Sermon on the Mount

Sermon on the Mount

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The Sermon on the Mount is a collection of sayings and teachings of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

, which emphasizes his moral teaching found in the Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. It tells of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth...

 (chapters 5
Matthew 5
Matthew 5 is the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. It contains the first portion of the Sermon on the Mount, which will also take up the next chapter and a half. Portions are similar to the Sermon on the Plain in Luke 6, but much is found only in Matthew...

, 6
Matthew 6
Matthew 6 is the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. This chapter contains the middle portion of the Sermon on the Mount. It includes the Lord's Prayer....

 and 7
Matthew 7
Matthew 7 is the seventh chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. The chapter is the final of three chapter that comprise the Sermon on the Mount.The chapter deals with several themes, with 7:1-12 dealing with judging and discernment...

). It is the first of the Five Discourses of Matthew
Five Discourses of Matthew
In Christianity, the term Five Discourses of Matthew refers to five specific discourses by Jesus within the Gospel of Matthew.The five discourses are: the Sermon on the Mount, the Missionary Discourse, the Parabolic Discourse, the Discourse on the Church and the Discourse on End Times.Each of the...

 and takes place relatively early in the Ministry of Jesus
Ministry of Jesus
In the Christian gospels, the Ministry of Jesus begins with his Baptism in the countryside of Judea, near the River Jordan and ends in Jerusalem, following the Last Supper with his disciples. The Gospel of Luke states that Jesus was "about 30 years of age" at the start of his ministry...

 after he has been baptized
Baptism of Jesus
The baptism of Jesus marks the beginning of Jesus Christ's public ministry. This event is recorded in the Canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. In John 1:29-33 rather than a direct narrative, the Baptist bears witness to the episode...

 by John the Baptist
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

 and preached in Galilee
Galilee
Galilee , is a large region in northern Israel which overlaps with much of the administrative North District of the country. Traditionally divided into Upper Galilee , Lower Galilee , and Western Galilee , extending from Dan to the north, at the base of Mount Hermon, along Mount Lebanon to the...

.

The Sermon is the longest piece of teaching from Jesus in the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

, and has been one of the most widely quoted elements of the Canonical Gospels.
It includes some of the best known teachings of Jesus such as the Beatitudes
Beatitudes
In Christianity, the Beatitudes are a set of teachings by Jesus that appear in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. The term Beatitude comes from the Latin adjective beatus which means happy, fortunate, or blissful....

, and the widely recited Lord's Prayer
Lord's Prayer
The Lord's Prayer is a central prayer in Christianity. In the New Testament of the Christian Bible, it appears in two forms: in the Gospel of Matthew as part of the discourse on ostentation in the Sermon on the Mount, and in the Gospel of Luke, which records Jesus being approached by "one of his...

. To most believers in Jesus, the Sermon on the Mount contains the central tenets of Christian discipleship.

The last verse of chapter 5 is a focal point that summarizes the teaching of the sermon: "be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect", advising the disciples
Disciple (Christianity)
In Christianity, the disciples were the students of Jesus during his ministry. While Jesus attracted a large following, the term disciple is commonly used to refer specifically to "the Twelve", an inner circle of men whose number perhaps represented the twelve tribes of Israel...

 or students to seek the path towards perfection
Christian perfection
Christian perfection, also known as perfect love; heart purity; the baptism of the Holy Spirit; the fullness of the blessing; Christian holiness; the second blessing; and entire sanctification, is a Christian doctrine which holds that the heart of the regenerant Christian may attain a state of...

 and the Kingdom of God
Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven is a foundational concept in the Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.The term "Kingdom of God" is found in all four canonical gospels and in the Pauline epistles...

.

Background and setting


The Sermon on the Mount is the longest piece of teaching from Jesus in the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

, and occupies chapters 5
Matthew 5
Matthew 5 is the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. It contains the first portion of the Sermon on the Mount, which will also take up the next chapter and a half. Portions are similar to the Sermon on the Plain in Luke 6, but much is found only in Matthew...

, 6
Matthew 6
Matthew 6 is the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. This chapter contains the middle portion of the Sermon on the Mount. It includes the Lord's Prayer....

 and 7
Matthew 7
Matthew 7 is the seventh chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. The chapter is the final of three chapter that comprise the Sermon on the Mount.The chapter deals with several themes, with 7:1-12 dealing with judging and discernment...

 of the Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. It tells of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth...

. The Sermon has been one of the most widely quoted elements of the Canonical Gospels. To most believers in Jesus, the Sermon contains the central tenets of Christian discipleship.

This is the first of the Five Discourses of Matthew
Five Discourses of Matthew
In Christianity, the term Five Discourses of Matthew refers to five specific discourses by Jesus within the Gospel of Matthew.The five discourses are: the Sermon on the Mount, the Missionary Discourse, the Parabolic Discourse, the Discourse on the Church and the Discourse on End Times.Each of the...

, the other four being Matthew 10
Matthew 10
Matthew 10 is the tenth chapter in the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament section of the Christian Bible. Matthew 10 comes after Jesus had called some of his disciples and before the meeting with the disciples of John the Baptist. This section is also known as the Mission Discourse or the...

, Matthew 13
Matthew 13
Matthew 13 is the thirteenth chapter in the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament section of the Christian Bible. Sections 1-53 of this chapter form the 3rd of the Five Discourses of Matthew - called the Parabolic Discourse based on the parables of the Kingdom.-Description:Matthew 13 consist of...

 (1-53), Matthew 18 and the Olivet discourse
Olivet discourse
The Olivet discourse or Olivet prophecy is a biblical passage found in the Synoptic Gospels of Mark 13, Matthew 24, Luke 21. It is known as the "Little Apocalypse" because it includes Jesus' descriptions of the end times, the use of apocalyptic language, and Jesus' warning to his followers that...

 in Matthew 24.

The Sermon takes place relatively early in the Ministry of Jesus
Ministry of Jesus
In the Christian gospels, the Ministry of Jesus begins with his Baptism in the countryside of Judea, near the River Jordan and ends in Jerusalem, following the Last Supper with his disciples. The Gospel of Luke states that Jesus was "about 30 years of age" at the start of his ministry...

, after he has been baptized
Baptism of Jesus
The baptism of Jesus marks the beginning of Jesus Christ's public ministry. This event is recorded in the Canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. In John 1:29-33 rather than a direct narrative, the Baptist bears witness to the episode...

 by John the Baptist
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

 in chapter 3 of Matthew and gathered his first disciples in chapter 4.

Before this episode, Jesus had been "all about Galilee
Galilee
Galilee , is a large region in northern Israel which overlaps with much of the administrative North District of the country. Traditionally divided into Upper Galilee , Lower Galilee , and Western Galilee , extending from Dan to the north, at the base of Mount Hermon, along Mount Lebanon to the...

" preaching, as in Matthew 4:23
Matthew 4:23
Matthew 4:23 is the twenty-third verse of the fourth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. Jesus has just recruited the first four disciples, this verse begins a brief summary of and introduction to Jesus' ministry in Galilee that will be recounted in the next several chapters.The...

, and "great crowds followed him" from all around the area. The setting for the sermon is given in Matthew 5:1-2. Jesus sees the multitudes, goes up into the mountain, is followed by his disciples, and begins to preach.

Components



While the issue of the exact theological structure and composition of the Sermon on the Mount is subject to debate among scholars, specific components within it, each associated with particular teachings, can be identified.