Course on the Gospel of Matthew by Francis Montagu                Session 2: Tuesday, 4th February, 2014
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THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT BACKGROUND Note beginning and end End of Ch 4 - 'Jesus taught' - now Mt gives the content of that teaching Jesus went up the mountain - echo of Mt Sinai - and end of the Sermon - the crowds were amazed at his teaching because he spoke with authority. The Christian Manifesto- equivalent to Luke's account (Luke 4) of Jesus taking the scroll in the synagogue . Christian counter culture. A collection not a single sermon ? - it only takes 10 minutes to read out. It does not contain any doctrine (eg nothing about the crucifixion or resurrection) but it is a statement about who Jesus is - My Father in heaven; Not everyone who says to me Lord Lord ; the person who obeys my words is like a person who builds his house on a rock. In some instances clearly not meant to be taken literally - cut off your right hand. Is it an unattainable ideal? Some theologians spoke of an 'Interim Ethic' to be observed until the Second is for the church rather than for society as a whole One third of the sermon is also in Luke - principally 'the sermon on the plain' in Luke 6 also the Lord's prayer in Luke 11. Phrases have become part of the English language- salt of the earth, going the extra mile, pearls before swine, motes and beams Mt begins with what he thinks most important - the Beatitudes ANALYSIS CH 5- CHRISTIAN CHARACTER 1-12 Beatitudes Blessed, Happy; objective not subjective - character sketch or entry requirement? One type of person not eight. Echo of Psalm 1 'Blessed is he....- purity of heart is to will one thing ( Soren Kierkegard )    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
13-16 Salt and light 17-20 Jesus and the Law- He affirms the Law. The law will not disappear until all is accomplished; unless your righteousness (doing what God requires) exceeds. In some ways the most difficult words in the Sermon. 21-48 The old law and the new .'You have heard that it was said but I say' External behaviour/ internal thoughts/ motivation. 22-26 Murder/anger 27-32 Adultery/divorce 33-37 Oaths (taking the Lord's name in vain) 38-48 Turning the other cheek, Going the extra mile, Loving enemies (this goes beyond the Torah) - be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect. CH 6- RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD Repetition of 'Do not be like Your father who sees in secret will reward you 1 1-4 Giving 5-13 Prayer inc The Lord's Prayer- thy kingdom come (and ch 7 7-11) 14-15 Forgiveness (also the unmerciful servant in ch 18) 16-18 Fasting 19-24 Money-mammon 25-34 God's providential care -seek his kingdom and his righteousness CH 7 BOTH THE ABOVE 1-6 Judging others 7-11 Prayer - ask seek knock 12 The Golden Rule- Rabbi Hillel- that which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour- turned from negative into positive Ends with 3 warnings 13-14 The two ways 15-23 False prophets- a problem in Matthew's day? 24-27 The parable of the two builders rock and sand - he who hears my words and does them 28-29 Conclusion
QUESTIONS What is Jesus saying in the Beatitudes? Reward:Your reward is great in heaven - and ch 6 .you will have no reward.' Is the concept of reward difficult? How does Jesus exemplify the Beatitudes? Is the idea of non violence realistic? What are the key themes of the Lord's Prayer and the teaching on prayer in ch 7? What is Jesus saying about money? Is he advocating irresponsibility? What is Jesus saying impliedly or expressly about himself?