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Bible Commentaries
Matthew 5

Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the BibleBox on Selected Books

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A Look At The Savior's Mind

Matthew Five

Matthew chapter five is part of that section of Scripture known as the "Sermon on the Mount." This is the longest continuous sermon from Jesus that is in our Bible. The Sermon on the Mount deals with practical things concerning every day living. We learn from Jesus' sermon that there must be a willingness on our part to be a doer of the word of God.

The mind of Christ is revealed in this great sermon. The Sermon on the Mount is recorded in Matthew five, six and seven. The teaching of Jesus was done with love and authority. In Matthew chapter four Jesus had declared that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. In Matthew five He began to give a description of what kingdom actions are to be like. Those in the kingdom must (1) have certain character, (2) obey certain commands, (3) face certain challenges, and (4) make certain choices. You can find the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount in all the gospels but only Matthew records it as a continuous message.

Verses 1-12

Jesus' teachings about blessedness Mat_5:1-12 : "And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying." ( Mat_5:1-2 ) Jesus used a mountain as a pulpit for this great sermon. His teaching was simple, powerful and tender. He spoke to the hearts of His hearers. His message was designed to change people from the inside out. He was wonderful in name, life, and message. ( Isa_9:6 ) Truly, He was and is the Son of God. The teachings of Jesus were pure teachings, showing people how to have pure thoughts and how to live pure lives

The multitude was there but the lesson was given specifically to the disciples of Jesus. A disciple is a learner. In some countries, those that are learning to drive must have an "L" on the windshield of their car. Followers of Christ need an "L" written on their heart. Disciples are willing to receive instructions and humble enough to learn and obey.

The attitudes of the beatitudes make one teachable and useful to God. These attitudes will result in a humble, serving life. The type of person that will inherit the kingdom of God is (1) poor in spirit one that constantly knows they are struggling spiritually, (2) a mourner one that is brokenhearted over spiritual failure, (3) the meek/humble those that accept and grieve over their failures, (4) hunger and thirst for righteousness in that hunger satisfaction comes, (5) merciful we become able to extend mercy to others, (6) pure in heart authenticity all the way through, (7) peacemakers seek to end conflict, and (8) persecuted and reviled put down by the world.

Verses 13-20

Jesus' teaching about influence and law Mat_5:13-20 : Those that exhibit the characteristics of the beatitudes become the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Those with humble and pure hearts can change their world in a positive way for God. Those that hunger for righteousness and show mercy are a bright light for a dark world. God's people are called on to stand out from the world.

Concerning the Law Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the pro-phets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill." ( Mat_5:17 ) The purpose of Jesus was to "fulfill or accomplish what was in the law and the prophets" concerning the Messiah. In the Old Law there were many predictions concerning the coming, birth, life and death of the Christ. These were all to be fulfilled by Jesus, His sufferings and death. Jesus said that not "one jot or one tittle" (something like a period or comma) would disappear from the Law until it all was fulfilled in Him. The righteousness of the Christian comes from their heart, and is therefore genuine. This righteousness must exceed that of the Pharisees and Scribes. Their righteousness was external, and was not true holiness.

Verses 21-37

Jesus' teaching about murder, adultery and swearing Mat_5:21-37 : In Mat_5:21-26 we learn that the thought of hatred produces the act of murder. Therefore, the thought is the act in the heart. Right actions grow out of right thinking. Attitudes can be just as wrong as actions. ( Mat_5:27-30 ) Lust is adultery in the heart. Our hearts must be brought into submission to Christ. Wrong thoughts are just as evil as the wrong act. That is why Christians must "bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." ( 2Co_10:5 )

Attitudes also affect marriage relationships. ( Mat_5:31-32 ) Divorce for any reason except sexual immorality leads to or causes adultery. Right attitudes build good marriages. Today instead of respecting God's law of marriage and divorce many in the church accept divorce and remarriage upon the most foolish and frivolous pretenses. Did Jesus mean what He said? "But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery." ( Mat_5:32 )

Our attitudes also affect our words. ( Mat_5:33-37 ) There will be no swearing from the faithful child of God. You can trust their words completely. Rash swearing, about trivial matters must be avoided by God's children. As Christians we must not forswear ourselves, but we should simply declare that a thing is so.

Verses 38-48

Jesus' teachings about retaliation and love Mat_5:38-48 : Having the right attitude will cause us to go the second mile. ( Mat_5:38-42 ) Do anything and everything within your power to show the world what Christ is like. Go the second mile.

Right attitudes will cause love for enemies. ( Mat_5:43-48 ) Those that learn to love learn to forgive. The only acceptable disposition for the Christian in any circumstance of life is love. By inspiration Paul expressed it this way, "If thine enemy hunger, feed him: if he thirst, give him drink." ( Rom_12:20 ) As a Christian you must love your enemies and pray for anyone that mistreats you. When you love your enemies and pray for those that mistreat you, "then you will be acting like your Father in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both good and bad people. And He sends rain for the ones who do right and for the ones who do wrong."

We must love our enemies. "For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?" God expects the Christian to do more than others and to be more than others. He expects us to be perfect. We must be sincere and upright in our love to all men, as our heavenly Father is in His affections to them.

Bibliographical Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Matthew 5". "Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/box/matthew-5.html. 2014.
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