Summary: In this message we will see what a servant of Christ is, what he does and what he can expect.
SERVANTS OF CHRIST
TEXT: MATTHEW 5:1-16
A. Early in Jesus’s public ministry at a time when His popularity was on a rapid rise, He preached what was to become one of His best known sermons. Though Jesus Himself did not give it a title we in the church throughout he years have given it one, "THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT".
Some have referred to this as Jesus inaugural address, much like that of a President of the United States. Who after all of the campaigning and all the things said has an opportunity to set the story straight about who they are and what they want to do.
Jesus in this message is going to set the story straight. No doubt there were a lot of things being said about Jesus. And I am certain that there was much confusion about who Jesus was and what His plans were.
The Jews wanted a Messiah who would set up an earthly kingdom:
Defeat the Roman Empire.
Place the Jews in power.
And naturally the Jewish Leaders would have a position of high prominence.
B. It is interesting to note here, the contrast between Jesus here, ushering in the New Covenant, with Moses ushering in the Old Covenant on Mt. Sinai in Exodus 19.
One difference that we see, is where the events took place;
Mt. Sinai was a desert mountain located in a dry barren wilderness.
The mountains off the sea of Galilee were full of life with green rolling hills and a large sea within view.
Another difference that we see is in the way which the messages were, both received and delivered.
@ Mt. Sinai there was thunder, lightening, a thick cloud and a very loud trumpet blast. The mountain was covered with smoke because God had descended on it in fire. The whole mountain trembled violently and the sound of the trumpet blast grew louder and louder. The people were terrified (who wouldn’t be) and they were warned not to try to see the Lord or they would die.
But in comparison in the Sermon on the Mount we find Jesus sitting down among the people. He was with them, when he spoke, their eyes saw His face, their ears heard His voice.
Now please don’t misunderstand me , I am not implying that the Old Covenant was bad. Just that it was different and that the New Covenant that Jesus established is far, far better. For in the NC we have salvation and in the new covenant we each can come to know God personally.
C. The great multitude that was crowed around that mountain who would hear Jesus speak that day: The Jews, The Rulers, The poor men, The rich men, The gentiles, The women, The Children, The pharisees, the Priests. All who were there would be shocked by the authority in which Jesus spoke, and by many of the things that Jesus said. For many of things that Jesus said on that mountain side, were in direct opposition to the thinking of that day.
Today, I want us to look at the beginning of this great message. And as we look at the first 16 verses of Matthew chapter 5, we will be challenged by what Jesus has to say about the meaning of being His servant.
[1-2] The mountain range provide Jesus with a natural amphitheater from which to address the people.
I. IN VERSE 1-9 WE SEE 7 CHARACTERISTICS THAT DESCRIBE
WHAT A SERVANT OF CHRIST IS?
A servant of Christ is:
A. Poor in Spirit; Jesus says blessed (or JOYFUL, and being joyful is different then being happy. Happiness is based on what happens, joy is based on a relationship,with Jesus Christ.) Joyful is the one who is poor. I’m sure that, the statement joyful are the poor made no more sense to the people sitting at Jesus feet, then it does to most people today.
The specific word used for poor here means someone who is so poor that He has to rely on others for support or else they would not survive. This is not a poor that doesn’t have the money to go to the movies or eat out at the Olive Garden. But this is used to describe someone who is so poor that he can’t supply any of his needs. And w/o help he would not make it. Those starving in Somalia would fit this definition.
Therefore the man or woman who is poor in spirit is one who realizes that he is spiritually bankrupt, that without God he can’t make it and therefore must depend solely on God for His spiritual needs. This is the one who in humility comes before God falls to his knees and gives God His life, saying "God I need you.