Summary: A message on the Beatitudes
The Rev’d Quintin Morrow
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
Fort Worth, Texas
The Text: Matthew 5:1-12
I. The Sermon on the Mount
A. Is a revelation of Jesus Christ’s deity.
1. By the location of the sermon (a mountain top).
2. By His words (“Ye have heard it said…but I say to you”).
B. Is for Disciples (born again Christians) of Jesus Christ.
C. Is difficult to keep for believers, but impossible for unbelievers.
II. The Beatitudes (vv. 3-12).
A. The poor in spirit: Those who recognize their own spiritual inadequacy (see the Publican in Luke 18:9-14).
B. They that mourn: Those that grieve over
1. Their own sin.
2. The wickedness and suffering of the world.
3. Their own losses.
C. The Meek: Those that are “gentle” (doing the right thing, at the right moment, for the right amount of time; also, humble).
D. Those that hunger and thirst for righteousness (A focused, passionate yearning for what is right; a strong, singular desire for what pleases God—see Matt. 6:33).
E. The merciful: Those extending unmerited forgiveness.
F. The pure in heart: Those who keep their minds and souls free of evil and its entanglements).
G. The Peacemakers: Those that mediate disputes; those that bring about reconciliation—see II Cor. 5:18-21).
H. Those persecuted for righteousness’ & Christ’s sake.
1. Realize the “attitudes of beatitude” go against our natural tendencies. Incorporating them into our lives requires self-discipline and determination.
2. Commit the beatitudes to memory.
3. Realize these “attitudes of beatitude” are dispositions of the heart, not transitory actions.
This morning we begin a 12-week sermon series on the Sermon on the Mount. This series will take us through the entire Trinity season and conclude on the Sunday before Advent. This series of messages, titled “Mastering Life at the Master’s Feet,” is intended to be practical—providing lessons on applying the Lord’s spiritual principles of the sermon to everyday life—and will encompass all of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7, Jesus’ longest uninterrupted teaching in all the Gospels. Moreover, perhaps excluding Psalm 23, the Sermon on the Mount is the most familiar passage of Scripture to the secular, unchurched culture. Everybody knows “Judge not, lest ye be judged,” “Turn the other cheek,” “Walk the extra mile,” and “An eye for an eye.” Ironically, despite it’s familiarity, few try to live its truths.
It is my hope and prayer that you make this sermon series a priority in your walk with the Lord Jesus and attend all 12. Moreover, it is my desire that you come with your Bible and a pen to underline, take notes, and leave yearning to study the text we examine together here in more depth in the week that follows.
As in the real estate business where it is said that success depends on location, location, location, so in serious biblical exposition, interpretation, and application, success depends upon context, context, context.
The Sermon on the Mount got its name from St. Augustine’s great commentary on Matthew 5-7 De Sermone Domini in Monte, written between 392-396 A.D.
In the order of chronological events the sermon follows immediately after Jesus’ 40-day fast and temptation in the wilderness, His baptism by John in the Jordan River, the calling of the 12 Disciples, His multiple healings, His Galilean ministry, the beginning of his great popularity, and with inauguration of his teaching ministry. Matthew tells us in chapter 4: 17 that “From that time Jesus began to preach and say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”
As we journey together over the next 12 Sundays through this master teaching of the master teacher, I want you to keep 3 truths focused in the forefront of your mind, as you listen, seek to understanding and apply the principles of the Sermon on the Mount to your life.
Firstly, The Sermon on the Mount is a revelation of Jesus Christ’s deity. You recall that God gave Moses the Law on the top of Mount Sinai. Matthew tells us intentionally before the Lord’s sermon begins that “seeing the multitudes, He [that is, Jesus] went up on a mountain.” Moreover, throughout the sermon, Jesus says, “You have heard it said”—referring back to the statutes of the Old Covenant—“But I say to you.” This is important because Jesus is here going beneath the mere surface words of the Old Testament Law, which came from God, and speaking for God—really as God—and giving His audience and us the true intent of the Law. “You’ve heard it said, ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery,’” He will say in 5:27-28, “but if you’ve lusted after a woman to have her sexually you are just as guilty of adultery as if you had physically been with her.” More on that principle later. Stay tuned. But the Sermon on the Mount reveals His deity.