Read Matthew 4
Sermon on the Mount.
And seeing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain . . . And He opened His mouth, and taught them (Matt. 5:1-2).
Following the martyrdom of John the Baptist, Jesus left Judea and returned in the power of the (Holy) Spirit into Galilee (Luke 4:14). His fame went throughout all Syria . . . . And there followed Him great multitudes of people from Galilee . . . Decapolis . . . Jerusalem . . . Judaea, and from beyond Jordan (Matt. 4:24-25).
Jesus sat on an open mountainside where He proclaimed ten spiritual principles to guide the conduct of His followers. In contrast to the world's view, our Lord makes known the basic principles upon which true, satisfying blessings may be achieved. He begins by saying Blessed are the poor in spirit (5:3). Poor in spirit describes the humble who have discovered that self-importance, and self-righteousness are inappropriate in their life. Such persons never take credit for successes or achievements but praise the Lord for His enabling. In contrast is the self-assertive, self-sufficient, self-made man. O Lord, I know that . . . it is not in man to direct his (own ways) steps (Jer. 10:23).
The next blessing is for they that mourn: for they shall be comforted (Matt. 5.4). This is not a reference to sorrows over the loss of material possessions, blighted hopes, or the death of loved ones. It means to mourn with a “godly sorrow” that worketh repentance. There are thousands today who acknowledge that Christ died for sinners, but who have never mourned over their own sins. Jesus was known as a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief (Is. 53:3). As we draw near to Him, we too, will become deeply concerned over lost sinners and over the evil in the world.
Spiritual growth and true satisfaction are reserved for the meek: for they shall inherit the earth (Matt. 5:5). Meekness is not weakness, as noted in the life of Moses, the meekest man on earth (Num. 12:3). Meekness is unwavering loyalty and unconditional submission to Christ as Lord, regardless of the opposition. Jesus said: Learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (Matt. 11:29).
The meek know what it is to be delivered from a greedy, grasping attitude, being, instead, content with such things as God has provided as having nothing, and yet possessing all things (2 Cor. 6:10). This blessing is reserved for all who receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your soul (James 1:21).
Thought for Today:
It is the heart and not the head which makes God's servant willing to do God's will.
For Matt. 4:4: See Deut. 8:3. Matt. 4:6: See Ps. 91: 11-12. Matt. 4:7: See Deut. 6:16. Matt. 4:10: See Deut. 6:13-14. Matt. 4:15-16: See Is. 9:1-2. Matt. 5:21: See Ex. 20:13. Matt. 5:27: See Ex. 20:14. Matt. 5:31: See Deut. 24:1. Matt. 5:33: See Num. 30:2. Matt. 5:38: See Ex. 21:24. Matt. 5:43: See Lev. 19:18.
5:13 his savour, its usefulness; 5:18 one jot or one tittle, as the dot on the letter “i” or the cross of a “t”; 5:22 say . . . Raca, worthless one, pour contempt; 5:29 offend thee, causes you to sin; 5:33 forswear, swear falsely, break an oath; 5:46 publicans, Jewish tax collectors, worldly-minded; 6:19 corrupt, make money worthless; 6:22 single, free from deceit; 6:23 evil, selfish, sinful; 6:24 mammon, material things.
Memory Verse for the Week: James 1:17