Take 10 To Read the Sermon on the Mount

In ten minutes time you can read the Sermon on the Mount - - the greatest sermon ever preached.

The sermon on the mount (Jesus’s sermon in Matthew 5-7) is the most important sermon ever preached. It would be enough to know that it is the featured sermon of our Lord. But when we consider that in three chapters the Sermon on the Mount includes the Beatitudes, the Lord’s Prayer, the Golden Rule, and so much more we begin to appreciate its brilliance even more.

The sermon on the mount is concentrated teaching. It is brief. To read it would take only about ten minutes and yet its truth has changed the world. Statements like “judge not lest ye be judged” are quoted by people who do not otherwise believe in the Bible (and probably misunderstand what the statement means!). The beauty of Christ’s teaching in the Sermon on the Mount is respected by nearly everyone. John N. Day writes:

Whether one is a Christian or not, there is much to be both honored and emulated, for Jesus cuts straight to the heart. He confronts our human tendency toward “image religion” that is based on outward show and selfish attitudes. Jesus crushes our idols, especially those stubborn ones of entitlement and hypocrisy. In doing so, He demonstrates that a genuine relationship with God shows itself in selfless and humble-hearted obedience. It can be a mind-expanding and life-transforming sermon if we will take the time to truly hear. [1]

Indeed, the message of the sermon on the mount runs against the grain of a Machiavellian (cunning and manipulative) world that seeks to elevate self. Christ’s emphasis on the heart rather than on external behaviors was a sharp indictment not only of the Pharisees of his day but against our age as well.

We are all the more in awe of the Sermon on the Mount when we remind ourselves that not only did Jesus teach it, he perfectly lived it.[2] What a King we have!

[1] John N. Day, Truth Standing on Its Head: Insight For An Extraordinary Christian Walk from the Sermon on the Mount (Ventura, California: Nordskog Publishing, 2009), 1.

[2] W. D. Davies and Dale C. Allison, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel according to Saint Matthew: In Three Volumes, International Critical Commentary on the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1988), 467.

Posted on January 25, 2015 .