Summary: Jesus teaches His diciples the value of being salt and lights.
Salt and Lights
Here we have the greatest preacher that ever lived, sharing with His disciples the principles of the Kingdom. He was the great prophet of His church, the one who came into the world, to light every man's path. The prophets and John the Baptist had done some wonderful preaching, but no one every spoke like this man.
He was the eternal wisdom that lay in the bosom of the Father, a knowledge that the whole world would see and hear. He is the eternal Word, and through the Word He has spoken to us in these last days. Think of the many miracles that Jesus performed that are found in the fore going chapters.
I believe those miracles were intended to make way for this sermon and to encourage the people to receive instructions concerning the coming Kingdom; and, probably, this sermon was a summary of what He had preached in the synagogues of Galilee.
His text was to show what repentance was all about, and give them the answer to what was stated in Malachi chapter three and verse seven. "Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, says the Lord of hosts. But ye said, wherein shall we return?"
The place was a mountain in Galilee. There was no convenient place for Jesus to preach, any more than He had a suitable place to lay His head. While the scribes and the Pharisees had Moses' chair to sit in, with all ease, honor, and there corrupted the law; we see Jesus the teacher of truth, driven to the desert, to find a pulpit in the mountain where He can deliver the truth of the Kingdom.
Upon the mountain side Jesus preached a sermon about salt and lights and upon another mountain the law was given to Moses. Let's observe the difference; when the law was given, God came down upon the mountain; now, Jesus went up; then, God spoke in thunder and lighting; now, He speaks in a still small voice.
Then the people were ordered to keep their distance; now, we are invited to draw near, what a wonderful change! If God's grace and righteousness was His glory, then the presence of the written Word is His glory, for grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
"For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness and tempest, but you are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the Living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels."
Many followed Jesus for the loaves and fishes, while other were in attendance for His teachings and information. He taught them, because they were willing learn. They would understand what He taught, which to others was foolishness. He taught them that they might have a clear understanding of the Kingdom of God.
When Jesus was teaching on this mountain there were no boundaries to keep the people away. But on Mount Sinai where the law was given the people were unable to approach God. But through Christ, we have access to the most holy place.
When the fame of His miracles had gone out it bought the crowds together. When the power and the presence of God are manifested it still draws the crowds. The reason that many are converted in the mission fields is because they see the miracles and want to know the miracle worker. So the miracle worker begins to teach the people.
Beginning with verse two, And He opened His mouth, and taught them saying, "Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God."
He had preached many times in many places, but this was a set sermon. When Jesus was set, it fulfilled the scriptures in Malachi three and verse three, "He shall sit as a refiner, to purge away the dross, the corrupt doctrines of the sons of Levi. He sat as in the throne, judging right for the word he spoke shall judge us."
Jesus begins to speak as one having authority; Jesus taught many times without opening His mouth. That is, by His hold and excellent life, he taught them when they led Him as a lamb to the slaughter, He opened not His mouth, but now He opens His mouth and teaches them that the scriptures might be fulfilled.