In this sermon Tim launches our new series “What did Jesus Teach?”! This week Tim walks us through the Sermon on the Mount, how we need to hold the Sermon and the Preacher in unity as we understand how to apply these words to our life. He also reads the whole sermon, so take a moment to let God’s Word wash over you and challenge you as you listen this week!
Sermon preached by Tim Giovanelli on Sunday February 6, 2022.
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We are starting our new series today at church titled “what did Jesus teach”
- And basically the idea behind this series is to familiarize, and be challenged and to put into action the teachings of Jesus.
- That is what a lot of discipleship is about – learning the way of Jesus, and the truth of Jesus in order to have the life of Jesus!
- So what did he teach?
Well I am so glad you are hear today because you are about to hear the greatest sermon preached by the greatest preacher ever!
- Haha… not me…
- But this is the most influential sermon ever preached… by the most influential preacher who ever lived.
- It is the Sermon on the Mount, preached by Jesus of Nazareth.
- It is recorded by Matthew the tax collector in his account of Jesus life in chapters 5-7.
- And I really believe that through the Spirit of Jesus that is poured out on us at Pentecost, Jesus is going to preach this sermon into our hearts….
Something always happens when we read the Sermon on the Mount… it has been happening in me as I prepared…
- It left me feeling quite exposed and challenged and convicted…
- And it drives me back to the opening line… “blessed are the poor in Spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of God.”
- An incredibly high bar is set for us by the preacher… it is after all the highest conceptualization of truth and ethics
- And it leads us to that realization that we are poor in Spirit… and at that very moment we hear the preacher again, say blessed are you… for yours is the kingdom of heaven!
The first who heard it, we are told, were amazed… At the end of chapter 7 it says;
- “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority.”
- GK Chesterton – “on the first reading of the Sermon on the Mount, nothing makes sense… but on the second reading nothing else makes sense…”
- This sermon has a way or re-ordering what we know to be true!
Hear the sermon in a moment… but I want to make a big observation that we will keep coming back to…
- We must never separate the sermon on the mount from the preacher on the mount…
- If we separate the sermon from the preacher… the sermon can end up being frustrating idealism… or worse, oppressive legalism and we can get tired and give up…
- But bring them together and it makes sense… it gains its authority…
- It is finding out who the “I” is who will say six times in the sermon “but truly I say to you”
So, who is this authoritative “I” who speaks in a way no one else has ever spoken?
- What does Matthew say? Who does he think the preacher is?
- Well he answers that in chapters 1-4 of Matthew… in which we get the first portrait of the preacher on the mount
Here are 5 quick things we find out!
- This preacher is the fulfilment of some ancient promises!
Matthew starts his account of Jesus life by telling us he is the son of David, the son of Abraham
- So this preacher is the fulfilment of God’s promise to Abraham that he will bless a family that will bless all the nations…
- So when he is preaching, he is describing the blessed life in order that we might become these things and bless the nations
He is also the son of David… and do you remember the promise from our Isaiah series
- That a child is born, a son given who would reign on the throne of David, whose government and peace would know no end.
- So in preaching he is blessing us and showing the citizens of his kingdom what life is like under his reign
And further, in Matthew 1 we are told the preacher of the Sermon on the Mount is named Immanuel which means “God with us” in fulfilment of Isaiah prophecy.
- Now that is a reason for his sermon to carry authority… this is God with us, speaking.
- Matthew tells us through John the Baptist that the preacher of the sermon on the Mount is Lord and will baptise with the Holy Spirit and fire.
So the preachers sermon should have authority, should cleanse us and should refine us with fire!
- And when Jesus gets baptized a voice from heaven is heard saying “This is my Son, whom I love, with him I am well pleased.”
- If this is true and it is God’s son, we should listen to his sermon.
- The preacher on the mount is also the one who knows and overcomes temptation…
Matthew tells us in chapter 4 that he goes into the desert for 40 days where he is tested.
- And the preacher of the sermon on the mount Jesus of Nazareth stands against the evil one and resists…
- So when he preaches… he knows temptation and wants us to stand too…
- Where we are weak, here is one who is strong who can help us.
- This preacher is light in the darkness…
Matthew tells us later in chapter 4 that he is Isaiah’s fulfilment of the promise “the people living in darkness have seen a great light.”
- So this preachers words should act like light piercing the darkness of our souls.
- His entire life should act as a light that guides and saves us
- His words will have the authority to rescue us from darkness into his kingdom of light.
- This preacher is the one who brings the kingdom of heaven into our broken world.
Matthew tells us in chapter 4:17 that from that time on Jesus began to preach “Repent for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
- That is Jesus message! The sermon on the Mount is calling us into life in the Kingdom of heaven!
- So the preacher is God with us, establishing his righteous kingdom in the middle of human history…
- That is why the preacher of the sermon also heals the sick and delivers people from evil…
- He is driving out the broken kingdoms we belong to and establishing heaven on earth.
- So his message is repent because God’s kingdom has come near…
- Startling news… turn around and embrace this preacher and his message… and his kingdom will emerge in you and the world… whoa!
5 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.
He said: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you,24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
31 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
6 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
What struck you today as you heard the greatest sermon from the greatest preacher who ever lived?
- When I first wrestled with the sermon on the mount it was always 5:48 “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
- Holy Moly… what do you do with that.
- But I want to suggest that it is not a command, it’s a promise… The original Greek here is in the future imperative…
- Seldom used and hard to render into English
- Inclination is to make it a commandment… be ye perfect…
- Properly translated – you will be perfect… it’s a promise… you will be these kind of people because you are following me…
The way to fulfilling this promise is also found in the sermon on the mount.
- 5:3 Blessed are the poor in Spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of God (so recognize)
- 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness. (so humility and hunger)
As I finish and I am finished… 3 options in regard to Alpha and faith in general…
- Not for me… thanks for coming this morning…
- I’m not quite there… but I’d like to hear more… and I want to encourage you to join us at Alpha this Wednesday night at 7pm, here at the church. You’d be so welcome.
- But there may also be some who want to respond right now…. Your heart has been beating as you’ve heard the good news… and while I’d still love you to come to Alpha…
I’d love to give you an opportunity to respond right now!