Sermon on the Mount (Part 2)
50 total verses: Matthew 5:43-48; 6:1-34; Luke 6:27-36
Brief description of action taking place or point being made
62i. Love for enemies in Matthew 5:43-48; Luke 6:27-36
62j. Giving to the needy in Matthew 6:1-4
62k. The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:5-15
62l. Fasting in Matthew 6:16-18
62m. Lay up treasures in heaven in Matthew 6:19-24
62n. Do not be anxious in Matthew 6:25-34
1. What is your favorite verse or set of verses? Why?
2. Did you learn anything from the reading or find anything particularly cool? What?
3. Was there anything unclear in the passage that you have questions about? What are they?
Specific questions on this passage
After Completing the Bible Reading
Broader outline of each section of passage
Matthew 5:43-48; Luke 6:27-36. This section speaks to being loving and kind to people who are neither loving nor kind, and even cites the Golden Rule (Luke 6:31). But what I like most is that in Luke, we are told that if we do these things, we are truly Sons of God, because that is the way God is towards the “ungrateful and evil”.
Matthew 6:1-4. This tells us not to try to make others think good of us by showing them how generous we are to needy people. Rather, it tells us to give secretly, so only God knows. Then God will reward us.
Matthew 6:5-15. Several major points are made in this passage. First, just as in the case of giving, we are to pray secretly, so that our reward will be from God and not because people think we are so holy… Second, the Lord teaches the disciples how to pray (he teaches what is known as “The Lord’s Prayer”). Third he take a phrase in the Lord’s prayer and emphasizes it. He tells us that if we do not forgive, then we should not expect the Lord to forgive us.
Matthew 6:16-18. Just as with giving and praying, Jesus teaches his disciples to fast secretly, not to impress others with our spirituality.
Matthew 6:19-24. Jesus emphasizes that the things we do on earth should be devoted to storing up for ourselves treasures in heaven. That if our treasure is there, our heart will also be there. He also tells us that you cannot serve two masters, and must choose between God and money.
Matthew 6:25-34. The main point of this passage is that we should not worry, but rather put our focus on God, who will supply all our needs. Examples are given in relationship to birds finding food, God’s care for even the grasses of the field, and our inability to add even an hour to our lives.
My favorite passage and other random thoughts
The reading for today perhaps has more famous and important verses clustered together than any other reading. It is therefore very difficult to pick an absolute favorite, though it would be hard to go wrong by picking just about any verse. I think the one that speaks to me the loudest at this stage of my life is Matthew 6:24, “‘No one can serve two masters… You cannot serve God and money'” (ESV). This sort of leads into the next set of verses, where the focus is on the issue of trust. Do I trust God really to take care of my needs, or do I have to worry about my job and career? I am always tempted to say that I need to care very much about my job. I do think there is plenty of Biblical support for pleasing my boss, and for serving well, but I think that worry about keeping my job is probably in the realm of serving money and not God.