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the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Matthew 5

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

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Verses 1-16

Jesus Teaches on Justification In the first section of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-16) Jesus Christ teaches the people about true justification before God by delivering the Beatitudes and two metaphors. The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12) emphasizes how a person is justified in the Kingdom of Heaven while the two metaphors comparing God’s children to salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16) serve to illustrate their role as a testimony to humanity.

Outline - Note the proposed outline:

1. Nine Characteristics of God’s Children Matthew 5:1-12

2. The Salt and Light Matthew 5:13-16

Matthew 5:1-12 The Beatitudes: Nine Characteristics of God’s Children (Luke 6:20-23 ) - The Beatitudes are found in Matthew 5:1-12. Webster says this English word is derived from the Latin word “ beatitudo,” which means “blessed or happy.” This passage reveals the blessedness of the Christian way of life. The teachings in the Sermon on the Mount are based upon the Mosaic Law. The blessings and curses under the Mosaic Law were emphatically clear in the minds of the Jews. They were taught that obedience brings blessings and that disobedience brings curses. Therefore, Jesus begins teaching the Laws of the Kingdom of God by explaining the true ways to receive the blessings of God. The Beatitudes introduce the Laws of the Kingdom of Heaven much like Moses laid down the Ten Commandments to introduce the Mosaic Law and its civil statutes so that they would be prepared to take their journey into the Promised Land.

From reading the parallel passage in Luke 6:20-23, it seems that Jesus is addressing the afflicted of God’s children.

The Beatitudes lay a foundation for the Sermon on the Mount by giving the characteristics of those who are members of this heavenly Kingdom. Just as God called the children of Israel out of Egypt and set them apart, so does Jesus identify the true children of God and sets them apart for the work of the Kingdom of God.

Proposed Scheme to the Beatitudes - One pastor teaches that the beatitudes reveal a progressive order in the Christian life. The poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3) are those who see that they are in need of a Redeemer. They are losing their hunger for sin and desiring a relationship with God. Those who mourn (Matthew 5:4) are these poor souls who begin to truly repent of their sins and receive God’s forgiveness and mercy. This repentance begins to create a heart of meekness (Matthew 5:5) in which God is able to work in their lives. A new hunger and thirst for the things of God begins to grow in the hearts of these people as they begin to learn the principles of the kingdom of God (Matthew 5:6). As they begin to learn of God, they realize how far short they fall in relation to His standards, and thus, learn to depend upon His mercy on a daily basis. As they learn to receive this mercy, they also learn to give mercy (Matthew 5:7). This process develops a pureness in heart in which God is able to dwell with this person and experience His presence (Matthew 5:8). This person makes himself a peace offering each day with the desire to bring peace to the lives of others (Matthew 5:9). This lifestyle is very offensive to the world, and persecutions come (Matthew 5:10-12). This person is now willing to suffer and even die for the truth, even though the world does not receive it.

Meaning of the Word “Blessed” - Jesus’ teachings in Matthew begin with “Blessed” just as does the book of Psalms chapter one begins with “Blessed.” Also, Psalms 119:0 begins with this word. The Greek word μακάριος (G3107) means “blest, fortunate, well off” ( Strong). The Old Testament Hebrew verb ( בָּרַךְ ) (H1288) literally means, “to kneel, to bless” ( Strong), and it is translated “blessed” in the KJV. The world and the natural man call their good fortunes “lucky.” The word “lucky” or “chance” is not in Bible. Therefore, luck and chance are not accurate terms to describe the circumstances in our lives, since they leave out divine providence.

God’s blessings are primarily for God’s children, and not for the wicked or ungodly.

Being blessed is not like a scene I once saw: a young man lying in a lawn chair in shorts, smoking a cigarette, drinking beer and getting a suntan. This is what the flesh likes. A life of indulging in pleasures of the flesh is not a life of true peace and happiness. It is rather, a life of bondage and sin.

In the Beatitudes Jesus always explains why a person is blessed. Hence, He says, “for…” or “because...” The clause that follows explains why the person is blessed.

Illustration - Note Joshua and the conquest of Canaan. Only thirty-six (36) men of Israel died in battle. This was due to the sin of Achan at Ai. But thousands of the Amorites died. Why? Joshua 10:8 - God's hand was against Israel’s foes. Israel was blessed.

Joshua 10:8, “And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear them not: for I have delivered them into thine hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee.”

Illustration - Gideon and three hundred (300) men defeat 135,000 Midianites:

Judges 7:2, “And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.”

Judges 7:8, “So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all the rest of Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.”

Matthew 5:1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:

Matthew 5:1 “And seeing the multitudes” Comments - In any large crowd, Jesus saw a wide variety of people and problems, people living under the curse, or in bondage to the devil and bound in sin. However, not everyone in the crowded desired to grow in the things of God.

Matthew 5:1 “he went up into a mountain” - Comments Jesus moved moves away from the crowds by going up higher on a mountain. Thus, those who were more dedicated to Him would separate themselves from the multitudes and follow Him, which was an act of faith by which Jesus rewarded by teaching them God’s Word. When we separate ourselves from the multitudes and withdraw to God’s Word, we too are rewarded with insight into His Word.

Matthew 5:1 “and when he was set” - Comments - Jesus could have required everyone to meet him at Mount Sinai, the mountain of God, and to sanctify themselves there. However, Jesus was where the people were in need. So when He saw the multitudes, He chose just a common mountain to teach on. This shows God's willingness to come down to reach any man, all men, wherever they are. However, He withdrew Himself enough to allow those who desired Him would have to make some small effort to pursue Him.

Many famous ministers of the Gospel have had places to teach which were confortable. Jesus, the greatest teacher of all, had no school building. He had no temple or synagogue to teach in. He taught often in the outdoors.

Matthew 5:1 “his disciples came unto him” - Comments - This message was directed to the disciples who were following Him daily. A disciple is a pupil, a learner or an apprentice. One who is called a master teaches, demonstrates and gives experience and explains to His apprentice, the disciple. These disciples were “adherents”; they would not turn loose of Him. Many other people were there to hear also.

Matthew 7:28-29, “And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority , and not as the scribes.”

Luke 6:20, “And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples , and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.”

Matthew 5:1 Comments Some scholars believe that Matthew’s account of Jesus being seated and His disciples (or crowds) coming to Him in the opening verses of three of the five major discourses was intentional, since it describes the traditional setting of the Jewish scribe being surrounded by his pupils (Matthew 5:1; Matthew 13:1-2; Matthew 24:3). [363] The second and fourth discourses begin with one aspect of this formula, either Jesus gathering His disciples (Matthew 10:1), or them coming to Him (Matthew 18:1). In addition, this rabbinic formula is found in the middle of the third discourse simply because Jesus changes locations before completing this discourse (Matthew 13:36).

[363] Christopher R. Smith, “Literary Evidences of a FiveFold Structure in the Gospel of Matthew,” in New Testament Studies 43 (1997): 542.

Matthew 5:1, “And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:”

Matthew 10:1, “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.”

Matthew 13:1-2, “The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.”

Matthew 13:36, “Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.”

Matthew 18:1, “At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

Matthew 24:3, “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

Matthew 5:2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

Matthew 5:2 Comments Matthew 5:2 reflects the anointing in the office of the teacher. Notice that Jesus did not need sermon notes. The Word of God abode in His heart, and Jesus spoke under the anointed power of God, from His heart.

Matthew 12:34, “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh .”

Psalms 119:11, “ Thy word have I hid in mine heart , that I might not sin against thee.”

Colossians 3:16, “ Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom ; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

Jesus was blessed. As a twelve-year old child, His love was for God’s Word. He sought to know God and to live by that Word. If we are to be blessed, our lives must be disciplined in God’s Word. Only then can we will grow like Jesus to be able to open our mouth and teach under the anointing and wisdom of God.

Jesus always spoke with authority. Jesus never said, “Thus saith the Lord.” Why? Because He was the Lord. He said, “Verily, verily I say unto you.”

Matthew 7:29, “For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”

Luke 4:36, “And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.”

Matthew 5:2 Comments When we compare Matthew 5:2 with its parallel passage in Luke 6:20, we can clearly identity the office of Jesus as a Teacher in Matthew’s Gospel when it says, “And he opened his mouth, and taught them...” In Luke He opens His mouth like a prophet and begins to deliver His message to the multitudes.

Luke 6:20, “And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.”

Matthew 5:1-2 Comments - Jesus’ Method of Teaching - The disciples of Jesus were those who sought Him. To them Jesus spoke plainly. To the multitudes Jesus spoke in parables. Note Jesus’ explanation as to why this was so:

Matthew 13:10-13, “And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.”

Thus, all of Jesus’ recorded speeches were addressed either to His disciples with plainness, or to the multitudes in parables, and thirdly to the religious leaders in rebukes and woes. We must recognize His intended audience in each of His speeches in order to better understand His message. For example, we can see that the five major discourses found in the Gospel of Matthew were directed to His disciples. The only exception would be Matthew 13:1-9, when Jesus told the Parable of the Sower to the multitudes.

1. The Sermon on the Mount (5-7).

2. Sending out of Apostles (10).

3. Parables of Kingdoms (13).

4. Church Discipline and Fellowship (18).

5. Eschatology (24-25).

Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:3 Comments - The poor in spirit are the humble or meek in heart (Isaiah 61:1, Luke 4:18).

Isaiah 61:1, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek ; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;”

Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor ; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,”

Thayer says the “poor in spirit” are blessed because they are “conscience of their spiritual needs” (see πτωχός 3). It seems that to first come to God, we must reach this point of sorrow over our sins. Many who came to hear Jesus that day had an awareness of spiritual needs in their lives. This is a description of a humble heart. Contrite means to feeling a deep sorrow for a wrong.

Psalms 34:18, “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart ; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit .”

Psalms 35:13, “But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting ; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.”

Psalms 40:17, “ But I am poor and needy ; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.”

Psalms 51:17, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart , O God, thou wilt not despise.”

Matthew 11:5, “The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them .”

Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor ; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,”

James 2:5, “Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith , and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?”

Arthur Pink calls the opposite of “poor in spirit” the “rich in spirit,” [364] referring to those who are prideful, self-righteous, who lives a good moral life, independent of God. Luke 6:20 says that the poor are blessed and that the rich are to woe (Luke 6:24). Why? James 2:5 explains that God has chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him. They have a large inheritance coming to them, even better than if a rich uncle dies and leaves them a million dollars. Note 1 Corinthians 1:26 says that not many wise in flesh, mighty, and noble, but God has chosen the weak in this world. The poor, under educated, and oppressed are part of this world’s weak things, which God uses so mightily.

[364] Arthur W. Pink, An Exposition of the Sermon on the Mount (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1982), comments on Matthew 5:3.

Luke 18:24-25 - It is hard for rich to enter kingdom of heaven. Why? Because riches can so easily become a snare (1 Timothy 6:9-10; 1 Timothy 6:17).

Luke 6:20, “And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.”

Luke 6:24, “But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.”

James 2:5, “Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?”

1 Corinthians 1:26, “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:”

Luke 18:24-25, “And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

1 Timothy 6:9-10, “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

1 Timothy 6:17, “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;”

Note that Jesus said, “poor in spirit,” not “poor materially or poor physically.” Today and in Scripture, there were and are many Godly people who are rich. So, this verse could not be referring to the physical. In contrast, there are many poor people who hate God and are under the curses of poverty and sickness.

In general, as stated in 1 Corinthians 1:26, we know that more poor people who become Christians than do rich people.

Matthew 5:3 Scripture References - Note similar verses:

Psalms 40:17, “But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.”

Isaiah 66:2, “For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.”

Note Proverbs 18:23. The Lord once quickened this verse to me while meditating on this verse in the Sermon on the Mount.

Proverbs 18:23, “ The poor useth intreaties ; but the rich answereth roughly.” This verse in the NIV, “a poor man pleads for mercy”.

To this “poor” one, God is going to meet his need by letting him become a part of God’s eternal kingdom.

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Matthew 5:4 Comments - Those who experience sorrow, Godly sorrow.

Isaiah 57:18, “I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners .”

Isaiah 61:1-3, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion , to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness ; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”

2 Corinthians 7:10, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”

Illustration In Psalms 6:1-10 those who are oppression by the enemy and cry to God for deliverance.

Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Matthew 5:5 Comments - The virtue of meekness refers to the person who fears God and trusts in His divine providence and provision. He will obey God’s commandments and trust God to make provision in this life.

Psalms 25:12, “What man is he that feareth the LORD ? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth .”

Psalms 37:9, “For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth .”

Psalms 37:11, “But the meek shall inherit the earth ; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”

Isaiah 57:13, “When thou criest, let thy companies deliver thee; but the wind shall carry them all away; vanity shall take them: but he that putteth his trust in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain ;”

Isaiah 60:21, “ Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever , the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.”

In Genesis 13:10-18 we have the account of Abraham and Lot dividing the Promised Land among themselves and God revealing to Abraham his inheritance. However, the Lord did not reveal this to him until he had developed the humility to trust in God’s divine providence, which Abraham demonstrated by letting Lot choose between the portions of land. This is what is meant by Jesus’ statement in the Beatitudes that the meek shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). The word “earth” in this verse describes our earthly, possessions in this life. Meekness is how a man demonstrates his faith in God’s divine providence and divine provision. In contrast, pride is demonstrated when a man looks to himself for material possessions and ignores divine principles to live by.

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Matthew 5:6 Comments - This verse refers to those who are seeking after the Lord.

Psalms 84:4-5, “Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.”

Psalms 42:1-2, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?”

2 Samuel 22:25-28.

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Matthew 5:7 Comments - See 2 Samuel 22:25-28.

Sowing and reaping applies to those who show mercy:

Matthew 7:2, “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”


Matthew 18:33, “Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?”

James 2:13, “For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.”

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart” - Comments - 2 Samuel 22:25-28 - Pure from worldliness.

Psalms 24:4, “He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.”

John 14:19, “Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.”

Hebrews 12:14, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:”

1 John 3:2, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”

Matthew 5:8 “for they shall see God” Scripture Reference - Note:

Revelation 22:4, “And they shall see his face ; and his name shall be in their foreheads.”

Matthew 5:8 Comments - Frances J. Roberts writes, “Without holiness, no man shall see God. This could be as truly stated, ‘Without a tender heart and sensitive, attentive spirit, none shall see God’, for without these, no true holiness will ever be attained.” [365]

[365] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King’s Farspan, Inc., 1973), 15.

The man of a pure heart is a man of holiness. Therefore, note a similar verse:

Hebrews 12:14, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:”

Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Matthew 5:9 Scripture References” - Note:

Hebrews 12:14, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:”

James 3:18, “And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”

Matthew 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:10 Comments - This refers to the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings.

2 Corinthians 1:7, “And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.”

2 Corinthians 4:17, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;”

2 Timothy 2:12, “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:”

1 Peter 3:14-21

The carnal lifestyle will not receive this divine blessing:

Romans 8:7, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”

Matthew 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Matthew 5:11 Comments Webster says the word “revile” means, “ To address or abuse with opprobrious and contemptuous language .” Note:

Psalms 89:50-51, “Remember, Lord, the reproach of thy servants; how I do bear in my bosom the reproach of all the mighty people; Wherewith thine enemies have reproached, O LORD; wherewith they have reproached the footsteps of thine anointed.”

Matthew 10:22, “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”


Acts 5:41, “And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.”

1 Peter 2:20, “For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.”

Scripture Reference - God’s spirit is resting upon a persecuted home:

1 Peter 4:14, “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.”

Matthew 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Matthew 5:12 Illustrations Note some illustrations of those who are persecuted for righteousness sake:

2 Chronicles 36:15-16, “And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy.”

Matthew 23:34, “Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:”

Matthew 23:37, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!”

Luke 13:33-34, “Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!”


James 1:2, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;”

1 Peter 1:6, “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:”

Matthew 5:13-16 The Salt and the Light (Mark 9:50 , Luke 14:34-35 ) In Matthew 5:13-16 Jesus compares God’s children to the salt of the earth and calls them the light of the world. Jesus has just given nine characteristics of the children of God in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12). Matthew 5:13-16 reveals to us that these children are to serve two purposes on earth. As the salt of the earth, they preserve the world from God’s pending wrath. As the light of the world, they carry the revelation of God’s divine plan of redemption for mankind. When a child of God is walking in the virtues of the Beatitudes, he is serving as stay of God’s wrath and as a bearer of God’s grace. Thus, after calling out the children of God in verses 3-12, just as God called the children of Israel out of Egypt and separated them, Jesus then tells them in this passage (Matthew 5:13-16) what their work is on this earth. They are to walk in the virtues found in verses 3-12 in order that they might serve as salt to withhold God’s wrath and as a light to reveal God’s grace. Thus, Matthew 5:13-16 is about Christian service. We can only be the salt of the earth or the light of the world as we serve the Lord.

Matthew 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Matthew 5:13 “and to be trodden under foot of men” - Illustration:

Isaiah 28:3, “The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet:”

Matthew 5:13 Comments - Matthew 5:13 is a metaphor that compares God’s children to salt, or more specifically, to the preserving characteristics of salt. As with many of Jesus’ metaphors and parables, there exists an element of “cultural dissonance,” which means that something in the story is either exaggerated or shocking and unexpected. This allows this metaphor in Matthew to be interpreted with the understanding that salt does not lose its saltiness. Yet, Christians can lose this “characteristic” by lack of discipline. However, there are many explanations for how salt can lose its saltiness. For example, D. A. Carson explains that the salt in ancient Palestine was extracted from salt marshes and similar places. Therefore, the salt was not always pure. Then the salt was leached out through usage, the remaining chemicals were discarded because this powder had lost its saltiness. It could not be thrown in the soil, where crops may be grown. Today, the powder is discarded upon flat rooftops because it helped to harden the soil and prevent leaks. Since the rooftops were used as a playground or meeting area, this salt is trodden by men’s feet. [366]

[366] D. A. Carson, Matthew, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, vol. 8, eds. Frank E. Gaebelien, J. D. Douglas, Dick Polcyn (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1976-1992), in Zondervan Reference Software, v. 2.8 [CD-ROM] (Grand Rapids, Michigan: The Zondervan Corp., 1989-2001), comments on Matthew 5:13.

Salt preserves and flavors. Christians are the reason God does not pour out His wrath upon an evil, adulterous world. Christians “flavor” this world, so that some of this world is pleasing to God. Christians preserve this world from God's ever-present wrath. This may be the reason that Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt, as an example of how the righteous are the salt of the earth.

Note these words from Frances J. Roberts, which explains the meaning of Matthew 5:13. It says that we lose our savor when we rebel against God’s discipline and correction. Then other men will come and tread upon us:

“Do ye hope to be made perfect apart from the corrective process? Do ye expect to bear large fruit without the pruning process? Nay, My children, either bend in submission to My hand, or ye shall break in rebellion. Godly sorrow yieldeth the good fruit of repentance, but if ye be brittle and unyielding, ye shall know a grief of spirit for which there is no remedy. Keep a flexible spirit, so that I may mold thee and shape thee freely so that I can teach thee readily, nor be detained by thy resistance.

“I need disciplined Christians. To entertain self-will is to court disqualification. Ye cannot do My work to My satisfaction except ye do it in accordance with My specifications. There are not many blueprints for one building; there is only one. Even so, to change the figure, there are not many different husbandmen. I am the husbandman. If ye refuse My loving care of thee, ye shall be cut down by others who have no concern for thy soul. Even as I said of the salt: if it lose its savor, it is good for naught but shall be trodden under foot of man. If the branch bear no fruit, men shall gather it and burn it.” [367]

[367] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King’s Farspan, Inc., 1973), 94.

We also lose our saltiness when we lose our joy:

“Remember that I am in the midst when ye praise me. Never let any kind of anxiety crowd out thy praises. Do not be concerned for My reputation. I have withstood many a storm, and I will survive this one. Man’s strivings are as the waters around Gibraltar. They have beat upon the rock, but they have not changed it. I am not disturbed, and I forbid thee to be anxious.

“For anxiety genderth to tension, and tension erodes joy; and when joy is gone, victory is lost, faith is weakened, and spontaneity is destroyed. The spirit falls ill. The salt has lost its flavor. Its savor is a saver. What can I use to preserve My work in your midst if ye lose your joy? Rejoice always, said the apostle Paul and again I say rejoice. Let your stability be observable to all men, for truly, the coming of the Lord is near. Gird up your loins, and be strong; for it is the Lord who upholdeth thee, and He it is who giveth thee the victory. Sing, My children, and let the shout of praise be heart; for the Lord is mighty, and His Name is glorious.” [368]

[368] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King’s Farspan, Inc., 1973), 96.

If we remain salty, we shall make others thirsty for the things of God.

“I will make you a blessing. Think not to take a blessing to someone, or hope that I will send a blessing. Lo, I will make thee, as My ambassador, to be thyself a sweet savour of life and grace. Through thy saltiness shall others be made thirsty . Through thy joy shall others be made to long after reality.” [369]

[369] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King’s Farspan, Inc., 1973), 118.

Note these insightful words from Sadhu Sundar Singh regarding the salt of the earth.

“My children are like salt in the world (Matt. v.13). If the salt crystals are not dissolved they cannot transmit their flavour. So with My children. If they are not melted in the fire of love and the Holy Spirit, and made into a living sacrifice, they will not be able to bring a single soul that spiritual and heavenly life by which they may be saved. They will be no better than Lot’s wife who became a pillar of salt (Gen. xix.26). But just as for your sakes I was melted in Gethesemane (Luke xxii.44), and on the cross gave up My life that I might save the lives of men, for life must be paid for with life, so you also are called upon to give up your lives and thus bring the savour of spiritual life to others and deliver them from death.” [370]

[370] Sadhu Sundar Singh, At the Master’s Feet, translated by Arthur Parker (London: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1922) [on-line]; accessed 26 October 2008; available from http://www.ccel.org/ccel/singh/feet.html; Internet, “IV Service,” section 1, part 5.

Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Matthew 5:14 “Ye are the light of the world” - Comments - God is to reveal His Son Jesus to the world through us. The only Jesus many people will ever see is the Jesus that they see in you.

Galatians 1:16, “To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:”

Matthew 5:15 Comments - Note these insightful words from Sadhu Sundar Singh regarding the light of the world.

“There are little creatures far inferior to man, like the firefly, with its flickering light, and certain small plants among the vegetation in the Himalayas, which by their faint phosphorescent radiance illuminate as far as they can the dark jungle where they live. Tiny fish also that swim in the deep waters of the ocean give forth a glimmering light which guides other fish and helps them to elude their enemies. How much more ought My children to be lights in the world (Matt. v.14) and be eager in self-sacrifice to bring into the way of truth, by means of their God-given light, those who by reason of darkness are liable to become the prey of Satan.” [371]

[371] Sadhu Sundar Singh, At the Master’s Feet, translated by Arthur Parker (London: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1922) [on-line]; accessed 26 October 2008; available from http://www.ccel.org/ccel/singh/feet.html; Internet, “IV Service,” section 2, part 4.

Matthew 5:15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men” - Comments - Our light is Jesus living and shining through us.

John 8:12, “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Matthew 5:16 “that they may see your good works” - Comments - Jesus said in John 14:12 that we would do His same works and greater works that He did. Acts 10:38 says that Jesus went about doing good and healing the sick. So, as we go about doing good works, this involves testimonies of signs, wonders, and miracles in our lives. When others see these miracles, they will glorify the Lord. The Lord said to me several years ago that the greatest testimony I have is my faith in the Lord Jesus. Share what the Lord has done for you so others may glorify God.

John 14:12, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”

Acts 10:38, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”

Matthew 5:16 “and glorify your Father which is in heaven” - Illustrations:

The Queen of Sheba gave glory to God after seeing the mighty works of Solomon.

2 Chronicles 9:8, “Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee to set thee on his throne, to be king for the LORD thy God: because thy God loved Israel, to establish them for ever, therefore made he thee king over them, to do judgment and justice.”

The Psalmist declares that the work that Jesus did as Calvary, His resurrection from the grave and exaltation was a marvelous work:

Psalms 118:22-23, ”The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.”

God does such a mighty transformation in our lives that that people realize only God could have done this. Paul was the greatest example of this.

Galatians 1:23-24, “But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. And they glorified God in me.”

Miracles, signs and wonders bring glory to God:

Matthew 15:31, “Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel .”

Acts 4:21, “So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done .”

Acts 11:18, “When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God , saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.”

Verses 1-48

The First Discours: The Sermon on the Mount (Luke 6:20-49 ) Matthew 5:1 to Matthew 7:29 records the Sermon on the Mount, which is perhaps the best known passage in the New Testament. This sermon is more accurately a teaching lesson, for the Gospel of Matthew reflects Jesus in His office and ministry as a Teacher, while Mark’s Gospel records His preaching ministry. Thus, scholars refer to the five “discourses” in the Gospel of Matthew. In this discourse Jesus gives to the people the Laws of the Kingdom of Heaven, in which He lays the foundational doctrines for the Kingdom.

The Sermon on the Mount will also serve as His inaugural address as the King of the Jews, in which He tells the people about the laws that are to govern the Kingdom of God. This new government is not a democracy where a leader is elected. Rather, it is a kingdom by which a king is chosen by royal birth, and whose rule endures throughout the life of the King. Its constitution and civil laws are not written and voted upon by the people as in a democracy and reads, “We the people…” as the constitution of the United States reads. But this is a kingdom by which the king’s words serve as the Law. This is why Jesus says in His Sermon, “Ye have heard that it was said…but I say unto you.” His Word takes authority over all pervious law. In a kingdom the king is honored, even worshipped. There can be no protests and demonstrations to impeach a king. This would only happen in a democracy.

How the Sermon on the Mount of Matthew 5:1 to Matthew 7:29 Reflects the Structure of Matthew’s Gospel The Sermon on the Mount is clearly the most popular passage of Matthew’s Gospel. This sermon reflects the underlying theme of Matthew’s Gospel, which the testimony of Jesus as the Messiah and King of the Jews through Jesus’ teaching ministry.

Divine Service (Matthew 6:1-18) ð See Matthew 10:1 to Matthew 11:1

Perseverance: Worldliness (Matthew 6:19 to Matthew 7:12) ð See Matthew 13:1-52

Perseverance: False Doctrines (Matthew 7:13-20) ð See Matthew 18:1-35

Glorification (Matthew 7:21-23) ð See Matthew 24:1 to Matthew 25:46

Summary and Application (Matthew 7:24-29)

Justification (Matthew 5:1-16 ) - The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-16) emphasizes how a person is justified in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Indoctrination (Matthew 5:17-48 ) - Matthew 5:17-48 indoctrinates the people on the meaning of the original intent of the Law of Moses.

Divine Service (Matthew 6:1-18 ) They prepare themselves for divine service through almsgiving, prayer and fasting. He will expound upon this topic and actually send out twelve apostles for training in divine service in His second discourse in Matthew 10:1 to Matthew 11:1.

Perseverance Amidst Worldliness (Matthew 6:19 to Matthew 7:12 ) Matthew 6:19 to Matthew 7:12 teaches how to perseverance amidst worldliness so that they will be able to find their place of rest with God. He will expound upon this topic again in His third discourse consisting of parables about man’s reactions to Gospel (Matthew 13:1-52).

Perseverance Amidst False Doctrine (Matthew 7:13-20 ) - In Matthew 7:13-20 Jesus places emphasis upon the need to persevere amidst offences and false doctrines within the Church. In this passage Jesus teaches us about the dangers along our journey to Heaven. He tells us that the path is narrow and many will not make it (Matthew 7:13-14). We are told that there are many detours to mislead us (Matthew 7:15-20). Jesus will expound upon this topic in His fourth discourse about handling offences in the Kingdom of God (Matthew 18:1-35).

Glorification (Matthew 7:21-23 ) - In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus Christ teaches on the subject of how to enter into our future glorification in Heaven. It is only those who stay on course and do the will of the Father who will enter into Heaven. Jesus will expound upon this topic in His Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24:1 to Matthew 25:46).

Summary and Application (Matthew 7:24-29 ) In Matthew 7:24-27 Jesus Christ summaries His message by telling the people to apply the Sermon on the Mount to their personal lives. Matthew 7:28-29 serves as a transitional sentence that the author uses between the five major sections of the Gospel.

Outline - Note the proposed outline of Jesus’ first discourse, which we call the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1 to Matthew 7:29). This particular outline emphasizes this Sermon as the Giving of the Laws of the Kingdom.

1. Justification: The Children of the Kingdom Matthew 5:1-16

a) Nine Characteristics of the Children Matthew 5:1-12

b) The Salt and Light Matthew 5:13-16

2. Indoctrination: The Laws of the Kingdom Matthew 5:17-48

a) The Fulfillment of the Law Matthew 5:17-20

b) The Giving of the Laws of the Kingdom Matthew 5:21-48

i) Murder (Dealing with Man’s Heart) Matthew 5:21-26

ii) Adultery (Dealing with Man’s Heart) Matthew 5:27-32

iii) Swearing (Man’s Tongue/Mind) Matthew 5:33-37

iv) Retribution (Physical Actions) Matthew 5:38-42

v) Loving thy Neighbor (Summary of Law) Matthew 5:43-48

3. Calling: Divine Service in the Kingdom Matthew 6:1-18

a) Almsgiving (Sanctifies the Heart) Matthew 6:1-4

b) Prayer (Sanctifies the Mind) Matthew 6:5-15

c) Fasting (Sanctifies the Body) Matthew 6:16-18

4. Perseverance Amidst Worldliness Matthew 6:19 to Matthew 7:12

a) Seeking God First (Heart) Matthew 6:19-34

b) Judge Not (Mind) Matthew 7:1-6

c) Trusting God in Prayer (Bodily Needs) Matthew 7:7-12

5. Perseverance Amidst False Doctrines Matthew 7:13-20

6. Glorification - Entering the Promised Land Matthew 7:21-23

7. Conclusion Matthew 7:24-29

The Recipients to the Five Discourses of the Gospel of Matthew The five discourses that Jesus Christ delivered during His earthly ministry were primarily directed to His disciples (Matthew 5:1; Matthew 10:1; Matthew 13:10-11; Matthew 13:36-37; Matthew 18:1; Matthew 24:3). Although the multitudes gathered together to receive miracles and to hear Him, Matthew is accurate to note that Jesus addressed these discourse to His disciples. Thus, the purpose of the five discourses was the training of the Twelve, preparing them for His final command to take the Gospel to the nations, which is traditionally called the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).

The Motif of Righteousness in the Sermon on the Mount In the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew uses the Greek word δικαιοσυ ́ νη five times (Matthew 5:6; Matthew 5:10; Matthew 5:20; Matthew 6:1; Matthew 6:33). Matthew uses this Greek word only on two other occasions in the rest of his Gospel (Matthew 3:15; Matthew 21:32). The first use is found in the narrative material preceding the first discourse (Matthew 3:15) in which Jesus demonstrates true righteousness prior to teaching on the topic in the Sermon on the Mount. Thus, the motif of righteousness is embedded within the first discourse, in which Jesus teaches on God’s true standard of righteousness for mankind.

The Motif of God the Father in the Sermon on the Mount The Sermon on the Mount is the first place in the Holy Scriptures where God is revealed as a Father intimately concerned about and involved with the daily affairs of His children. David was the first individual to recognized God as his Father, and the sweet psalmist of Israel called Him Father throughout His psalms. Yet, in the centuries that followed, few individual understood the intimacy that God intended for His children, so there is very little reference to this concept in the canonical Scriptures that were written after David. For this reason, the message Jesus Christ delivered in the Sermon on the Mount is a new revelation for the Jews of the divine character of the God of Israel as a loving Father for each of them.

The Motif of the Mosaic Law in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus refer to the Mosaic Law a number of times in the Sermon on the Mount. Since the Gospel of Matthew emphasizes Jesus as the Scriptural fulfillment of the coming Messiah, this Gospel also gives emphasis to Jesus’ teachings on the Kingdom of God, a theological concept that the Jews incorporated with the coming of the Messiah. The Jews believed that the Messiah would usher in a new kingdom, where He would reign on earth from Jerusalem as King. Since Jesus Christ came as King of the Jews, He teaches the people the laws of the Kingdom of God by contrasting them to the Mosaic Law. Note these comments from Philip Schaff:

“After the Messianic inauguration and trial Jesus opens his public ministry with the Sermon on the Mount, which is the counterpart of the Sinaitic legislation, and contains the fundamental law of his kingdom. The key-note of this sermon and of the whole Gospel is that Christ came to fulfil the law and the prophets, which implies both the harmony of the two religions and the transcendent superiority of Christianity.” [359]

[359] Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol. 1: Apostolic Christianity A.D. 1-100 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 617.

In chapter five, Jesus reveals how the Ten Commandments are to be obeyed in the Kingdom of God, and how the blessings and curses operate in this new Kingdom. In chapter 6, Jesus explains how the statutes of the Mosaic Law are also to be fulfilled in this new kingdom.

The major theme of the Pentateuch is the delivering of the Mosaic Law to the children of Israel. On Mount Sinai, Moses gave the people the Ten Commandments, which can be referred to as the “Moral Law.” He then delivered to them many statutes and ordinances regarding daily living and service in the Tabernacle. This set of rules and regulations can be referred to as the “Civil Laws.” The Ten Commandments became the foundation for the civil laws. Thus, the Ten Commandments dealt with a man’s heart, while the civil laws dealt with a man’s actions. When a man held the moral laws within his heart, he would then be willing to follow the civil laws.

When Jesus taught the Sermon on the Mount, He taught the people the true meaning of the Ten Commandments. He explained to the people the foundational laws from which the civil laws were derived. Jesus dealt with the heart of man, because the people were confused with the endless civil laws that the Pharisees had heaped upon them through the centuries.

In the days of Jesus, the people of Israel easily confused righteousness with legalism. The Pharisees imposed a strict and complicated legal system on the Jewish people, who lived in fear of these religious leaders. The Jews watched the Pharisees strive to keep the details of these rules and regulations while inwardly they were liars, thieves and murderers. For example, they misused the treasury money. They murdered the Lord Jesus Christ and lied about His body being stolen by the disciples. All of their actions were motivated to please one another. Thus, the people sought to please the Pharisees outwardly, to be seen by others, but inwardly, their motives were false.

It is in this setting that Jesus taught to such a people who had lost the true meaning of righteous. This is why Jesus emphasizes the word “righteousness” in the Sermon on the Mount, which is subtitled by A. T. Robertson as, “Christ’s Standard of Righteousness.” [360]

[360] A. T. Robertson, A Harmony of the Gospels for Students of the Life of Christ (New York: George H. Doran, 1922), 48.

This sermon clearly lays out what true, Scriptural righteous conduct is all about. In Job 31:0, Job lived many of these truths in his life. This lifestyle of righteousness had been lost during Jesus' day in the teachings of the Pharisees. So, as Moses instituted the laws of God at Mount Sinai to begin the kingdom of Israel, so Jesus lays the foundation of the Kingdom of God by teaching its laws and statutes. In laying this foundation, Jesus is attempting in His Sermon to explain to the children of Israel the real meaning behind the Ten Commandments and the laws of Moses.

In a similar way that Moses separated the children of Israel from Egypt through the Exodus, delivered to them the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, and led them to the Promised Land, so does Jesus Christ call out the true children of God from the world in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-16). He explains the true meaning of the Ten Commandments in Matthew 5:17-48. He tells them how to get to the Promised Land (Matthew 6:1 to Matthew 7:29).

In addition, there is a clear contrast between this setting of Jesus teaching the people and the scene from Mount Sinai in Exodus 19:0. Note:

1. God came down to give the Law from heaven. Jesus went up into a mountain to teach, since He was among men, flesh and blood.

2. God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai. Jesus explains how to live the Ten Commandments here.

3. God spoke out of thunder, lightening, and a thick cloud. Jesus spoke out of in a voice of authority.

4. At Mount Sinai, we sense God’s holiness. Here we see God’s love.

1 John 3:16, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

5. On Mt. Sinai, the people were ordered to keep their distance. Here, the people are able to come up to Jesus.

6. On Mt. Sinai, Moses asked to see God. He only saw His back. Here, they see God in the flesh as Jesus.

John 14:8-9, “Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?”

Jesus’ Authority verses Rabbinic Authority in the Sermon on the Mount - When the Jewish leaders heard Jesus teach, they marveled, saying, “How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?” (John 7:15) Because Jesus did not rise up through the rabbinical educational system, He was unknown to the educated Pharisees and Jewish leaders. Andreas J. Kösterberger notes that the rabbis of the first century often cited other rabbinical authorities in their teachings. [361] Thus, the rabbis considered those who taught without such rabbinical authorities to lack credibility. [362] They themselves referred back to a long history of traditional interpretation of the Mosaic Law as their authority. Jesus, however, offered Himself as the sole authority in His teachings on twenty-five occasions in John’s Gospel, saying, “Truly, truly, I say to you…” (John 1:51; John 3:3; John 3:5; John 3:11; John 5:19; John 5:24-25; John 6:26; John 6:32; John 6:47; John 6:53; John 8:34; John 8:51; John 8:58; John 10:1; John 10:7; John 12:24; John 13:16; John 13:20-21; John 13:38; John 14:12; John 16:20; John 16:23; John 21:18) Throughout the Synoptic Gospels Jesus says, “Verily I say unto you…” When pressed by the Jews for His source of authority, Jesus refers to His Father as the source of His doctrine (John 5:17-26; John 5:36-37; John 6:44-46; John 7:16; John 8:28; John 8:38; John 10:18, John 10:37-38; John 12:49-50; John 14:31; John 15:15). Jesus’ response of elevating Himself above rabbinic authority incited the Jews to anger, as they accused Him of blasphemy because He made Himself equal to God, while the common rabbi lowered himself below rabbinical authorities in his teachings. Perhaps the best example of the Jew’s scholar’s dependence upon the long tradition of rabbinical authority is found in the Babylonian Talmud, which consists of lengthy discussions of the views of renowned rabbis regarding particular interpretations of the Law.

[361] Andreas J. Kösterberger, John, in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004), 232-233.

[362] Scholars cite Sotah 22a from the Babylonian Talmud as an example of the negative rabbinical attitude towards those who do not appeal to other authorities in their teachings, which says, “It has been reported, If one has learnt Scripture and Mishnah but did not attend upon Rabbinical scholars, R. Eleazar says he is an 'Am ha-arez' [lit. a people of the land].” (Babylonian Talmud, Sotah 22a) The rabbis equated such teachers to “people of the land,” meaning such teachers were like the common, uneducated person.

The Pauline Epistles and the Sermon on the Mount - Paul the apostle will later write the nine Church Epistles, in which he will be divinely used to lay down the doctrines for the New Testament Church. But his doctrines will be built upon the Sermon on the Mount. Thus, Jesus Christ lays down a foundation upon which all of the New Testament apostles and prophets are to build upon. This is why Paul the apostle could say, “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone ;” (Ephesians 2:19-20). Just as Paul’s epistles are grouped into the doctrines of justification, sanctification and glorification, so is the Sermon on the Mount structured around this three-fold emphasis.

Similarities of the Sermon on the Mount to the Structure of the New Testament Besides the similarities between the Pentateuch and the Gospel of Matthew, we find similarities between the five major discourses and the structure of the New Testament writings. To begin with, we know that the nine Pauline Church Epistles establish the doctrines of the New Testament Church. The three Pastoral Epistles establish the order and ministry of the Church. The three General Epistles of Hebrews, James and 1 Peter establish the perseverance of the saints in regards to persecutions from without the Church. The five General Epistles of 2 Peter , 1, 2, 3 John and Jude establish the perseverance of the saints in regards to persecutions from false doctrines within the church.

In a similar manner, we can compare the Sermon on the Mount to the Church Epistles in that they lay the foundation for the doctrine of the Kingdom of God and of the New Testament Church. The second discourse of Jesus sending out the twelve establishes the ministry and order of the Church, which can be compared to the Pastoral Epistles. The third discourse regarding the parables of the Kingdom of Heaven which reveals the ways in which men reject the preaching of the Gospel can be compared to the General Epistles of Hebrews, James and 1 Peter which deal with persecutions from without. The fourth discourse of dealing with offences and persecutions from the Jewish leaders can be compared with the General Epistles of 2 Peter , 1, 2, 3 John and Jude which discuss persecutions from false doctrine within the Church. The emphasis upon false doctrine in this narrative material is because the theme of this passage is about offences because of false doctrines in the Kingdom of God. These offences are not coming from the multitudes but from those who appear to be within the Kingdom of God, that is, the religious leaders. The fifth Eschatological discourse of the Second Coming of Christ can be compared to the book of Revelation, which deals with the glorification of the Church.

Similarities of the Sermon on the Mount to the Six Foundational Doctrines of the New Testament Church - If we compare the foundational doctrines listed in Hebrews 6:1-2 with the scheme of the five major discourses in Matthew’s Gospel, we can observe some parallels.

Hebrews 6:1-2, “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.”

The six foundational doctrines found in Hebrews 6:1-2 were laid down by Jesus Christ. It is these six doctrines upon which the Kingdom of Heaven is established:

1. repentance from dead works

2. faith toward God

3. the doctrine of baptisms

4. laying on of hands

5. resurrection of the dead

6. eternal judgment

Jesus’ first discourse, the Sermon on the Mount, finds its parallel in the third foundational doctrine of the doctrine of baptisms. The second discourse, the Sending out of the Twelve, parallels the laying on of hands for Christian service. The third and fourth discourses emphasize the perseverance of the saints. The last discourse, the Eschatological Discourse, places most of its emphasis upon the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.

Similarities of the Sermon on the Mount to Luke 6:20-49 Just as Jesus Christ visited the synagogues of Galilee and probably delivered the same speech out of Isaiah 61:1-2, do did He probably delivered messages similar to the Sermon on the Mount to the multitudes, which would explain the differences in the parallel passages in Luke 6:20-49 and the Sermon on the Plain (Matthew 5:1 to Matthew 7:29). In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus chose the twelve apostles prior to the Sermon on the Plain, while the appointment of the Twelve comes after the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s Gospel. This helps to explain what many scholars otherwise see as conflicting accounts of the same events.

Verses 17-20

The Fulfillment of the Law In Matthew 5:17-20 Jesus explains the original purpose and intent of the Law, which is followed by a number of examples.

Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

Matthew 5:17 “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets” Comments - We know that the Hebrew Bible was made up of three divisions: The Law, the Prophets, and the Writings. Perhaps Jesus only referred to two of these divisions in Matthew 5:17 because they contained the major prophecies of the Messiah.

“I am not come to destroy” - Comments - Why would the Pharisees be thinking Jesus would destroy the law? Because He did so many things that contradicted their traditions.

“but to fulfil” - Comments - Jesus goes on in His sermon in Matthew 5:21-48 to explain what it means to fulfill the law. Jesus shows that the Mosaic Law that God put Israel under was a law of loving one another. Jesus sat and taught, not as the Pharisees taught, but as one who was fulfilling God’s Word.

Why was it necessary for Jesus to fulfill the Mosaic Law? The purpose of the Law was to bring us to Christ (Galatians 3:24). The goal of the Law was Christ (Romans 10:1-4).

Galatians 3:24, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”

Romans 10:4, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”

By faith in Jesus, the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us (Romans 8:4). Jesus fulfilled the law (Matthew 5:17). This is the righteousness which comes by faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Anointed One.

Romans 8:4, “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

How did Jesus fulfill the Law and the Prophets? Many passages in the Gospel of Matthew quote Old Testament passages that Jesus fulfilled in His earthly ministry. Thus, Jesus statement that He had come to fulfill the Old Testament Scriptures reflects the secondary theme of the Gospel of Matthew, which is the testimony of Scriptures that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Jesus makes a parallel statement in Luke 4:18 that the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him, and He began to prophesy.

Matthew 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Matthew 5:18 “For verily I say unto you” Comments - We have the first occurrence of Jesus saying “verily” in Matthew 5:18. This term will be used repeatedly throughout the four Gospels, with John’s Gospel using the more intensive form “verily, verily.” We can understand from Hebrews 6:13-14 that this is a form of a divine oath that Jesus is making to His disciples. Since He cannot swear by anyone greater, He swears by Himself.

Hebrews 6:13-14, “For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.”

Benny Hinn interprets this phrase to means, “I guarantee it, I give you My word.” [372]

[372] Benny Hinn, Monthly Newsletter, April 2009 (Benny Hinn Ministries, Irving, Texas), 6.

Matthew 5:18 “Till heaven and earth pass” - Comments - To pass away, to be done away with, refers to this present heaven and earth being destroyed so that a new heavens and earth is created as we enter eternity.

Matthew 5:18 “one jot or one tittle” Comments - A “jot” refers to the name of the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet, called “Yod” ( י ). This letter is shaped like a comma, but is above the bottom line. BDAG says the Greek word “tittle” Greek ( κεραία ) (G2762) literally means, “horn,” and is used in the sense of “projection, hook as part of a letter, a serif.” Strong says it means, “the apex of a Hebrew letter,” and figuratively, “the least particle.” Thus, it is generally understood that the tittle is either (1) an accent or diacritical mark attached to the letters of the Hebrew text, or (2) the particular, distinguishing strokes that give unique shape to each Hebrew letter.

Matthew Henry believes the phrase “one jot or one tittle” refers to “the least and most minute circumstance” of the Law that will be fulfilled. [373]

[373] Matthew Henry, Matthew, in Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, New Modern Edition, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1991), in P.C. Study Bible, v. 3.1 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc., 1993-2000), notes on Matthew :18.

Matthew 5:18 “shall in no wise” - Comments - This is called the emphatic subjunctive in Greek syntax, meaning that Jesus placed much emphasis on this negative statement.

Matthew 5:18 “pass from the law” Comments - The phrase “pass from the law” means to pass away in the sense of losing force, or becoming invalid (Hebrews 7:18-19; Hebrews 8:13; Hebrews 10:9). Within the context of this passage of Scripture, the law refers to the entire Old Testament.

Hebrews 7:18-19, “For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.”

Hebrews 8:13, “In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.”

Hebrews 10:9, “Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.”

Matthew 5:18 “till all be fulfilled” - Comments - Jesus' first coming fulfilled much of the Law, the prophets, and the Psalms. He is yet to fulfilled additional prophetic Scripture with His second coming and other end-time events. Thus, we still study the Word of God.

Note Psalms 119:89, “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” This shows that even the Law of Moses, which is also God’s Word, is settled in Heaven and will be fulfilled during the course of redemptive history.

Matthew 5:18 Comments - Regarding the importance of every letter and every stroke of each letter of the sacred Hebrew Scriptures, we must understand the responsibility of the Hebrew scribes and particularly the order of the Massorites in their tedious task as custodians of the sacred Scriptures. They were given the task of copying the Scriptures to new manuscripts flawlessly without error and delivering these Scriptures to a new generation. Therfore, each jot and tittle was critical to the accuracy of the Hebrew manuscript. These manuscripts had to be flawless in order to hand down to the next generation. The margins of these Hebrew manuscripts were used to write the characteristics of the adjacent columns. These marginal notes contained various descriptions, such as the number of rows or letters or names of God in a particular column so that the scribes could accurately proof read the manuscript for errors.

E. W. Bullinger tells us the Jewish tradition how that after the Babylonian captivity, Ezra and Nehemiah began the task of setting the Old Testament Scriptures in order. We see this in Ezra 7:6; Ezra 7:11 and Nehemiah 8:8. They created an order of scribes called the Sopherim (from the Hebrew word “saphar,” which means, “to count or number”). Their task was to set the original text in order. This means, that they counted each line, each word and each letter of the books of the Old Testament. They devised the way each page of Scripture was to have a certain column of text with the known amount of words and letters on each particular page. These pages could then be copied without error using this counting system because each page would always look the same. This meant that each letter was locked into same place on its designated page in the Scriptures and could never be moved. Only the order of the Sopherim had the authority to revise the original text or to move text to a new place. Jewish tradition tells us that the men of “the Great Synagogue” as they were known, took about one hundred years to complete this work, from the time of Nehemiah to Simon the first, 410-300 B.C.

After the text was set, the order of the Massorites was established. This title comes from the Hebrew word “maser,” which means, “to deliver something into the hand of another, so as to commit it to his trust.” They became the custodians of the Sacred Scriptures. Their job was to preserve the Scriptures so that no changes took place. A look at an ancient Hebrew manuscript reveals how this was done. In the upper and lower margins of these ancient manuscripts and between and along the outside of the columns of Sacred Text, you can see small writings by these Massorites which contains a counting system for the text. These side notes are not commentaries, but rather information about the text on that particular page, such as the number of times the several letters occur in the various books of the Bible; the number of words, and the middle word; the number of verses, and the middle verse; the number of expressions and combinations of words, etc. It even listed the one hundred thirty-four passages in which the Hebrew word “Adonai” was substituted for the original “YHWH.” [374]

[374] E. W. Bullinger, Appendix 30: Massôrah, in The Companion Bible Being The Authorized Version of 1611 With The Structures And Notes, Critical, Explanatory and Suggestive And With 198 Appendixes (London: Oxford University Press, c1909-22), 31.

When the Hebrew Bible came into print in the fifteenth century, only the Sacred Text was printed and all of the marginal notes were disregarded. This is why we are not familiar with this ancient Hebrew tradition today. To the Jews, every jot and tittle held importance as it indicated the accuracy of the text. Thus, Jesus Christ promises that God is watching over His Word to a greater degree than even the Jews are watching over it.

In addition, the Jewish rabbis were given the task of watching for each fulfillment of prophecy from the sacred pages.

Scripture Reference - Note a parallel verse in Luke’s Gospel:

Luke 16:17, “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.”

Matthew 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:20 “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees” Comments - The righteousness of the scribes and Pharisee came by the Law (Romans 10:3). Our righteousness comes by faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:21-22; Romans 4:13; Romans 5:1; Romans 8:4; Romans 9:30-31; Romans 10:3-4, Philippians 3:9, Titus 3:5). Man’s righteousness is considered as “filthy rags” in the sight of God (Isaiah 64:6). Jesus takes the rest of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:21 to Matthew 7:27) to explain how our righteousness is to exceed that of the Pharisees. In other words, Jesus will explain God’s way of justifying mankind as He lays down the laws of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Romans 10:3, “For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.”

Romans 3:21-22, “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:”

Romans 4:13, “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.”

Romans 5:1, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”

Romans 8:4, “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

Romans 9:30-31, “What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.”

Romans 10:3-4, “For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”

Philippians 3:9, “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:”

Titus 3:5, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”

Isaiah 64:6, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags ; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”

Matthew 5:20 Comments - If righteousness could not come by the law, but only by faith, then why the law?

Galatians 3:19-29, “Why the law?” It was given because of transgressions until Jesus came to fulfill the Law. The Law manifested the works of the flesh.

Galatians 5:19, “ Now the works of the flesh are manifest , which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,”

How are the works of the flesh manifest? By the Law.

Romans 7:7, “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law : for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”

Verses 17-48

Indoctrination: The Laws of the Kingdom - Matthew 5:17-48 emphasizes the process of indoctrination for God’s children after they have experienced genuine conversion and justification. In this passage of Scripture Jesus teaches the people the meaning of the original intent of the Law of Moses. In Matthew 5:17-20 Jesus refers to divine authority of the Law of Moses, which serves as an introduction to His teaching on the Ten Commandments in Matthew 5:21-48. This introduction (Matthew 5:17-20) says that true righteousness means something different from what they see in the lifestyle of the scribes and the Pharisees. Therefore, these four verses serve as a basis of how true righteous, or the keeping of the laws of God, proceeds from the heart and not from the letter. In the passage following this introduction (Matthew 5:17-20), Jesus teaches us how to follow the Ten Commandments from our hearts (Matthew 5:21-48).

In Matthew 5:21-48 Jesus takes some of the Ten Commandments and statutes of the Mosaic Law to teach on the laws of the Kingdom. This passage in the Sermon on the Mount can be likened to the giving of the Law of Moses at Mount Sinai. Just as Moses delivered the Ten Commandments to the children of Israel, so now Jesus teaches the true meaning of these Ten Commandments. In the passage following His introduction about true righteousness (Matthew 5:17-20), Jesus now teaches us how to follow the Ten Commandments from our hearts and not from the letter of the Law (Matthew 5:21-48). He teaches us on three of the Ten Commandments and on two statues of the Law of Moses.

Matthew 1:17-20 The Fulfillment of the Law

Matthew 5:21-26 - The Sixth Commandment on Murder.

Matthew 5:27-32 - The Seventh Commandment on Adultery.

Matthew 5:33-37 - The Ninth Commandment on Swearing

Matthew 5:38-42 Law of Retribution (Exodus 21:24)

Matthew 5:43-48 Law of Your Enemies (Leviticus 19:18)

Why would Jesus teach on only three of the Ten Commandments? Perhaps the answer is found in the content of these three commandments. Since man is a three-fold make-up, spirit, soul and body, Jesus used these three commandments to deal with these three parts of man’s make-up. For example, the teaching on murder deals with a sin that proceeds from the heart. Adultery deals with the fleshly lusts that proceed from the body. Swearing deals with our words, which proceed from our mind, which is the realm of the soul. Therefore, Jesus dealt briefly with how a man is to walk in spirit, soul and body.

Outline Here is a proposed outline:

Matthew 1:17-20 The Fulfillment of the Law

Matthew 5:21-26 - The Sixth Commandment on Murder

Matthew 5:27-32 - The Seventh Commandment on Adultery

Matthew 5:33-37 - The Ninth Commandment on Swearing

Matthew 5:38-42 The Law of Retribution (Exodus 21:24)

Matthew 5:43-48 The Law of Your Enemies (Leviticus 19:18)

Verses 21-26

Jesus Teaches on Murder - In this passage (Matthew 5:21-25), Jesus teaches us the true meaning of the sixth commandment, which tells us not to murder.

Matthew 5:21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

Matthew 5:22 “But I say unto you” - Comments - Jesus is not changing or adding to the Mosaic Law, but simply explaining what they actually mean. He is revealing the original purpose and intent of the Law. God, the Father, who wrote them fourteen hundred years earlier for Moses and Israel, is speaking through Jesus Christ. Here in the Sermon on the Mount, God is dealing with the heart more than the outward actions.

Matthew 5:22 Comments - These two passages deal with the heart of man. Note illustrations of the thoughts of man’s heart:

Job 31:1, “I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?”

Acts 8:22, “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.”

Matthew 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Matthew 5:22 Comments - Anger can often lead to murder.

Matthew 5:23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

Matthew 5:24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

Matthew 5:24 Comments - Creflo Dollar refers to Matthew 5:24 to explain how many people want to give offerings unto the Lord in order to be blessed, but are not willing to walk in love with others. He then explains that love is like a curtain rod upon which all of God’s divine laws hang. [375] In other words, a person must be walking in love with others in order for the laws of prosperity to true operate in his life.

[375] Creflo Dollar, “Sermon,” (Kampala, Uganda: Miracle Center Cathedral), 14 June 2007.

Matthew 5:25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

Matthew 5:25 Comments - The Lord spoke the word “apology” to me in reference to Matthew 5:25. We are to be quick to apologize and ask forgiveness when we have wronged someone.

If the case is that God is the judge, then this verse means that you will be bound by His decree and your prayers hindered.

Matthew 5:26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

Verses 27-32

Jesus Teaches on Adultery - In Matthew 5:27-32 Jesus teaches us the true meaning of the seventh commandment, which tells us not to commit adultery. In this passage Jesus explains how sin first proceeds from the heart and is later manifested by one’s actions.

Matthew 5:31-32 Comments - Jesus Teaches on Divorce (Matthew 19:9 , Mark 10:11-12 , Luke 16:18 ) Matthew 5:31-32 gives us the account of Jesus teaching on marriage and divorce in the Kingdom of God. John Nolland explains that many Jews of the first century were loose in their practice of divorce according to Deuteronomy 24:1, while some devout Jews were more rigid by limiting divorce only on the grounds of adultery. Although the man was allowed to divorce his wife under the Law with a bill of divorcement (Deuteronomy 24:1), Nolland says the Jewish woman could not legally initiate a divorce. [376] In the Kingdom of Heaven the rules are not as flexible as they were in this first century Jewish society. Jesus clarifies the rules of adultery in the Kingdom for the Pharisees following the stricter view, stating that putting away one’s wife and remarrying another, or marrying a wife who has been divorced, constituted adultery. In other words, Jesus made it clear to the Pharisees that the Law was still of utmost importance in the Kingdom of Heaven. However, it is important to note that in the Sermon on the Mount, when addressing the multitudes, Jesus allowed divorce on the unique grounds of adultery (Matthew 5:31-32).

[376] John Nolland, Luke 9:21-34 , in Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 35B (Dallas, Texas: Word, Incorporated, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004), explanation on Luke 16:18.

Deuteronomy 24:1, “When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.”

Matthew 5:31-32, “It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 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.”

Scripture References - Note other passages on divorce:

Malachi 2:14-16, “Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away : for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.”

Matthew 19:1-9.

Mark 10:11-12, “And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.”

Luke 16:18, “Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.”

1 Corinthians 7:1-40

Verses 33-37

Jesus Teaches on Swearing - In Matthew 5:33-37, Jesus teaches us the true meaning of the ninth commandment, which tells us not to swear.

Verses 38-42

Jesus Teaches on Retribution (Luke 6:29-30 ) - In Matthew 5:38-42, Jesus teaches us the true meaning of the law of retaliation by making a reference to Exodus 21:24.

Exodus 21:24, “Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,”

Matthew 5:39 Comments - A. R. Bernard explains that when someone is struck on the right cheek, it means that a right-handed persecutor has to strike with a back-hand stroke, and not his fore-hand. This demonstrates his intent to intimidate rather than to injure. For the persecuted person to offer his left cheek also is an act of passive resistance, saying that I am of stronger moral character than my persecutor, and am not intimidated into fearing an opponent. Bernard illustrates the power of passive resistance, when it was used by the black man during the 1960’s Civil Rights movement in America. The black man marched in the city streets of the South without violence, with his wife and children. In response, the white police intimidated them by beating them, shooting water cannons at them, and other cruel attempts to intimidate and disperse these crowds of peaceful demonstrators. The actions of these white persecutors captured on film, along with the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., so moved the American people with compassion for the plight and cause of the black man in the South that legislation was soon passed in Congress recognizing their equal rights. Thus, the persecuted won the battle because they were able to demonstrate to America that their moral character exceeded the immoral behavior of the white man and his persecutions. This was all done by passive resistance. [377]

[377] A. R. Bernard, interviewed on “Praise the Lord,” on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program, 16 January 2007.

These civil protests were sparked by an event that took place in December 1, 1955, when Ms. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man. She was charged with violating racial segregation laws in Montgomery, Alabama. This led to a city wide boycott of city buses, which became the early stages of the Civil Rights movement in the South. [378]

[378] Rosa Parks and James Haskins , Rosa Parks: My Story (New York: Scholastic Inc., 1992).

In contrast, Malcolm X was another Black leader of civil rights during this era in American history. He was a converted Muslim, and very outspoken about equal rights for African Americans. The famous slogan he gave his people was, “By any means necessary.” This pro-active position has resulted in him being viewed in history with much less importance than Martin Luther King, Jr. [379]

[379] Malcolm X , By Any Means Necessary (Malcolm X Speeches & Writings) (New York: Pathfinder Press, 1992).

Illustration When I was about 14 years old, I had a bully slap me on the cheek at Moat Junior High School. I remembered this verse, so I turned my other cheek, for that was what the Bible told me to do. He slapped the other cheek. Many years later he became a church member of the small church that I was co-pastoring with Jack Emerson in Panama City, Florida called Alethia Fellowship Church (1983-1988).

Matthew 5:40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.

Matthew 5:40 Comments - Creflo Dollar tells the story of when he was done wrong by his church account and the Lord spoke to him from Matthew 5:40 about how to handle the situation. He was paying millions of dollars in bills for television air time. One day the television stations notified him of his past unpaid bills or he would be cut off. He thought his accountant had been paying these bills, but was instead stealing the money. Dollar at first was angry and wanted to sue this individual or put him in jail. But while in prayer the Lord told him to forgive this person and let him alone. Dollar replied that he had a right to take him to court. The Lord then explained that the Scripture teaches us that when a person takes our coat, we are to give him our cloke also. Dollar said, “But, Lord this is not a coat. This is millions of dollars.” The Lord then told him that if he would obey His Word, that the Lord would take care of the rest. Dollar decided to let this person go, and over the next few weeks, almost all of the television stations forgave his debt and he continued on air. [380]

[380] Creflo Dollar, Changing Your World (College Park, Georgia: Creflo Dollar Ministries), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

We find another example of Matthew 5:40 in Hebrews 10:34 where the author reminds his readers of how they joyfully took the spoiling of their goods.

Hebrews 10:34, “For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.”

Matthew 5:41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

Matthew 5:42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

Verses 43-48

Jesus Teaches on Loving Our Neighbour (Luke 6:27-28 ; Luke 6:32-36 ) - In Matthew 5:43-48, Jesus teaches us the true meaning of how to love our neighbour by making a reference to Leviticus 19:18.

Leviticus 19:18, “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.”

He tells us not only to love our neighbour, but to love our enemies as well (Matthew 5:44). How do we do this? We do it by blessing them and praying for them (Matthew 5:44). Why do we do this? Because God loves His enemies (Matthew 5:45) and we are to be imitators of Him (Matthew 5:48).

Scripture Reference - Note a similar passage:

Proverbs 25:21-22, “If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.”

Matthew 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

Matthew 5:43 Comments - Leviticus 19:18 teaches us to love our neighbour. However, the scribes and Pharisees taught that men were not obligated to love those whom it did not consider its neighbour.

Leviticus 19:18, “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.”

Everett F. Harrison notes that the phrase “Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy,” although not found in the Old Testament, has a parallel statement in the Manual of Discipline (1.4.10) (now called the Community Rule Scroll), which is a writing of the ancient Jewish Qumran community, suggests that Jesus may have borrowed this phrase from sources outside of the Old Testament. [381] Adolfo Roitman paraphrases this quote, “if you are part of this group, you must not only love your fellows but also hate your opponents.” [382] This statement may have been commonly used in the first century Jewish culture, of which Jesus makes a reference by saying, “Ye have heard that it hath been said…”

[381] Everett F. Harrison, Introduction to the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, c1964, 1971), 174.

[382] Adolfo Roitman, The Dead Sea Scrolls Offer New Insight Into the Roots of Western Culture, 15 December 2003 [on-line]; accessed 9 June 2009; available from http://www.macleans.ca/article.jsp?content=20031215_71243_71243; Internet.

Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Matthew 5:44 “do good to them that hate you” Scripture References - Note similar verses:

Exodus 23:4-5, “If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him.”

Exodus 23:22, “But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.”

Matthew 5:44 Comments - Jesus Christ spoke these words to a people who had spent years under the bitter oppression of the Roman government. He spoke to a people who had been treated cruel by their enemies. Jesus was telling them to love them and not to hate them.

Illustration - David treated Saul good as he ran from Saul (1 Samuel 24:19).

1 Samuel 24:19, “For if a man find his enemy, will he let him go well away? wherefore the LORD reward thee good for that thou hast done unto me this day.”

Illustration - In March 2001 I made a decision to do what Matthew 5:44 says to do. I was managing a Christian television station in Kampala, Uganda. This was also a commercial station selling advertisements and airtime. We greatly depended upon some large marketing agencies in town in order to gain big clients. However, in the largest agency in town, the manager over these clients was corrupt. He convinced the largest advertisers in East Africa not to advertise on our Christian television station.

I trying going to his boss, the managing director, but to no avail. I tried taking this person to lunch and befriending him. Nothing worked. Finally, when all else failed, I made a decision to pray for him and his company. Every morning, we began the workday with a word of prayer. We constantly lifted this company up in prayer, praying that the Lord would give the managers and workers in this company wisdom and blessings. While he was cursing me, I was blessing him. It took an act of faith to do this, but I knew that this was what the Lord wanted me to do.

To my surprise, within two months, this person was fired. I believe that it was because this agency gained a large advertiser, and this corrupt treated them unfairly. They Lord had both blessed this company and given the management wisdom.

Matthew 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Matthew 5:45 Comments - God would not ask us to do something that He Himself was not willing to do. By the act of giving men the sunshine and the rain, He blessings the good and the evil people because of His overall love for mankind.

Matthew 5:46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

Matthew 5:47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 5:48 Comments - Job was perfect. Job 31:0 shows this Old Testament saint living out much of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:0. It is living God’s Word, not just knowing it, that counts in God's eyes.

Romans 2:13, “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.”

Job 1:1, “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.”

This supreme command is a reflection of Leviticus 19:2.

Leviticus 19:2, “Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy .”

Peter quotes from this passage in Leviticus.

1 Peter 1:16, “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Matthew 5". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/matthew-5.html. 2013.
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