The Sermon on the Mount

The Sermon on the Mount…. Specifically in Matthew, IS Jesus giving us a list of straight forward prohibitions?…Highest ideals not really meant for everyone?… Criteria for the most righteous and loved by God?… Instructions for our inner attitudes and motivations not intended for our outward actions?… Attitudes and actions for our within our Christian circles and not meant literally for our public life?…

Compartmentalizing Jesus and His messages: People can congratulate themselves that they are forgiven without repenting; that God is on their side, without their following the way of God ass revealed in Jesus; that they are Christians, without it making much difference in their way of life… this effectively keeps the way of Jesus out of the way and this behavior is a secular behavior.


Traditional Righteousness Vicious Cycle* Transforming Initiative**
1. You shall not kill Being angry, or saying You Fool! Go, be reconciled
2. You shall not commit adultery Looking with lust is adultery in the heart Remove the cause of temptation (Mk 9:43-50)
3. Whoever divorces, give a certificate Divorcing involves you in adultery Be reconciled (1 Cor 7:11)
4. You shall not swear falsely Swearing by anything involves you in a false claim Let your yes be yes and your no be no
5. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth Retaliating violently or revengefully, by evil means Turn the other cheek, give you tunic and cloak, go the second mile, give to beggar and borrower
6. Love neighbor and hate enemy Hating enemies is the same vicious cycle that you see in the Gentiles and tax collectors Love enemies, pray for your persecutors; be all-inclusive as your Father in heaven is
7. When you give alms, Practicing righteousness for show But give in secret, and your Father will reward you
8. When you pray, Practicing righteousness for show But pray in secret, and your Father will reward you
9. When you pray, Heaping up empty phrases Therefore pray like this: Our Father…
10. When you fast, Practicing righteousness for show But dress with joy, and your Father will reward you
11. Do not pile up treasures on earth (Luke 12:16-31) Moth and rust destroy, and thieves enter and steal But pile up treasures in heaven
12. No one can serve two masters Serving God and wealth, worrying about food and clothes But seek first God’s reign and God’s justice/righteousness
13. Do not judge, lest you be judged Judging others means you’ll be judged by the same measure First take the log out of your own eye.
14. Do not give holy things to dogs, nor pearls to pigs They will trample them and tear you to pieces Give your trust in prayer to your Father in heaven

* Behaviors, attitudes, beliefs, situations we can get stuck in… hang-ups

** The way of deliverance from the vicious cycles we find ourselves in. This is where the command forms appear… imperatives in the Greek.