The Sermon on the Mount

Matthew 5‑7  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 10
The multitudes were present, but the discourse was addressed to His disciples. This, chapter 5: 4 clearly shows. If Luke 7:11Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum. (Luke 7:1) be compared, the facts appear pretty clearly. There it is said, " Now, when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people." The moral bearing of the fact is more important. The sermon on the mount characterizes the Lord's teaching in Israel, as introducing His doctrines. At the close of His ministry He has to denounce their rejection of it. Hence, here, as has been remarked, He begins with blessings, and in chapter 23 closes with woes. It will be observed that in the close of the preceding chapter, the power displayed in His ministry, and its effect in attracting the people from all quarters, had been stated. He preached the good news of the kingdom. In the sermon on the mount, He lays down its principles, describes the character of those who would enjoy its privileges, and gives positive directions for the government of their conduct. Meanwhile He was in the way with Israel, judgment awaiting them, if they did not agree quickly on the way. Hence, also, moral principles and precepts, not redemption, are the subject of the discourse. If this be understood, it is easy to perceive why the direct application of the discourse is to those who had received His word, and were entering into the kingdom, though as laying down the principles of the kingdom announced to all, all-at least those who had ears to hear-among the multitude were concerned in its contents. It may be remarked that in Luke the disciples are more formally distinguished-" Blessed are ye poor, for yours," etc., and hence woes are added. Just as in Matt. 3:77But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? (Matthew 3:7) the Pharisees and Sadducees are denounced, in Luke 3:77Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? (Luke 3:7) the whole multitude. While this address was continued to Israel by Him who had the ministry of the circumcision for the truth of God- in a word, until Jesus was rejected-men were under trial, and, though God knew all things, were not treated as finally rejected; but the death of Christ, and we may add, the resisting of the testimony of the Holy Ghost, has closed the history of that trial, and the fig-tree is judged forever to be fruitless and unprofitable. It did not then become so, but was proved to be so; and in Israel this was proved of every child of Adam, so that a new creation, connected with the Second Adam, risen and glorified, was needed. Hence we know fully the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost