READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary l The ‘Sermon on The Mount’ gives a plethora of teachings so it is helpful personally to take note of certain things:
A. Qualities required of kingdom disciples in terms of attitude and behaviour.
B. Kingdom principles and how and why they differ from worldly principles.
C. What it means for me and how and what it takes for me to accept the invitation to be a Kingdom Disciple.
Matthew introduced Jesus as the New Moses. Instead of presenting the Law on Tablets of Stone, Jesus sat down on the mountain with his disciples and welcomingly invited them to the Kingdom of God communicating that God is near and relatable. We are all invited and those of us with open and willing hearts can experience God. Jesus was forming a new inclusive family of God. We too can accept His invitation and invite others.
The 10 Commandants were central to the Jewish faith setting them apart from all the other pagan peoples and should have shown the world who God is. However, over time, many more laws were added leading to legalistic righteousness. Jesus explained, fulfilled and modelled the correct way to keep the law. He ‘extended‘ the law in six areas. He clarified that he did not come to abolish the law but to fulfil it.
1. Anger (v21) Kingdom disciples are to seek reconciliation and never allow anger to build up until it leads to bitterness/hatred/murder in the heart or in person.
2. Adultery (v27) Kingdom disciples never allow lust to fester till it leads to adultery / sexual sin.
3. Divorce (v31) Kingdom disciples never allow the sacredness of marriage to be disregarded as divorce was never God’s design.
4. Oaths (v35) Kingdom disciples never allow broken promises to tarnish God’s name
5. Retaliation (v38) Kingdom disciples never escalate violence when faced with humiliation, instead humbly and courageously love!
6. Dealing with Enemies (v43) Kingdom disciples never allow hatred to consume us till we lose our identity and ability to love and forgive!
Through his sacrificial love, Jesus showed how to live out true Kingdom principles and this is what the Sermon on the Mount is all about!
(Sermon notes by Frances Lim)
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS
- How important is the Law in Jewish context and why? What’s our attitude towards the bible today? Is it important for us to follow?
- Why did Jesus say “I’ve not come to abolish the law but to fulfil it?” (Matt 5:17)
- Read 21-48 – Which “issue” do you struggle with most with?
- What does anger has to do with murder?
- How can we practically deal with “lust”? How can we “throw away our eyes and cut off our hands” to lust?
- Is it important for Christians to keep oaths/promises? Why?
- What is so challenging about Jesus’ command of not seeking retaliation? How can help each other we grow in humility & self-control?
- Who is our neighbours? Who are our enemies? How can we deal with our “hatred” for our enemies?
- Reflect upon the extensions that Jesus made – what caught your attention? What do you think Jesus is inviting us to do as kingdom disciples?
- Pray for each other to accept the invitation to kingdom discipleship!