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The Gospel According to Matthew: The Principles of the Kingdom

Introduction and Timeline

  • Matthew 5: Jesus Christ began by teaching the Beatitudes. He declared that the law of Moses was fulfilled and taught righteousness as a way of life. The Beatitudes, The Similitudes, The Relation of Christ to the Law, First Reconciliation - Then Sacrifice, Lust and Adultery, Divorce and Remarriage, Perjury and Retaliation Forbidden, and Love Your Enemies.

  • Matthew 6: Jesus continued with teachings on how to pray, fast, and serve others. Admonishing His disciples to place their love for God over the cares of the world. Religious Ostentation Rebuked, Instruction in Praying and Fasting, Treasures in Heaven, and the Cure for Worry.

  • Matthew 7: He concludes the Sermon by teaching that the way to eternal life is narrow and that the only way to enter into the kingdom of heaven is to do the will of our Father in Heaven. Unjust Criticism Forbidden, Encouragement to Pray, the Golden Rule, Two Ways Contrasted, False and True Teachers, False Profession, and The Wise Builder.

Jesus's teaching in Matthew chapters 5 - 7 is best known as the Sermon on the Mount. It is the Lord's discourse that includes, among other topics, the Beatitudes and the Lord's Prayer.

"And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: and He opened his mouth, and taught them..." (Matthew 5:1-2a).

Kingdom Living! In Capernaum, Jesus announced, "Repent: for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand." In so doing, it stood to reason that He would need to reveal to the people, as well as His disciples, the principles of His Kingdom. Every kingdom has a fundamental truth that serves as the foundation for its belief system or behavior - the Kingdom of God is no exception. Here, I see Jesus as a leader of leaders creating a platform which would set the rules, behavior expectations, tone, and work ethics for the overall identity of Christianity!

Jesus lived a purpose and platform driven life which entailed serving God and His people. It was not a life centered around posturing, impressing others, self-gratification or self-elevation! Christ's focus was to bring the power of God’s kingdom into the lives of God's people. Living out these principles of Kingdom living as taught by our Lord, we too as believers can have a profound impact on a dying and dark world.

In Galilee, Jesus - the greatest man who ever was delivered the greatest sermon ever given. Jesus made His platform known and understood, He put it in the forefront of people's mind. They were the Christian values and principles that would have a deep impact on them - directing and guiding their decisions and actions in every area of life.

Jesus' dissertation on the mount is yet today a living, breathing set of values and standards that Christians are expected to teach, and more importantly, live by on a daily basis. Jesus's Sermon on the Mount inspires! His platform needs no refinement or improvement.

"And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes" (Matthew 7:28-29).

  • How well do you know the eight Beatitudes?

  • Which of the Beatitudes do you see yourself needing the most improvement in?

  • How has living the principles in Jesus' Sermon on the Mount helped you become more like your Heavenly Father?

  • How can we avoid improperly judging or criticizing others?

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