The Sermon On The Mount
After Jesus had chosen his twelve disciples, he wanted to teach
them how to do his work. Up the mountainside they climbed. Then Jesus sat down, and they gathered near to hear him. Many others
gathered to hear Jesus too.
Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Perhaps he thought about the proud scribes and
Pharisees. The proud will never believe his words and learn how to enter the kingdom of God. Humble people who feel they need
God's help to live right Jesus called the "poor in spirit." They are
blessed because they shall be given the kingdom of God.
He also said, "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." These words sounded strange. Who ever thought that
blessings belong to the troubled and sad? The people did not understand how God loves to comfort his children.
"Blessed are the meek," said Jesus next, "for they shall inherit the earth." He meant that gentle people who control their temper,
who try to do the right, will enjoy God's blessings.
Then Jesus said, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." Perhaps he thought
again of the proud Pharisees who believed they were so good that they did not need to repent of their sins and seek God's help. Those
who want God's Spirit as much as they want food and drink will be blessed.
"Blessed are they who show mercy to others," said Jesus, "for mercy shall be shown to them. And blessed are they who have pure
hearts, for they shall see God. And blessed are those who make peace among men, for they shall be called the children of God."
These words the disciples understood; for they knew that God will
surely bless people who show understanding love, who do not allow sin to enter their hearts, and who make peace where trouble is.
Then Jesus said, "Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." People who are persecuted are greatly wronged. After Jesus had been
crucified and had risen from the dead, the disciples and other followers learned what it means to be persecuted for righteousness' sake. Jesus said to those who are persecuted, "Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven."
In this wonderful sermon Jesus taught how Christians should live, how they should pray, how they should treat their enemies and their friends, how God loves and cares for them.
At the close of his sermon, Jesus said, "Those who hear my words and do them are like a wise man who built his house upon the rock. When the rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew, the house stood strong. But those who hear my words and do not obey them are like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand. When the rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew, the house fell. Great was the fall of it."
The people looked at each other in surprise. Surely Jesus was the greatest teacher of all. But how could they obey his teachings, "Love
your enemies"; "Pray for those who treat you wrongly"; "Do good to those who hate you"? Yet they knew these words sounded like
the words of God. Those who loved God wanted to live by these words. God would help them.