“The Sermon on the Mount” covered in the Gospel of Matthew, chapters 5-7, is one of the most comprehensive materials we have of Jesus’ teaching. I would encourage you to spend some real time reading and meditating on these three chapters.
Jesus covers the length and breadth of the child of God’s spiritual mindset and physical life here on earth until His return or His calling him home. These teachings of Jesus Christ are equally as relevant today as they where the day He spoke them to the listening crowd.
He begins by defining those blessed because of their godly attitude and actions. He then declares them to be salt and light in the world and the necessity of living righteous lives as His disciple in the world. Jesus then turns to personal relationships, giving to poor and prayer, fasting and the true treasure along with the cure for anxiety. He warns of judging others without first the proper consideration of self. Prayer requests and reiterating “the Golden Rule” was next on His agenda. Jesus closes His sermon by the characterizing the narrow and the broad gates along with the bearing of good fruit and bad.
A great deal of ground covered, right? An amazing amount of deep spiritual truths and personal responsibilities. I would like us to begin absorbing these great spiritual truths and personal responses to Jesus’ teaching in this mind-blowing sermon by considering the verse in chapter 6 and verse 24 which states: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You can not serve God and wealth.” The Greek word for serve literally means “to be a slave.” So, in other words, you are a slave to one or the other. A number of years ago there was a song popularized by Bob Dylan named “You Got to Serve Somebody.” Well, the Lord Jesus Christ said it first!
The world, flesh and the Devil are vying for your “service” also. So I am suggesting that you answer this question first. Who’s your master today? Your answer to that question will either open the Sermon on the Mount for you or close it. The response of those listening at the time is recorded for us in Matthew 6:28-29: “When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.” What is your response?
Robert Thompson has been the senior pastor of Chapel Woods Presbyterian Church in Snellville since May 2003.