The Sermon on the Mount is one of the briefest sermons ever preached, but no other sermon has had such an impact on our world. Its message has influenced the course of western history more than that of any other work written or spoken by man. It has been translated into more languages than any other sermon or speech delivered in human history. The Sermon is found in the Bible in Matthew, chapters five through seven.
What Are the Beatitudes?
The Sermon on the Mount begins with what are often referred to as the Beatitudes. This name comes from the Latin word beatus, which means “blessed” or “happy.” That’s because this opening portion of the Sermon on the Mount contains nine statements that all begin with the word “blessed.” Some Bibles print these verses in poetic format, as though these were simply beautiful words, not meant to be taken too seriously.
Was Jesus reciting poetry? No, he did not want the crowd to leave feeling good about some beautiful words that didn’t really have any meaning. He was giving them a whole new set of values to live by. He was giving them an altogether new way to live our lives and to please God. He was telling the people that God’s Kingdom is coming and with it a new reality that they needed to recognize.
Sermon on the Mount: Revolutionary Teachings on Money
Much of what Jesus preached in the Sermon on the Mount was quite revolutionary to his hearers. For example, he told his hearers, “You cannot serve God and mammon (money).” Throughout most of history, people of all religions have associated wealth with evidence of God’s blessings. Yet, here Jesus told us that if our main goal in life is earning money and accumulating possessions, then we are no longer serving God.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus talked about “storing up treasures in heaven.” How do we do this? By giving generously to the poor and needy. Sure, we can store up treasures on earth. But this will be of no benefit in eternity. Today, there are thousands of charitable organizations that feed the poor, provide medicine for the sick, and build houses for the needy. In fact, today most governments have programs to help the poor. But what people forget is that few governments or organizations did this before the Sermon on the Mount was preached. Through his teachings, Jesus has radically changed our world.
Sermon on the Mount: Books that Have Expounded
During the past two thousand years since Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount, spiritual men and women have written numerous books that reflect and expound the message of that Sermon. The most popular and enduring of these books has been The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis. In it, Kempis shares his insights on how we can walk today in the kingdom teachings of Jesus. This Christian classic is available online for free at www.kempis-imitationofchrist.com. It is also widely available at most bookstores.
Another book that details what our lives will look like when we live by the Sermon on the Mount is William Law’s classic work, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life. It is perhaps the most challenging spiritual work most of us will ever read. In more recent times, some books that expound Jesus’ revolutionary teachings from his Sermon are The Upside-Down Kingdom, The Unshakable Kingdom and the Unchanging Person, and The Kingdom that Turned the World Upside Down.
The writer, Elton Warford, has written numerous articles about the Sermon on the Mount and Jesus’ teachings. He encourages you to read the Sermon on the Mount if you have never read it and to read some of the spiritual classics and books on the Kingdom of God that he mentioned in his article.
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MLA Style Citation:
Warford, Elton "The Sermon On The Mount And Its Revolutionary Teachings." The Sermon On The Mount And Its Revolutionary Teachings. 2 Jul. 2010. uberarticles.com. 2 Sep 2014 <http://uberarticles.com/religion/christianity/the-sermon-on-the-mount-and-its-revolutionary-teachings/>.
APA Style Citation:
Warford, E (2010, July 2). The Sermon On The Mount And Its Revolutionary Teachings. Retrieved September 2, 2014, from http://uberarticles.com/religion/christianity/the-sermon-on-the-mount-and-its-revolutionary-teachings/
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