuted on behalf of your religious practices than the kingdom of heaven will be yours. The chapter compares the physical being to that of a lamp. “Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Mathew 5, 15-16). Jesus is telling his followers to take his teachings and share them with the world. Where if they hid the “light’ they would not be considered true followers of The Lord Jesus Christ and would be denied a seat in heaven.
The remainder of chapter 5, goes on to touch on many of the ten commandments such as though shall not murder and though shall not commit adultery and the consequences of the latter. The book states that if one’s eye were to cause you to stumble to cut it out and throw it away for it is better to lose one body part rather than for your whole body to be thrown away into the fiery pits of hell (Mathew 5,16). Adultery can even be committed by marrying that of a divorced woman. Jesus then goes on to teach about the old saying an eye for an eye and that if anyone were to smack you on one cheek, that they should turn the other. This meaning that one should not hold grudges or seek vengeance amongst that person rather than forgive them and move forward down the path of God. He teaches to Love your enemies and pray for those that prosecute you (Mathew 5, 35-48).
Chapter six has a recurring message of doing things in private and that in doing so you will be rewarded. It teaches not to pray in front of the many rather behind closed doors (Mathew 6, 5-6). He is stating that he wants you to stray away from the hypocrites who give praise in front of an audience, but not behind closed doors. These people are false prophets and will not receive the gift of eternal bliss in the kingdom of heaven. He teaches that one should fast in silent. Rather than walking the streets sucked out that one should rub oil on their head and wash their face so that it is not obvious that they are fasting. For an unseen God will see what is done in private and will reward you (Mathew 6, 16-180. This recurring aspect of an unseen God refers back to that of faith. One does all of this without any substantial evidence other than faith, and thus since they were unseen, an unseen God will reward them for their faith.
Jesus then goes on to teach his disciples that they should not worry about their life. That they should not worry about where their next meal will come from or what type of clothes they wear. That God knows what they need and will provide for them such as he does the birds of the air. If you seek out his kingdom all of these things will be gifted to you (Mathew 6, 25-34). One point he makes is that you can not add an hour to your life by worrying. Essentially stating that worry will do nothing but cause misery and strife and thus will lead you away from the path of righteousness.
Chapter seven is the last of his teachings from the sermon on the mountain. It begins with Jesus speaking on judgement. Essentially if you judge others the same judgement will be passed back to you and will be measured the same of which you judged. It goes on to explain that one should help themselves before they are able to help others (Mathew 7, 1-5). Many people today try to get involved in other people’s issues when they have not quiet figured themselves out yet. They must remove the speck from their own eye, so that they will be able to see clearly and help remove the speck from another’s eye.
The next message is, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Mathew 7,7). If you ask the Lord will deliver. If you seek the Lord you will find him, and if you knock: The Lord will let you in. Since the Lord gives to you, you should give unto others and treat them the way you ant to be treated. Again, there is this recurring message that one should not pass judgment and treat others kindly for it is how they would want to be treated.
Jesus then goes on to teach of false prophets and false disciples. He states that you will be able to tell between the false prophets and the true followers by that of their fruit. For a good tree can bare no bad fruit and a bad tree can bare no bad fruit, thus a bad tree will be cut down and thrown into the flames. The fruit is meant to represent the persons intentions. You can always find out the true identity of a person by their actions. If they have good intentions then they are true prophets, whereas those who don’t are false prophets and will face the fire. Same to that of people who say they are followers of the Lord, are not always true followers. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Mathew 7, 21). They are posers in the eyes of the Lord. These people say they spread the word and cast out demons, while they continue to live a life of sin.
It was stated earlier in the book of Mathew that one can not serve two masters. They either love one and despise the other. There is no in-between. These false followers will be denied access to the kingdom of heaven and will be cat out as evil doers. Those who use these materials to build their house on will have a sturdy house that as of a rock and when the rains come their house will not fall and will remain sturdy. Whereas those that do not will have a foundation that of sand and when the rain comes their house will be washed away (Mathew 7, 24-27). The house is a representation of one’s life. It is saying that when someone falls on harsh times that they will have a sense of security and will not fall. That is however, if they chose to use these teachings as a building block for their lives. If they chose to stray away from these teachings, then when adversity hits there will be a sense of ambiguity and that sense of security will not be there. There life will crumble, because they built their house upon a faulty foundation.
Throughout the Sermon on the Mount, there are several recurring messages. The first being that in order to reach the gates of heaven one must be a beacon of light for others spreading the word of God. If they chose to hide this light and live a path of sin than they would be thrown into the fire. The second being that The Lord knows what you need and that there is no need to ask and to keep your prayers short. Just because you talk more does not mean you will be heard. Next is practicing your religion not only in the light of the world but also in private. He Lord is unseen, and the things done out of sight will be rewarded. The last being that if you live your life based on the principles of the Lord than you will live a life of security and if you choose to stray away from the lord your life will crumble and instead of eternal paradise you will be cast out into the flames of Hell.
An Importance of Courage in Sermon on the Mount
Virtue serves as a guide to one’s life. Without virtue it becomes harder to live a fulfilling life that is not riddled with regrets. Virtue is defined as “morally good behavior or character”(Merriam-Webster); it can serve as a pillar to a person’s life choices, and because of what virtue can do for somebody, it is very important to develop virtue for one’s own good. Courage, for example, is a virtue that people with religious beliefs can develop by putting trust in God, as the teachings of Jesus imply in “The Sermon on the Mount”. Jesus discusses what we should not worry about when he uses the metaphors of the birds and the lilies in this sermon. However, even those who may not have religious beliefs can still draw courage from the logic behind the teachings of Jesus to that fear and worry can be dispelled.
It could be argued that courage is something that is absolutely necessary for life. And if that is true and everyone has courage or is courageous at some point in life, then what decides that a person actually has courage as a virtue, and not just as a necessary aspect of life? The keyword in the definition of virtue is character; it implies that virtue is a part of someone, deeply ingrained in their way of life and personality. Then, courage as a virtue is not one suddenly found for an occasion, then lost until it is needed again. The virtue of courage is what a person lives by.
Christians for a long time have been taught, and are still being taught, that faith and trust in God are important. However, faith and trust in God serve for so much more than salvation, and many people still do not look beyond the idea that faith and trust are just items one needs to “earn” salvation. The idea that faith and trust serve a purpose other than salvation has been overlooked for a long time. But the seed for making courage a virtue in a person is planted by putting faith in God, and this is because one realizes the Almighty watches over them. While this realization is definitely a boost to morale, this idea has to be pushed further in order for it to blossom as the virtue of courage. One has to put into practice the idea that God is there for them and can meet every need. Jesus puts it brilliantly when He says, “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” (KJV, Matt. 6:26). Fowls of the air do not take on the troubles that we bear for ourselves, but they do well for themselves anyway. On the other hand, people are generally afraid of so much and spend time worrying instead of living. People are afraid of losing a job, or not being good enough. They often forget to be where they are and just live. Putting faith in God is giving up every burden to Him. For one who has faith in God, their fear disappears in every situation because they know that He is there for everything they need. Facing the darkness and being too afraid to take another step is replaced by the courage of knowing that God can protect from whatever lies in the darkness. When facing a horde of enemies on a battlefield, the one who put his faith in God is courageous and fearless because his life is in God’s hands, and whatever happens, it will be alright. Courage becomes a virtue for someone who has put their faith in God (almost recklessly) by placing everything in His hands. Jesus even illustrates this when he says “And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these” (Matt. 6:28-29). Jesus highlights that people worry about things He sees as trifles, but it cannot be overlooked how he illustrates the lilies. Lilies simply live in their environment and are provided with whatever comes their way, they do not have the cares humans do. In the same way, a person with the virtue of courage that is cemented by faith in God fears nothing and simply lives their life. For people of faith, being of courageous character comes from the unshakable trust that God protects and provides. In essence, one almost borrows courage because it did not come from within oneself, but in trusting in something else.
People without religious beliefs, however, must look elsewhere to obtain the virtue of courage. If a non-religious person lives a life full of dangers and fear and worry, they often have no one to look to but themselves for strength. However, if a non-religious person, with the viewpoint that there is no higher being, sits down and looks at what Jesus says, sometimes they can find that some of what he says does not look too far-fetched. When Jesus says “Are ye not much better than they?”(Matt. 6:26) referring to birds, that can be a logical appeal. On the grand scale of things, it can be generally agreed that a human is higher up on the ladder of importance than a bird. Birds do just fine on their own, and they are just birds. So what is to stop someone from being much better than “just fine”? A man can do good for himself on his own. In fact, in thinking like this, one could develop the idea that things have a way of working themselves out. There is nothing wrong with this idea; it can serve to take away fear. The story of the lilies can have the same effect, which can lead to the realization of one’s own importance simply because they are human. When non-religious person realizes they are invaluable because they are human, they find faith in themselves, in turn having courage as a virtue by their own right. Realizing one’s own value and ability creates the foundation of believing in oneself, and that is something hardly anything on this earth can take away. While the non-religious person who does not put faith in God cannot be as recklessly fearless as someone who does, the non-religious person can still take comfort in their value as a human along with the idea of self-reliance from which they draw their courage.
It should be noted that while these two ways of developing courage as a virtue each have their own merits, the better path is that of developing courage due to faith in God. While a non-religious person cannot easily lose the courage they develop to the world and its trials, there is still one very powerful enemy. Because the non-religious person developed courage within himself and by himself, that person is still exposed to himself, and sometimes the greatest enemy that can be found in the mirror. When a person places complete trust in themselves, they may not always realize that they are their own worst enemy. Placing faith in God, however, is placing faith in something that can never be shaken, never be defeated, and never be taken away. Even when the person courageous in God is in a dark point in their life and everything is all but lost, God is the infinite fountain that can renew. With God, a person does not have to worry about being their own worst enemy because God is there to swoop in and save them from themselves.
In the end, obtaining the virtue of courage is a noble pursuit no matter which method is taken, and requires effort from a person for results to be seen. However, the purest virtue is found in Jesus Christ, in God the Father, and in the Holy Spirit. The teachings of Jesus in The Sermon on the Mount can serve as a starting point for anyone seeking to obtain courage, even for those who have no religious beliefs. While Jesus may be speaking from the stance of faith, He nevertheless teaches timeless truths for all.
My Impression from Sermon on the Mount
In my paper I have decided to use a passage from Matthew 5:1-12. This passage starts “The Sermon on the Mount”, and the first teaching that is taught is “True Happiness”. I chose this passage because I have heard about the “The Sermon on the Mount” but I thought that I could increase my knowledge and awareness of it. “True Happiness” is something that I am always trying to reach and what everyone is trying to achieve in life. In the Bible, true happiness is dealing with spiritual beliefs in God. Those beliefs, which must be met in order to keep yourself faithful to the Lord. There are several questions which I must answer about this verse, what I believe it means and what it was intended to mean. Since bibles have been repeated over and over again, and they have also been translated from language to language, so I must find out if any important information has been lost in these transitions. I will also be answer several other questions, which I beliefe will be helpful to anyone, though out my paper.
As the verse begins Jesus saw a crowd of people, so he headed up the mount side and began teaching his diciples. He teaches several things but the first is “True Happiness”, which I believe shows a hidden meaning that the first thing that a person must achieve is true happiness for him or herself. Like I said in the introduction true happiness to people everyone is something different, each person has something that gives them happiness, but in this verse Jesus is say that the path of God is the path to happiness. With the happiness of God “Those who are spiritually poor are happy and that the Kindom of heaven belongs to them.”. Along with staement from the Bible there are several others: “Happy are those who mourn; God will comfort them!”, Happy are those who are humble; they will recieve what God has promised!”, “Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires; God will satisfy them fully!”, “Happy are those who are merciful to others; God will be merciful to them!”, “Happy are the pure in heart; they will see God!”, “Happy are those who work for peace; God will call them his children!”, “Happy are those who are persecute becausethey do what God requires; the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them!”, and “Happy are you when people insult you and persecute you and tell all kinds of evil lies against you because you are my followers.”. All of those statements are God showing the path of true happiness through Jesus. Though few follow this path, it is believed to be the spiritual path of happiness and more people must be exposed to it.
Though this path you also learn the blessed rewards of living as citizens of Christ’s Kingdom. These rewards are very beneficial in your after life, it will