In this sermon, Jesus taught his followers the Lord’s Prayer and told them the Parable of the Good Samaritan. The sermon also contained the Beatitudes and Jesus’ teachings about God’s laws, which he expected his followers to uphold.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explains to his followers what kinds of human lives are blessed by God. The statements he made are known as the Beatitudes.
According to Jesus, God gives his blessing to:
Jesus also mentioned that people who are persecuted because of their faith will be blessed and find reward in Heaven (Matthew 5:3–11).
The Bible relates how some of the people who came to hear Jesus give sermons feared that he was opposed to the teachings in the Old Testament, which people had been following for a long time. However, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explained that he had not come to overturn God’s laws but to make sure they were upheld.
Jesus expanded on the Old Testament teachings, explaining that God had ever higher expectations of how people should behave towards each other:
|Old Testament teaching||Jesus’ explanation in the Sermon on the Mount|
|Do not murder||Do not even be angry with another person or insult them. Try to forgive people and mend broken relationships.|
|Do not commit adultery||If a married person even looks at another person lustfully, they are guilty of adultery in their heart.|
|Divorce is allowed||Divorce is still allowed but only on the grounds of ‘sexual immorality’. Anyone who divorces and re-marries is committing adultery with their new partner – they are not really married at all.|
|Love your neighbour||You must also love your enemies and pray for people who persecute you.|
However, Jesus did have different ideas from those in the Old Testament when it came to the subject of revenge. He told his followers that their love for one another must be unconditional and that they must never seek revenge, even though the Old Testament allows it:
An eye for an eye (Exodus 21:24)
Jesus told his followers:
You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also (Matthew 5:38–9)
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus summed up almost all of his teachings. Christians find the following important lessons in this sermon:
What are the Beatitudes?
The Beatitudes are proverb-like blessings that Jesus explained to his followers during the Sermon on the Mount. In these, he described the sorts of characteristics people should have in order to be blessed by God.