Matthew 5

Matthew 5 contains the Sermon on the Mount – one of the most famous of all that Jesus delivered.  He gives us 8 beatitudes (and a ninth that is directed specifically to the Disciples – that are blessings to be given to someone for how they live.  Each Beatitude consists of two phrases: the condition and the result – and that result leads to happiness which is the Latin word from which Beatitude comes.

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
  • Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted
  • Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth
  • Blessed are those who hunger and thirst  for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied
  • Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy
  • Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God
  • Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God
  • Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
  • Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account

In almost every case the condition is from familiar Old Testament context, but Jesus teaches a new interpretation.  In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus elevates them to new levels and teachings. Together, the Beatitudes present a new set of ideals that focus on love and humility rather than power and position.

Jesus goes on to challenge his followers to be different – to be salt and light to those in their patch:

  • You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet
  • You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven”.

As salt and light, we are to stand apart from the world around us.  We aren’t to hide or allow our lives to become like all those around us.  If Jesus is Lord of our life, we must be different than the world.  We must shine and not hide the love of Christ within us.  We can’t live in fear of what the world will think or say about our faith.  We must follow Jesus openly with our light shining brightly about our Messiah and Savior.

Salt had two purposes during Jesus’ time. Because of the lack of refrigeration, salt was used to preserve food, especially meat which would quickly spoil in the desert environment. Believers in Christ are preservatives to the world, as the promise of eternal life covers our sin and keeps His followers safe.  Second, salt was used then, and now, as a flavor enhancer. In the same way that salt enhances the flavor of the food it seasons, the followers of Christ stand out as those who “enhance” the flavor of life in this world. As we live under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and in obedience to Christ, we will inevitably influence the world for good, as salt has a positive influence on the flavor of the food it seasons.

Jesus tackles a host of other issues in this sermon – many of which are relationship issues that happen between people.  People do bad things to one another.  Jesus tackles that head on.  “Love your enemies and  pray for those who persecute you….for if you love those who love you, what reward do you have”?  Bottom line is that we need to treat people as Christ treats us – loving us when we certainly don’t deserve it – in fact loving us enough that He gave His live on the Cross for us while we were still sinners.  We didn’t deserve His love, and there will be plenty of folks in our patch that we may feel don’t deserve our love either.  But Jesus is clear that His way is to be our way.  Do you love those around you?

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One response to this post.

  1. Reblogged this on Matthews' Blog.

    Reply

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