Summary: The Sermon on the Mount (part 1) - PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


(1). The Listeners (vs 1)

(2). The Method (vs 2)

(3a). The Sermon (vs 3-6)

(3b). The Beatitudes (vs 3-6)



• Zach Zehnder, is a 31-year-old pastor from Florida.

• His claim to fame is that he recently broke one of the Guinness world records.

• The record he broke was for the Longest Speech Marathon.

• He broke the record by preaching the longest sermon ever;

• It lasted 53 hours and 18 minutes. He started on Friday and finished on Sunday.

• Now before you moan at the preacher!

• He was not insensitive to his congregation;

• He did it with their approval;

• His aim was to raise money for alcohol and drug-addiction treatment programmes.

• TRANSITION: This morning we are starting a new series called;

• ‘Dipping into Matthew’s Gospel’.

• And the first bit we are dipping into is the Sermon on the Mount.

• The Sermon on the Mount is the longest piece of teaching from Jesus in the gospels.

• It occupies chapters 5, 6 and 7 of the Gospel of Matthew.

• It will probably take you 20 minutes to read the recorded highlights;

• But I am sure it took Jesus a lot longer to preach it.

• This morning and next week we are looking that the first thirteen verses of this great sermon.

• I will be speaking on verses 1 to 6.

• Next week Alistair will be speaking on verses 7 to 13

• But be warned when John Wesley the seventeenth century an Anglican minister;

• Who along with his brother Charles Wesley;

• Is credited with the foundation of the Methodist Church.

• When he preached on Alistair’s verses;

• He wrote this entry into his Journal - dated October 19, 1739:

“At six almost the whole town (I was informed) came together, to whom I explained the six last Beatitudes; but my heart was so enlarged I knew not how to give over, so that we continued for three hours.”

• TRANSITION: Now I am sure he will not be preaching for three hours!

• If he does you have my permission to nod off.


• Reminds me of the story of the preacher who noticed a man asleep during his sermon;

• So he said to the man’s wife; “Madam, will you please wake up your husband”.

• She replied: “You put him to sleep, you wake him up!”

This morning we are looking at the first six verses of Jesus’ sermon;

• As mentioned it is the longest piece of teaching from Jesus in the gospels.

• And it includes some of the best known teachings of Jesus;

• Such as the Beatitudes, and the widely recited Lord's Prayer.

(1). The Listeners (vs 1)

• The audience listening to this sermon is made up of two groups of people:

• You have the inner circle of the disciples, and the outer circle of the "crowds."

• It says in verse 1 that Jesus taught his disciples.

• But look at the end of the sermon in Matthew chapter 7 verse 28,

• “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching.”

• So the sermon begins with the disciples gathered at the feet of Jesus;

• And with the crowds listening in.


• In a smaller and similar way;

• That is what happens here on a Sunday morning

• The preachers aim is to primarily teach people who are trying to follow Jesus.

• His disciples i.e. Christians.

• But alongside that we hope that ‘the crowds’ or ‘individuals’ will also come along;

• And as they come along they too will hear the good news of Jesus for themselves.

(2). The Method (vs 2)

“…and he began to teach them.”

• In the gospels Jesus is called a "teacher" 45 times.

• Also what Jesus is also referred to as "teaching" 45 times.

• Teaching was an important part of the ministry of Jesus.


• Talking of teaching;

• I did you hear the story about the teacher;

• Who was helping one of her nursery pupils put on his boots?

• She pulled while he pushed and the boots still didn’t want to go on.

• Finally, after the second boot was on, and after she had worked up a sweat,

• The little boy said, “Teacher, they’re on the wrong feet.”

• She looked and sure enough, they were on the wrong feet.

• Getting the boots off wasn’t any easier than getting them on.

• But the teacher managed to keep her cool as together they put the boots on the right feet.

• Once they were on, the little boy announced, “These aren’t my boots.”

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