Matthew 5-7 contains what has been commonly referred to as “The Sermon on the Mount”. The significance of this sermon is seen in the identity of the speaker (5:1-2) and the influence of the sermon (7:28-29). The identity of the speaker is the Lord Jesus Christ. Only He could preach with such clarity and depth. The influence of the sermon was one of astonishment as the people recognised the authority in which Jesus preached with.
Who is this sermon for and what is its purpose? There are a number of views that will provide different answers. There are those who would limit the relevance of this sermon to the audience at the time of Jesus. Others place its audience in the future kingdom. I believe it is right to interpret it as a message with a present reality that will be fully realized in the future. The Christian today ought to read it and embrace now!
Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who wrote an excellent volume on this sermon (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies on the Sermon on the Mount), provides three noteworthy reasons why we should study it and live it. Firstly, “the Lord Jesus Christ died to enable us to live the Sermon on the Mount”. Secondly, it shows us the “absolute need of the new birth, and of the Holy Spirit and His work within.” Thirdly, “the more we live and try to practice this Sermon on the Mount, the more shall we experience blessing.” The doctor then proceeds to gives sixty expositions of this sermon! It is clear that this portion of Scripture is worthy of our careful consideration.
Here is a simple outline of the this grand sermon:
I. The Character of the Kingdom’s Citizens (5:1-16)
II. The Conduct of the Kingdom’s Citizens (5:17-7:12)
III. The Contrast of the Kingdom’s Citizens (7:13-29)
1. The Character of the Kingdom’s Citizens (Matthew 5:1-16)
2. The Conduct of the Kingdom’s Citizens Pt. 1 (Matthew 5:17-48)
3. The Conduct of the Kingdom’s Citizens Pt. 2 (Matthew 6:1-18)
4. The Conduct of the Kingdom’s Citizens Pt. 3 (Matthew 6:19-34)
5. The Conduct of the Kingdom’s Citizens Pt. 4 (Matthew 7:1-12)
6. The Contrast of the Kingdom’s Citizens (Matthew 7:13-29)